Cottage pie crock pot recipe (slow cooker)

A de-constructed slow cooker, or crock pot, version of Cottage Pie. Easy to do and a great time saver around dinner time, especially if you work during the day.

This is a meal my mum likes making, takes any stress out of dinner time. Pretty much stick all the ingredients in the slow cooker once prepared and add mash when you serve. Simple, you can even prepare the mash in advance and microwave it sprinkled with a little water and covered to reheat. The touch of water should rehydrate the mashed potato a bit so it's not dry.

I tend, as usual, to make a large amount of the cottage pie mix so that I can freeze portions after dinner has been served for microwave meals another day. Save making the same meal many times when once is good enough.

Rough calorie estimate: 390 calories per portion of cottage pie (via

Ingredients for cottage pie in a crock pot recipe (serves around 6)

  • 800 grams of beef mince
  • 4 smallish onions or 2 medium, chopped to your preference (I like fine)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped fine
  • 3 sticks of celery, chopped
  • 3 reasonable sized carrots, peeled & chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 3/4 pint of beef stock
  • tablespoon of flour
  • splash of milk
  • couple of bay leaves
  • potatoes for mash (as much as you like)

How to prepare the slow cooker cottage pie

Switch on your slow cooker on low with the bowl in to start to warm up. Largish frying pan on the hob, heat some oil and fry the onions to soften. When they begin to soften add the garlic. Fry for a few minutes to finish them and tip into the slow cooker.

In the same frying pan tip in the mince beef and begin to fry. When some juices start to appear and a splash of milk, pinch of salt and pepper. Continue to fry until brown then tip everything into the slow cooker bowl.

Add 1/3 of the stock to slow cooker bowl and mix it in. Add a 1/3 to the frying pan and add the celery & carrots. Simmer for a few minutes to bring them to temperature and then add them to the slow cooker mixing them in along with the bay leaves. Check the level of stock in the bowl, you need enough so it's just showing at the top of the food.

I like to try and thicken the stock a little, so I add a splash of the remaining stock to the frying pan, add the flour bring to just below a simmer to cook away the flour taste. This will thicken quickly, then I add this to the bowl. Mix everything and put the lid on. I leave it on for 8 hours on 'auto' which does three hours high then onto low, but it is ready to serve after 6 I find.

If you're intending on serving with mash you can make this either now and reheat, or make just before serving. Today I made mustard mash by adding a teaspoon or two of coarse grain mustard, I found this very nice.