Cottage Pie with a Herb & Spicy Breadcrumb Topping

A rich & hearty cottage pie topped with fluffy sweet potato and a crispy herb & spicy breadcrumb.
Servings: 8 yield(s)
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 75 mins
Total Time: 95 mins
    For the mince
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 kg lean mince beef
  • 2 onions (peeled & finely chopped)
  • 2 celery sticks (finely chopped)
  • 4 carrots (peeled & finely chopped)
  • 10 sprigs fresh thyme (leaves only, finely chopped)
  • 4 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 350 ml red wine
  • 800 ml beef stock
  • sea salt & pepper (freshly ground)
  • A few splashes of Worcestershire sauce
  • For the mash
  • 1 kg potatoes (peeled & quartered)
  • 600 g sweet potatoes (peeled & cut into chunks)
  • 50 g butter
  • sea salt & pepper (freshly ground)
  • For the breadcrumb topping
  • 5 sprigs of fresh flat leaf parsley (finely chopped)
  • 3 sprigs of rosemary (leaves finely chopped)
  • 3 sprigs of thyme (leaves finely chopped)
  • 1 small garlic clove (peeled & finely chopped)
  • 50 g breadcrumbs
  • 1 pinch of chilli flakes
  1. Heat a large frying pan and then add a tablespoon of olive oil, add the mince in small batches until browned all over and set aside.
  2. In another large frying pan heat a tablespoon of olive oil and gently fry the onions, celery, carrots and thyme for 3-5 minutes until softened. Add the tomato puree and flour and fry for one minute and then add the mince.
  3. Deglaze the frying pan which you cooked the mince in with red wine, cook for 3-4 minutes until it has reduced by half and then add to the mince.
  4. Add the stock to the pan and let simmer for 45 minutes. Season to taste and add a few splashes of Worcestershire sauce.
  5. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/Gas mark 6.
  6. For the mash, place the potatoes in a pan of salted water bring to the boil and then simmer for 12-15 minutes, add the sweet potatoes after 5 minutes. Drain the potatoes and leave to steam dry. Mash with a potato masher or ricer and butter and mix well until you have a smooth mash, season to taste.
  7. For the breadcrumb topping, add all the ingredients into a bowl and mix through
  8. Spoon the mince mixture into a 1.5 litre oven proof dish. Spoon the mashed potato on top and rough the surface with a folk. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until bubbling and the breadcrumb topping is crisp & golden brown.