Cottage Pie – An Idiot’s Guide (hypothetically)

I’m not a cook, I never have been.

Personal attitude has always been that spending an hour knocking up a meal for 10-15minutes of eating, it just tends not to make sense.

I guess that’s why I’m a bit happier to try larger meals, ones that’ll last for the whole week (or at least the majority). I’ve never been that bothered about learning though, so it has been a bit of a slow development.

Today however was different. Unemployment, it turns out has benefits.

Whilst the job hunt never really developed today, the run down & mucus cough didn’t prevent me from (using the below instructions from the Joyce Bonney Cookbook) trying my hand at a spot of Cottage Pie. It wasn’t perfect, slightly too much water, but as a first go, I’m pleased with it.

So, here, using my Mother’s instructions is How to make Cottage Pie, an Idiot’s Guide.


  1. 500g of minced beef
  2. 3 x decent sized Potatoes
  3. 2 x Onions
  4. 2 x Oxo cubes
  5. Butter (personal preference for quantity)
  6. Cheddar Cheese (again, personal preference)

2014-05-06 16.44.17



  1. Chop up potatoes, not necessarily peel, but cut out mouldy bits.
  2. Put in cold water in pan & simmer until potatoes are soft (approximately 30minutes).
  3. Tip away water and mash up with butter.


  1. Peel and chop the onions [Good God this stings] into thin slices.
  2. Throw away any manky looking bits.
  3. Fry in the oil until soft (approximately 5-10minutes). Try not to burn.


  1. Add the mince to the onions and fry until brown (approximately 10minutes).
  2. Add boiling water, enough to cover the mince & onions.
  3. Add Oxo Cubes (crumbled not whole).
  4. Simmer for 30-45minutes.

Post Cooking

  1. Put the mince/onions into a metal tray, smoothing it out.
  2. Add the mashed potato on top.
  3. Sprinkle gratted cheese on top.
  4. Put in the oven until cheese melts.



Over did the water covering the mince, so the gravy was a wee bit weak, but for a 1st attempt, I’m happy with it.

2014-05-06 19.03.15


Next time, I’ll try to get the sacred Sausage Roll receipe! Next time!

About T.Bonney

Northerner with a penchant for optimism and self-deprecating humour. London based for 14+ years now and still love it most of the time. Philosophical, film fan with tastes for beer, rugby, reading and more.

Posted on 06/05/2014, in 2014. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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