French Onion Cottage Pie

Monday 25 January 2016

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Red meat isn't something which we eat in this house very often.   I know we had that BBQ Beef Pie last week.  The week before I had made this French Onion Cottage Pie for a supper one night and it was fabulous.  I used my slow cooker and cooked the beef overnight so that it was fork tender, and the gravy was absolutely delicious.   I just used the method etc. that I normally use to do a pot roast in the slow cooker.  It worked out really well.

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The meat cooks in a mix of dry onion soup mix and apple juice, along with some dried thyme.   You can use water instead of the apple juice if you wish, but the apple juice really gives it a lovely flavour.  You can use half apple juice and half water if you are not sure.

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I think the apple juice helps to tenderize the beef.  Not sure, but I know that I like it!  ☺

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You thicken the gravy once the meat it tender and then pour it into a casserole dish.  I top it with carrots, peas and corn, which I cook myself, but you could also use mixed frozen vegetables if you wanted to, or in a pinch . . .  drained canned mixed vegetables.  I like to cook my own from scratch.

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A Parmesan Cheese flavoured buttery mash tops it off before you pop it into the oven.  You bake it until it is golden brown on top with scrummy little bits (that I love) and the filling is bubbling up underneath.  The whole thing is scrumptious.  SCRUMPTIOUS!

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So good in fact that I had to say scrumptious twice  . . .  oops I said it again!  Coz it is. Scrumptious.  Would I lie to you? Scrummy yummy.  Winter. Rib sticking.  Comfort food and simple to make.

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*French Onion Cottage Pie*
Serves 4 -6
(Depending on appetites)

This is delicious.  You cook the meat in the slow cooker overnight until it is fork tender.  Thicken the gravy the next day, pile it into a baking dish, top with some cooked veg and mash and, after a quick bake in the oven, a delicious dinner is served.  

1 1/2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 envelope (4 serving size) dry french onion soup mix
1/2 tsp dried thyme
675ml of apple juice (or water, 3 cups)
salt and pepper to taste
2 TBS flour shaken together with 120ml (1/2 cup) cold water until smooth 

for the vegetables:
3 carrots, peeled and diced
1/2 large mug each of frozen peas and frozen corn 

For the potato topping:
4 large potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
60 - 90 m of warm milk (1/4 to 1/3 cup)
3 TBS finely grated parmesan cheese
1 TBS butter
salt and black pepper to taste
butter to dot (optional)

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Place the stew beef in the slow cooker along with the soup mix, thyme and apple juice or water.  Cook on low for 8 hours/overnight.   The next day, scoop out the meat and place into a four serving size shallow casserole dish.   Whisk the flour/water mix into the juices in the pot and bring to the boil, stirring constantly.  Cook until thickened.  Taste and adjust seasoning as required.  Pour over the meat in the casserole dish.

Cook the carrots in llightly salted boiling water until almost tender.  Add the peas and corn for the last couple of minutes.  Drain well.  Spread the vegetables over the meat in the casserole dish.

Cook the potatoes in lightly salted boiling water to cover until fork tender.   Drain well and return the potatoes to the saucepan.  Mash well with enough warm milk and the butter to give you the right consistency for spreading over the casserole filling.  Stir in the Parmesan cheese.  Taste and adjust seasoning before spreading over top of the casserole to cover the meat and the vegetables.  Rough up the top with the tines of a fork.  Dot with a bit of butter if desired.

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Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4.  Once the oven is hot place the casserole dish on top of a baking tray.  Bake in the heated oven until the filling is bubbling and the top of the cottage pie is golden brown.  Let stand five minutes before spooning out to serve.  Delicious!

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Note:  The leftovers warmed up in a skillet the day after were (believe it or not) even more scrumptious!  There . . .  said it five times.  Can there be any doubt at all?


  1. This look beautiful Marie and delicious!
    We love onions!!

    1. It was really very good Gloria! It's a man and family pleaser! xo

  2. Oh goodness! Sold. Time to dust the cobwebs off the crock pot. Thank you, Marie!

    1. Hope you will give it a go Merrypetal! You're sure to love it! xo

  3. Marie, Thankyou so much for reposting the slow cooker article, I really appreciated it. This recipe sounds gorgeous. Do you think I could just use chopped onions instead of the soup mix? Would I need to alter the amount of liquid? Take care, Pam.

  4. You are very welcome Pam! You could use just chopped onions, but I would also add a couple of beef stock cubes as well! Hope you like it. (The liquid would stay the same!) xo

  5. I just made a ground beef one..Must tell you your basket weave is so cute!

    1. Thanks Monique! You can't beat a cottage pie on a cold Winter's day! xo

  6. Delish! I skipped the parm and added leeks sauted in loads of butter to the potatoes. I was very popular

    1. That sounds very good Angharad! Sort of like colcannon on top. Yummo! Thanks so much for making it and then taking the time to let us know how you got on! So happy it was enjoyed! xo


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