Cottage Pie with Beef, Carrots and Party Potatoes!

I learned something new today.  I learned the difference between Shepherd's Pie and Cottage Pie.  There is not much difference except for the meat.  Shepherd's Pie is made with lamb and Cottage Pie is made with beef.  So, last year my Shepherd's Pie was really Cottage Pie!  (We don't eat much lamb at our house, in fact, I have never prepared lamb.  My neighbor, on the other hand, makes wonderful lamb.  Her recipe is here.)  Back to topic...cottage pie originated as a way to use up leftover beef stew.  Today, it is made from scratch as well as leftovers!

Cottage Pie with Beef, Carrots 
and Party Potatoes!

Yield:  Serves six to eight
Preheat oven:  350°

For the stew:
1 3/4 cups low-salt beef stock
6 oz. Porcini mushrooms, coarsely chopped
2-3 Tbsp olive or vegetable oil
2 1/2 lb. top round steaks, trim fat
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3 medium carrots, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 celery stalks, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 medium onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves (or 1/2 tsp dried)
2 Tbs tomato paste
2 Tbs all-purpose flour
3/4 cup dry vermouth

For the topping:
2 lb russet potatoes, peeled, cut into chunks
Kosher salt
5 Tbs unsalted butter
4 oz. cream cheese
1/3 cup sour cream
4-5 Tbs vermouth

Make the stew:
Heat 2 Tbs of oil in heavy dutch oven over medium high heat.  Pat the steaks dry, season lightly with Kosher salt and pepper.  Sear the steaks, flipping once, until nicely browned.  Remove the steaks to a platter and set aside.

Lower the heat to medium, add the remaining oil if needed.  Add the carrots, celery, onions, and thyme.  Season with salt and pepper and cook.  Stir occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 7 minutes.  Stir in the tomato paste, and cook for a few minutes.  Add the flour, stirring to blend,and cook for another minute.  Add the wine, bring to a simmer, and reduce heat to low.  Add mushrooms.  Slowly add the beef stock.

Cut the steaks into small cubes and add to the pot, along with any juices.  Cover tightly and transfer to the oven.  Cook, stirring once or twice, until the meat is tender, about 1 hour.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Set stew aside.  Increase over temperature to 375°

Make the topping:
About 30 minutes before the stew is ready, put the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover by an inch with cold water.  Add 1 tsp Kosher salt.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat, partially cover, and simmer until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes.  Drain.

With an electric mixer, mash potatoes; add 3 Tbs unsalted butter, cream cheese, and sour cream.  Beat until fluffy.  Add vermouth and season to taste.

Assemble the pie:
Lightly butter a shallow 3 quart baking dish.  Spoon the stew into the baking dish.  Spoon the potatoes on top of the stew in an even layer.  Dot the top with the remaining butter.  Sprinkle chopped chives on top.  Bake at 375° until the stew is bubbling around the sides and the top is lightly browned, about 35-45 minutes.


The Kitchen Gnome and I loved this dish!  It was delicious!

I am joining Kathleen at Cuisine Kathleen for her third St. Patrick's Day Blog Crawl.  Thank you Kathleen!  My daughter reminded me that there is a difference between England and Ireland and that my dish was leaning toward English...yep, it is.....I need to start earlier.  The Steak and Guinness Pie that I was making hasn't happened as yet!


  1. I like cottage pie much more than shepherd's pie because I am not a fan of lamb. Your cottage pie looks so delicious!

  2. This looks and sounds delicious. I don't use much beef any more, but if I did, I'd definitely make this one. Thanks. xoA

  3. This looks so wonderfully delicious...! You have done a great job with the pie :D)!!

  4. I've never had Cottage Pie and this sounds just delicious!

  5. This looks really yummy! Like Irish stew, with the potatoes on top.
    Happy St. Patrick's day to you!

  6. Thank you for the recipe and the explaining because I have made Shepherd's pie with meat always, now I will try this one. I love the potatoes on top, it's so yummy!
    I'm your newest follower. I'd love you to visit me too. I'm originally from Astoria-Queens and so I grew up in an Irish-Italian neighborhood, (now it's Greek) and St. Patrick's was to me like for the Irish...I never missed the parade in the city either!
    So have a great St. Pat's Day

  7. Looks delicious! I would love this for dinner tonight!

  8. Wow, I guess all my life I've been eating cottage pie, thinking it was shepherd's pie!! Good to know :) I love any pie and this savory one looks fabulous!


  9. It looks and sounds delicious..just the topping:)

    Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  10. Looks great, we love it! But I'm afraid if I rename it to Cottage Pie my sons won't eat it, so I'll just keep this info between us:@)

  11. This looks so very yummy!!!!!

  12. Your cottage pie looks extremely delicious! It is such great comfort food!

  13. That is one amazing Cottage pie!

  14. How interesting. I didn't know the difference either. Lovely pie Kate. Happy St. Patty's Day.

  15. This Cottage Pie does sound yummy! Happy St. Patrick's Day to you.

  16. It looks delicious! Yes, I read some guy having a hissy fit about the difference between the 2. I am not that found of lamb, so beef for me!
    Thanks for joining in Kate!
    Happy SPD!

  17. Your cottage pie for our well-loved Irish festival is so yummy!

  18. Good Evening Kathy, I love your recipe.... I feel it really does not matter how a recipe is changed..... especially for home cooking, as long as it is enjoyed. I have never added dry vermouth to Cottage Pie but this sounds like a fun ingredient to add and how could we not love the title of your potatoes.... party potatoes.
    I will definitely be trying your recipe next time I make Cottage Pie.
    Best Wishes to you,


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