Alternative cottage pie

Masterchef Australia calls it a 'mystery box challenge', I call it 'need to get some groceries, what's left in the fridge?'. Tonight the answer was, an onion, mince beef, a carrot, half a bag of new potatoes, a couple of mushrooms and some spinach along with a few cupboard staples.So I made an 'alternative' cottage pie.

We really enjoyed this and the crispy bits of the crushed new potatoes on top were delicious. Plus there were leftovers for lunches!


  • 500g mince beef (I always use lean but up to you)

  • 1 carrot

  • 1 onion

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 3/4 mushrooms

  • Handful baby spinach

  • Half tin of sweetcorn

  • 8-10 new potatoes (there were some quite large ones in the bag I had so I halved them before crushing)

  • 1 stock cube or stock pot (I used vegetable but beef also works!)

  • 200ml water

  • 1 tbls olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 180oC (fan)

  2. Brown mince and add onion, carrot and garlic, cook gently until onion is softened​

  3. Boil potatoes until cooked through, drain, crush (I use the back of a spoon) and toss through 1 tbls olive oil, salt and pepper

  4. Add mushrooms, sweetcorn and crumble stock cube into mince and cook for a further 5 minutes

  5. Add spinach and water to mince and cook for 5 minutes until water reduces

  6. Transfer mince to an oven proof dish and top with potatoes

  7. Cook in oven for 15-20 minutes until potatoes are lightly browned and crispy