Anglo Indian cottage pie

This is a fantastic dish - eat for dinner and then eat the leftovers cold or warm! The flavours, which are really varied, come together beautifully as the dish is cooked. I haven't met anyone who hasn't really enjoyed this - it is a very old recipe originally given to me by my grandmother which I have slightly tweaked over time


  • 1- 1.2kg of good quality beef mince
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 large onions, sliced finely
  • 1-2 large capsicums (red or green), sliced coarsely
  • 1 teaspoon minced chilli (from a jar)
  • 2 tablespoons minced/ crushed ginger
  • 1x 400gm can of tomato puree
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons desiccated coconut
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcester sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce or salt to taste
  • 1kg mashed potatoes - I generally use the frozen mashed potatoes but you can make your own if you prefer

As you can see, lots of ingredients but don't panic, this is not a "fussy" or difficult dish to make but it is really important to taste as the dish cooks and adjust/ add ingredients to suit


  1. Start by charring the mince in two batches in a large pan - using only a small amount of vegetable oil, cook on a high heat, stirring constantly and drying out the mince. When both batches are "dried out" and charred, put aside
  2. Heat oil and cook the onions and then the capsicums. Add the mince back into the mixture
  3. Add the minced ginger and chilli, mix in and cook for a couple of minutes and then add the tomato puree and cook for another three minutes
  4. In no particular order, with the exception of the mashed potato, add the remaining ingredients one at a time and thoroughly mix in
  5. Continue cooking for approx. twenty minutes constantly stirring through - after ten or so minutes start tasting and add what you think may enhance the flavour to your liking - I sometimes add from one or more of ginger, cumin, coconut and Worcester or more tomato puree, paste or even sauce....whatever is open!
  6. You should now be ready to finish the dish. Put the mixture into a large oven proof dish allowing space on top for the mashed potatoes. If you are using frozen mashed potatoes, follow the instructions on the packet - allow fifteen minutes to make this much mash!
  7. Spoon the mash to cover. Heat oven to 220C and cook for 20 - 25 minutes

Serve either as a standalone dish with mango chutney or with vegetables of your choice

Serves 6

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