This dish is a chilli and tomato twist on the traditional classic: cottage pie. Breaking through that sensational cheese top crust with every mouthful, it goes wonderfully with the smooth, buttery mash topping too.  We treated it almost as if it was a lasagne, serving it with salad leaves and some lovely garlic bread. This dish is a real winner!


Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 500g of mince beef
  • 1 to 2 red chillies (finely diced)
  • 2 garlic cloves (crushed)
  • 1 large onion (diced)
  • 2 sticks of celery (small diced)
  • 1 carrot (peeled and small diced)
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tins chopped tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • sprigs of time (remove stalk)
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the mash:

  • 1kg potatoes (peeled and diced)
  • 1 heaped tsp dijon mustard
  • 50g butter
  • 50ml milk
  • 80g mature cheddar cheese
  • Salt and white pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 6/200℃/400℉.
  2. In a pan with about 2 tablespoons of oil, gently sweat off the carrots, celery and onions until soft. Turn up the heat to high and add your mince, breaking it up and stirring constantly to give both the mince and vegetables a bit of colour.
  3. Once the beef is broken down and slightly browned, add in the garlic, tomato puree, thyme, chilli and bay leaf, and stir in well. After a few minutes add the tinned tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and beef stock cube to the mixture. Bring to the boil and then simmer on a low heat for around 20 minutes and season to taste.
  4. Whilst the filling is simmering away, boil the potatoes until slightly over cooked, ready for mashing and then mix with the rest of the ingredients, setting half the cheese aside to add on top.
  5. Mash the potatoes together until smooth and well combined. Add the filling into an ovenproof dish and then gently spread the mash over the top, adding the grated cheese finally.
  6. Bake for around 15-20 minutes or until the top is golden brown and crispy.
  7. Tuck in!



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