Slow Cooked Shepherd’s Pie/Cottage Pie

Submitted by Paulene Christie

Slow Cooked Shepherd’s Pie/Cottage Pie

5 from 6 votes
Serving: 6
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes


  • 700mg lean beef mince / ground beef
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 large carrots grated
  • 1 x 420g can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup dried green peas
  • 1 heaped tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 stalks of celery, sliced
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 150g grated tasty cheese
  • 6 large potatoes for mashing (I like Golden Delight potatoes)
  • 1/4 cup (60mls) milk and 1tbsp butter to mash potatoes with (see note below)
  • Ground paprika for garnish
  • *note* to convert to dairy free alternative you can leave the milk and butter out of the potato mash


  • 1. Add mince and onion to searing slow cooker (or frying pan on stove top) to brown mince. Drain. Then add browned mince and onion to slow cooker bowl.
  • 2. Add carrots, tomatoes, garlic, peas, tomato paste, celery, sauce, thyme, and beef stock and stir to combine.
  • 3. Cook on HIGH for 1hr. While this is cooking prepare and cook potatoes as per step #4.
  • 4. Peel and cut potatoes into large pieces and cook in a large saucepan of boiling water on stove until tender to fork. Drain and add milk and butter and mash to a smooth mashed consistency.
  • 5. Use the back of a large wooden spoon/ladle to push down meat mixture in the base of slow cooker. Spoon mashed potato over meat base and smooth out with a metal spoon to achieve a flat finish.
  • 6. Cover and cook on LOW for 3hrs.
  • 7. Approx 30mins prior to serving add grated cheese on top of potato layer and then sprinkle top with paprika (it gives your dish the browned look on serving) and cover with tea towel for the last 30mins of cooking (between slow cooker and lid - see tea towel explanation here)
  • 8. Serve with steamed broccoli or broccolini
  • **Note: Traditionally Shepherds Pie uses lamb mince, Cottage Pie uses beef. Feel free to choose which suits you best 🙂

30 thoughts on “Slow Cooked Shepherd’s Pie/Cottage Pie”

  1. Tried this one last night, the flavors were there, just one criticism the mashed potatoes were really sloppy.
    Would leaving out the beef stock help the potatoes?

  2. Made this tonight, sooo yum! I did the mince in the slow cooker and finished it off in the oven to get a crispy brown top. Mr7 approved.

  3. Carolyn Clarke

    Cooked this tonight very tasty, but will put less liquid in it next time. Did 1hr on high then 3 1/2 on low but had teat towel under lid for that time.

  4. Hi Paulene

    I have all your books and couldn’t imagine slow cooking without them!,,

    Just a question on this recipe. If I am doing a large one eg 2kg of mince how long would I cook for?
    Thanks so much

  5. I made this one and whilst it was quite nice, My opinion is that the celery overpowered it and could maybe use a little salt, other than that, everybody finished their plate but does need something else.. Experiment time on the next one, could maybe add Gravy for that extra flavour..

  6. 5 stars
    Beautiful flavours. Left out veg as I was in a hurry prepping & served as side. Will definitely make again. Thank you.

  7. 5 stars
    Recipe looks delish, for those who are dairy free with the note on dairy free alternative for the mash instead of leaving out the butter and milk altogether which if you do isn’t going to give you a great consistency in your mash, you can substitute a plant based milk e.g soy or almond and there are several dairy free butters on the market e.g Nuttlex Buttery or Tablelands Dairy Free Buttery (for those in Australia) Am sure other countrys will have dairy free alternatives for milk/butter too).

  8. Ruvae Harrison

    5 stars
    Made this tonight for the first time. Very yummy. The only I did different was I used lamb mice. Then when all cooked I put it in a dish. I boiled a couple of eggs sliced them up on top & put mashed potato on top & browned in the oven. Will certainly be making again.

  9. Bron Mildwaters

    5 stars
    Looved this recipe! Initially I thought it was going to be super tomatoey but it wasn’t, absolutely perfect 🙂

  10. 5 stars
    This sure is full of deliciousness & yum said hubby. Being a regular favourite in our home.
    NOTE: I added 1 teaspoon dried rosemary & thyme plus 1 packet French onion soup mix.
    Once the meat mixture is cooked I put some into individual ramekins then topped with mashed potato sprinkled with grated cheese. Then into the air fryer for 5 minutes jut to melt the cheese & brown up.
    Cheers Jenny P

  11. To be quicker could use the frozen mashed potatoes. Come as pinky sized cylinders you could just lay over the top.
    I just check the ingredients for brands that have no thickeners.
    There are brands that have only potatoes, butter, pepper and nutmeg.

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