Texas Cottage Pie

It would be fair to say we are a beef eating family.

Texas Cottage Pie

So, when Foodbuzz sent me an email about an opportunity to pair up with the Texas Beef Council* to share some fun recipes featuring lean beef I found it very hard to say no.  With that said, over the next few weeks I will be posting some of my fun, tasty beefy shenanigans.  This first recipe is inspired by a traditional English Cottage Pie.  Quick!  Pop quiz:  What is the difference between a Shepherd’s Pie and a Cottage Pie? [Insert popular game show music here]  Answer:  A Shepherd’s Pie is made from ground lamb where a Cottage Pie is made of ground beef.  If you knew the answer then gold star for you!

Texas Cottage Pie

So, this first recipe is a Texas take on a British Cottage Pie.  I started with a cheesy mashed potato topping using spicy pepper jack cheese.  I love the subtle hint of spice and the rich flavor it provides.  Next, the beef in this dish is cooked with plenty of warm Tex-Mex inspired spices along with  some red pepper for heat.  Instead of peas and carrots I decided to go with black beans, corn, and tomatoes.    The finished product is a complete meal that is family friendly, easy, and, if you have any left over, it makes a superb lunch!

Texas Cottage Pie      Serves 8

2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1/2 cup milk or half and half, at room temperature
1 1/3 cup shredded pepper jack cheese, divided
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1 pound lean ground beef, 94/7 preferred
1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup diced tomatoes

Heat the oven to 350 F and spray a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

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Steam, or boil, the potatoes until they are fork tender.  Press the potatoes through a ricer, or mash with a masher, until smooth.  Add the butter and half the milk.  Mix, adding additional milk as needed, until the potatoes are smooth and creamy.  Stir in 1 cup of the cheese and salt.  Set aside to cool.

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In a medium skillet over medium heat add the oil.  Once the oil shimmers add the onion and salt.  Cook, stirring often, until softened.  Add the chopped garlic, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, red pepper, and cinnamon and cook until fragrant, about one minute.  Add the beef and cook, stirring frequently, until well browned.

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Once browned add in the black beans and corn.  Cook until the corn is heated through.  Stir in the tomatoes and then transfer the mixture to the prepared dish.  Top the meat with half the reserved cheese.  Spread, or pipe, the potatoes onto the meat mixture and top with the remaining cheese.

Texas Cottage Pie

Bake until the mashed potatoes begin to lightly brown, about 30 to 35 minutes.  Allow the casserole to rest 10 minutes before serving.

Texas Cottage Pie


Texas Cottage Pie

*Evil Shenanigans Product Review Policy and DisclosureThe Texas Beef Council is providing me with a monetary stipend for providing this recipe.   Any opinion expressed is my own and is not influenced in any way by the manufacturer/PR firm.  I only review products that I have personally tested and endorse.

© 2011, Evil Shenanigans. All rights reserved.

Author: Kelly

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  • Looks delish- LOVE the piped potatoes!

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  • Nice change a meat pie! 🙂 I love the potato idea on top instead of biscuit style!

  • What a great recipe with some wonderful flavor. The top has such a beautiful design.

  • This looks fabulous!

  • I never knew the difference between a shepherd’s pie and cottage pie. As a meat and potato person, either one sounds great. 🙂

  • Looks delicious, and I the piped mashed potatoes look super pretty!

  • David Cameron

    Looks lovely and I’m glad you know the difference between a cottage and a shepherd’s pie, but I’m afraid us awkward old Brits have caught you out. As soon as you add cheese to the potato it becomes a Cumberland pie!

  • David – LOL! Well, that I didn’t know … thanks!!

  • Looks really good…love the pepperjack.

  • Cottage, Shepherd’s or Cumberland…I just say Great Meat Pie!

    We have a family favorite that I’ve been making since I was a teen and to be honest I’ve never called it anything but Hamburger Pie…I’ll have to rethink that now but I like some of your more current ingredients…yes to black beans and away with the green beans I say!

  • Oh, thank you for using (and teaching others) the correct term for this pie! I see so many people use the title “shepherd’s pie” even when there’s not a lick of lamb in the dish. Your cottage pie looks amazing!!

  • Nicole

    A) I will be making this for dinner one night this week. It looks awesome!
    B) Where did you get that baking dish!? It is sooo cute!

  • This looks delicious!!! I will definitely be trying this soon!

  • Cottage pie never looked so appetizing. Nice touch to pipe the potato topping. Serious looking comfort food for sure.

    p.s. love your blue dish!

  • Nicole and Paula – I found that dish at Tuesday Morning a few years ago. I love it!

  • Love this Texas take on an Old World classic. Shepherd’s/Cottage Pie is a perennial favorite around here and this will make a great addition to the repetoire!

  • Mmmmm. Loving those cheesy mashed potatoes on top!

  • Never did know the difference between Shepherd’s Pie & Cottage Pie – thanks for that & this great recipe. Lucky you to be working with Texas beef!

  • This looks great… It reminds me of the shepherd’s pie my mom used to make, but with much better flavors! I love the corn and black beans in the recipe.

  • I can almost taste it just by looking at the pics… The casserole is calling out to me…

  • yeni

    I made this for lunch today and it was delightful. I used pinto beans instead of black, and ground chicken instead of beef (it’s what I had on hand), and it still tasted great. The potatoes are soft and creamy and the flavors in the chicken mix blend well together. Will definitely make this again. Thanks for the recipe!

  • OH MY WORD. this looks amazing! Im going to have to try a take on this with ground turkey and some other adjustments!


    I made this yesterday.
    I thought it was very good. I grew up in Wales (the land of lamb). As you rightly say Shepherds Pie should be ground lamb – traditionally ground cooked lamb – it is a leftover using dish – see Fanny Farmer or Mrs Beeton.
    Loved the cinamon, would make it again for sure

  • rich in protein

  • Julie

    I just found your blog when looking for ideas on how to use leftover short ribs. I made this recipe using the leftover ribs and mashed potatoes/ parsnips in place of the ground beef and plain potatoes. I also added green and red peppers (which we had in the fridge). My boyfriend loved it and couldn’t believe that leftovers could taste so different! Thank you for the recipe!

  • I made this recipe for dinner tonight. Vegetarian household. Instead of beef, I used Morningstar Farm veggie crumbles. Very tasty! We will be making this one again.

  • This looks really good. I must try it.

  • Morgan

    I make Shepherd’s, Cottage, and Cumberland, (and I Must NOT forget Crawfish) Pies often. This recipe started out as a Cottage, then took the potatoes from a Shepherd’s, then added the cheese of a Cumberland and I added some fresh ground Cajun seasoning, instead of the chili and cumin. It caused the dish to pop.

    This is a good alternative and variance.

  • Juliette

    I made this on Saturday. It was easy and very delish!! It will be added to the regular rotation 🙂

  • Rozie

    It luks yummy and palatable so am gonna try it tonight and post a comment…..
    Thanx dear

  • ann

    Looking for something different than regular Shepherds Pie and I think this is just what I wanted…will make it over Memorial Day….Wish me luck…..

  • DottieK

    When I was a newly wed back in the mid-40s something similar to this recipe was my standby for a company dinner. I believe I found it in my one and only cookbook put out by Better Homes and Garden. The hamburger was sautéed with onions and a can of tomato soup, green beans and some seasonings were added which was then topped with mounds of mashed potatoes and baked. My father-in-law requested I make it for them the next time we visited their home! He knew how to make points with his new daughter-in-law. Will be trying this variation for sure! Thanx!

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  • tmaryso43

    Why can’t you just put in broiler to brown the potatoes. Everything is already cooked. Seems like that would be faster

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