How To Make Cottage Pie Crispy On Top The Secret Ingredient

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How To Make Cottage Pie Crispy On Top

Have you ever struggled and wondered how to make cottage pie crispy on top? Cottage pie is one of those delicious winter meals, the perfect dish for the family. Today right now I’m going to share with you the secret ingredient to make cottage pie crispy on top.

You are making a cottage pie and have spent an hour or so in the kitchen. The end result, you feel let down by the gooey, soft topping and watery tasteless beef filling. Your potato mash on top of your cottage pie will make or break the dish.

Your beef filling needs to be moist but not wet. What I’m talking about is the moisture will come from the fat in the beef mince and the vegetables. When the filling is wet it hasn’t been reduced enough. I don’t use flour or cornflour to thicken the filling, I use the reduction method which will concentrate the flavor.

The other process I will do is season everything. Season the mince, season the vegetables, season the mash. I also cut the vegetable into medium-sized pieces or cut paysanne. I don’t use red wine or nasty powdered beef stock, I make my own vegetable stock.

Paysanne Cut Vegetables
Paysanne Cut Vegetables

How To Make Cottage Pie Crispy On Top

Making a cottage pie crispy on top isn’t hard, it’s all about the quality of your potato mash. Frist before mashing your potatoes they will need to be dry, if you have watery potatoes the top will never crisp up.

You can do this by draining the potatoes, putting them back into the pot, and letting them sit for 2-3 minutes. The steam from the potatoes and the residual heat from the pot will help to dry them out.

Second, use a fork to create texture on the top of the mash after it has been spread over the mince filling. a textured cottage pie top will help towards it becoming crispy on top.
Thirdly adding cheese on top will not only add flavor it will crisp up as well.

Forth and lastly cook your cottage pie in a preheated hot oven at 180°C or 365°F for 30-40 minutes. Knowing how to make cottage pie crispy on top will take your cottage pie from great to outstanding. Follow these four steps to create a cottage pie that the family will love.

Secret Ingredient To Make Cottage Pie Crispy On Top

The secret ingredient to making cottage pie crispy on top is… Love! When you love cooking you weave that love of cooking into the food, in the process creating something amazing.

Thinking about family and friends when cooking and how they are going to enjoy the food you have made for them. The love of cooking and weaving that love into the food is a recipe for creating amazingly delicious dishes.

When I eat out at restaurants I can tell how the chef is feeling, by the way, the food looks and tastes. Your feelings will always flow through the food from the prep through to the end dish like a secret ingredient.

How To Make Mashed Potatoes From Scratch

Why Do They Call It A Cottage Pie

The cottage pie recipe today is not too dissimilar to when it was first created in England back in the 18th century. The poor of that time’s diet consisted largely of potatoes, what meat they could afford was tough secondary cuts, like, beef shin, oxtail, and offal.

They would use these ingredients to make a meat stew with a potato top. The poor lived in small cottages, and the dish of stewed meat with a potato top became a cottage pie.

Look at all the class dishes of today they were created by the poor of the past. If it wasn’t for their innovativeness and resourcefulness we wouldn’t have all these fantastic dishes today.

Is Shepherd’s Pie The Same As Cottage Pie

No shepherd’s pie is not the same as cottage pie.

The difference is the meat that is used. Shepherd’s pie should be made with minced lamb or mutton, hence the name, shepherds watch over a flock of sheep.

Cottage pie is usually made from minced or shredded beef, however, you could use pork or venison as well.

Can You Prepare Cottage Pie In Advance

Yes, you can prepare cottage pie in advance. In fact, many people think that preparing cottage pie in advance makes it even tastier, as the flavors have time to mingle and develop.

Simply cook and assemble the cottage pie, and place it into the refrigerator. When you’re ready place in the oven and bake until crispy on top. That way, you can enjoy a delicious cottage pie without all the hassles. Perfect dish for busy families.

Larder Stables And Must Have Kitchen Tools

  • I’ll make it easy for you. stock your kitchen with these basic ingredients – Butter, milk, Himalayan pink or quality sea salt, whole peppercorns, sugar, vinegar, virgin olive oil, and plain flour.

Essential Kitchen Tools – Must Haves

You can’t be at a professional level in the kitchen unless you own a variety of high-end tools. Genius kitchen gadgets are an essential part of any home cook’s or aspiring chef’s arsenal. From some of the best chef knives, and kitchen cookware, to wooden cutting boards. These will set you apart from others and get you ready with what you need to start making meals like a chef.

My Professional Recommendations

Seasoning Food

Maldon Sea Salt Flakes
  • As a chef the most underrated ingredient in the kitchen is salt. When my recipes call for salt and pepper I use a variety of different salts and freshly ground black pepper.

Many chefs, including myself, prefer sea salt like Maldon salt flakes or Himalayan pink salt. Both can be used for cooking and finishing. They have a refined flavor that brings out the natural taste of food.

How To Make Cottage Pie Crispy On Top

How To Make Cottage Pie Crispy On Top

Tonight, Get Your Family Around The Dinner Table With ADelicious Cottage Pie.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine English, New Zealand
Servings 4 People
Calories 688 kcal


Cottage Pie Filling

  • 500 grams Beef mince
  • drizzle Rice bran or vegetable oil
  • 1 each White onion - peeled and diced
  • 1 each Carrot - peeled and diced
  • 4 cloves Garlic - sliced
  • 1 each Courgette aka zucchini - diced
  • 1 each Yellow bell pepper - diced
  • 2 each Green peppers - sliced
  • 2 each Tomatoes - diced
  • 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp Oregano - dried
  • 2 tbsp Capers - roughly chopped
  • 2 cups Vegetable stock - homemade
  • Himalayan pink salt and freshly ground black pepper

Potato Top

  • 4 each Agria potatoes - peeled
  • 100 grams Butter - salted
  • 100 mls Fresh cream
  • ½ cup aged truffle cheddar - grated
  • Himalayan pink salt


Mashed Potato Top

  • Peel the potatoes cut into quarters place into a pot, cover with water, season with Himalayan pink salt, bring to a boil and simmer until potatoes are soft.
    Drain the potatoes, place them back into the pot and let them sit for 2-3 minutes. This will help the potatoes steam dry.
    Add the butter and cream into a pan, bring the boil, and reduce by half. Place the potatoes into a sieve and using a spoon push the potatoes through the sieve.
    Add the reduced cream to the mash. Use a spatular fold in the cream until the mash is light and fluffy. Season the mash.
    Cottage Pie Potato Top

Cottage Pie Filling

  • Heat a large deep skillet or pan. Add a drizzle of rice bran oil and fry off the mince until brown, break the mince up, you can use a potato masher. This should take about 10 minutes. Season the mince with Himalayan pink salt and freshly ground black pepper.
    Add the diced onion, garlic, and dried oregano, combine, and cookout for 5 minutes. Deglaze with the vegetable stock, ad in the Worcestershire sauce, and bring to a boil. Season the vegetables with Himalayan pink salt.
    Add in all the other vegetables and capers combine, and place a lid onto the skillet, simmer for 20 minutes or until the vegetable stock has reduced by half.
    Cottage Pie Filling

Constructing Your Cottage Pie

  • Remove the lid from the skillet, and mix the filling. With a spatula lightly smooth out the filling so it is evenly spread around the skillet.
    Place on the mashed potato and evenly spread over the mince filling. With a fork lightly run across the top of the mash, sprinkle over the grated truffle cheddar cheese.
    If you can't get truffle cheddar, aged cheddar will work just as well.
    Cottage Pie Before Baking
  • Place into a 180°Cor 365°F preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, the top should be golden brown and crispy
    Cottage Pie Crispy Top
Keywords Cottage Pie, Mashed Potato

Serving Size: 300g Cottage pie.
Calories 688 | Total Fat 37.2 g | Carbohydrates 55.6 g | Fiber 2.1 g | Protein 30.8 g | Iron 2.2 mg

Making Cottage Pie With A Crispy Topping Is Simple As

So there you have it, my tips on how to make cottage pie with a crispy topping. It’s really not difficult and will have everyone coming back for more.

If you’ve ever made a cottage pie, you know that the topping is key. A crispy, golden brown potato mash is the perfect contrast to the comforting beef filling and makes all the difference in terms of taste and texture.

One of the great things about cottage pie is making it in advance. Having an easy dinner at the end of the day. This can be cooked in the morning, cooled in the refrigerator, and reheated when you are ready.

Following these simple steps will transform your cottage pie from great to outstanding. I hope you give this a try and enjoy the fantastic results! Now you know how to make cottage pie crispy on top, you’ll be amazed at how simple it really is.

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