Hallmark Carehomes
Cottage Pie – Ernesto’s Recipe

4 May 2022

Cottage Pie – Ernesto’s Recipe

We recently caught up with Head Chef at Anya Court Care Home, Ernesto Gagliotta, who shared with us how he makes his delicious cottage pie! 

Find out how to make it yourself here. 


For the filling

  • Olive oil
  • 1.5kg beef mince
  • Two large onions
  • Four carrots
  • Four sticks of celery
  • Two cloves of garlic
  • Two tbsp of plain flour
  • One tbsp of tomato puree
  • 800ml beef stock
  • Four tbsp of Worcestershire sauce
  • Three bay leaves
  • One glass red wine

For the mash:

  • 2kg potato
  • 50g butter
  • 150ml double cream
  • 20 grams of salt
  • 200g mature cheddar cheese
  • Grated nutmeg


  • Put the olive oil into the pan, add the finely chopped onions, chopped carrots and chopped celery sticks and cook on a gentle heat until soft, about 20 mins.
  • Add the beef mince and cook until nice and brown.
  • Add finely chopped garlic cloves, plain flour and tomato purée, increase the heat and cook for a few minutes.
  • Pour over a large glass of red wine, and boil to reduce it slightly before adding the 850ml beef stock, Worcestershire sauce and bay leaves.
  • Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 45 mins. By this time the gravy should be thick and coating the meat.
  • Check after about 30 mins – If a lot of liquid remains, increase the heat slightly to reduce the gravy a little.
  • Season well, then discard the bay leaves.

Meanwhile make the mash.

  • In a large saucepan, cover the potatoes which you’ve peeled and chopped, in salted cold water, bring to the boil and simmer until tender.
  • Drain well, then allow to steam dry for a few mins.
  • Mash well with the cream, butter, and three-quarters of the mature cheddar cheese.
  • Season with freshly grated nutmeg and some salt and pepper

Once both the meat and mash is prepared

  • Spoon the meat into 2 ovenproof dishes.
  • Pipe or spoon on the mash to cover.
  • Sprinkle on the remaining cheese.
  • Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas and cook for 25-30 mins, or until the topping is golden.

Find out more about Ernesto by watching our video here.

Click here to find your nearest Hallmark care home.


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