Comforting Cottage Pie

You will need about an hour to make this dish but it will provide meals for 2 to 3  days. It is the multiple pans needed that annoys me….see if you can use less than 4 pans! But I love it and keep cooking it

Potato Mash is so comforting. Potatoes contain starch,and just 100g is 75kcals but when eating a pie, you need lots of mash, about 400+ kcalories of it. I replace potato with a turnip and celeriac mix (more turnip than celeriac) which are 1/3 of the calories of mashed potato but still soft and tasty. An overall lighter feel after the meal.

Meat is an excellent protein and a source of   iron and trace minerals BUT too much red meat is linked with bowel cancers and poor health.

I balance out red mince meat by adding green lentils that when cooked with meat, look like meat  I add plenty of plant foods  to mitigate the risks.

I use the ‘typically 5% fat’ mince meat selling in supermarkets.

Calories: 380

Servings: 5

Fibre Protein Carbohydrate Fat
12g 33g 32g 12.7g


350g, Lean beef mince 5% fat

150g, Green lentils

1 beef stock cube  500ml water

100ml red  wine (optional)

2 teaspoons  olive oil

150g, 1 onion

2 large garlic cloves

250g, 3 carrots

120g, 4 celery stalks

2 tbps tomato puree

3 tbps Worchester sauce

3 thyme sprigs


1 head of celeriac

1 head of turnip

100ml low fat milk

Ground nutmeg

10g, grated parmesan

100g, frozen peas per person


Rinse the lentils in a sieve under a cold tap and add to the beef stock water in a large saucepan and bring to the boil then simmer for 35 minutes

Chop the celeriac and turnip and boil until soft [15-20 minutes]

Finely chop the onion, and dice the  carrot and celery into small chunks and crush the garlic. If the veg chunks are too big, the pie is less attractive, especially to kids.

Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil to a frying pan on a medium heat – heat up and add the mince meat – brown the mince meat – turn up the heat to high and add in the wine. Allow the mixture to bubble for 3 minutes or so to burn off the alcohol. Remove the meat from the frying pan to a side bowl.

Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil to the same frying pan and cook the garlic and onion until they just start turning brown – add in the diced carrot and celery and a little stock water from the lentil pot – cover the pan with a lid and allow the veg to soften for a few minutes.

Heat your oven to 150

When the lentils are cooked, add the frying pan contents into the large lentil saucepan along with the mince meat. Add the tomato puree, Worcestershire sauce, thyme sprigs and season with black pepper. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes and remove the thyme stalks.

This is your base done and if you have a  large oven pie dish, you can add the contents to the base and top with the mash. 

Strain the turnip and celeriac, mash and blitz until very smooth adding 100ml of low fat milk to create a smooth topping for the pie

Sprinkle the parmesan on top and a little ground nutmeg. Cover with a heavy lid and place in the heated oven at 150 for 30 minutes

Pour boiling water onto the peas and allow to soak – peas cook very quickly, heat before serving but avoid boiling them  too long to protect nutrients.