This week’s scrumptiously saving meal is a student-friendly shepherd’s pie (or cottage pie depending on what meat you use if we’re being technical). This dish is really easy to make, extremely filling and a good winter warmer for those cold uni days. If you have a load of potatoes that are getting towards their use by date this is a great recipe to use them up, and it’s a fantastic meal to share with flatmates as you can make a huge portion and split it all between you. Coming in at around £3 for the entire dish, this makes a great Sunday tea for the entire house, although it’s easy and fast enough to make any day of the week and the recipe can be reduced or increased to serve as many as you like!

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Ingredients:   (serves 3-4)

4 medium potatoes

3 carrots (can be omitted if you wish)

2/3 of a pack of minced beef (or lamb depending on preference)

1 beef stock cube

Mushrooms (a handful or as many as you wish)

1 medium-large onion (red or white)

Beef gravy granules

Black pepper

Olive/ vegetable oil





  1. Peel and chop the potatoes and carrots into small chunks and place in a pan with a little salt, cover with water and boil until soft and they can be easily mashed.
  2. Whilst the potatoes and carrots are boiling, remove the mince from the packet and add to a pan with a little oil to prevent the meat sticking to the pan. Brown the mince over a medium heat.
  3. Roughly dice the onion and chop the mushrooms. Boil enough water to make a pint of stock. Once the mince is browned, add  the onion and mushrooms to the pan and continue to fry for a few minutes until the onion starts to soften.
  4. Next add the stock to the pan, as much as you need so that the meat is well covered but not absolutely swimming in stock. Cover the pan with a lid and allow to simmer whilst you deal with the potatoes, which should by then be well on their way to mashing consistency.
  5. Once the potatoes and carrots are soft enough, drain the water off and add a knob of butter and a little milk if required to the pan and mash together until it forms a smooth and creamy mash.
  6. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees (180 for a fan oven).
  7. Remove the lid and check to meat mixture. Add a table spoon of gravy granules and stir through the stock to thicken. Continue to simmer for a few moments, and if needed add more gravy granules to thicken the mixture.
  8. Take the pan off the heat and add the mixture to a casserole dish or large Pirex bowl.  Smooth the top of the mixture before then adding the mashed potato and carrot on the top. Top with a sprinkle of black pepper and/or a little grated cheese if you wish.
  9. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 mins or until the meat below is bubbling and the mash has gone crisp on the top but is still fluffy underneath.

Serve with green beans or garden peas.