Mini Cottage Pies with Sweet Potato Mash

Now I’m going to be totally upfront and honest. I don’t usually cook with red meat. It’s not that I don’t like it, it’s just that for whatever reason, I don’t often use it. But I know I should and I do really love a good bolognese or lamb roast!! Anyway, I hadn’t made a Cottage Pie for a long time and after feeling the chill of the start of winter, decided that there was no time like the present!

cottage pie pic

I know that Cottage Pie is usually made with potato mash on top, but I just prefer sweet potato and find that it’s heaps lighter! No potato bloat after eating this!!




Now I know that my husband is the one and only person for me, but this was totally confirmed when he came home from work, walked into the kitchen, saw me piping sweet potato mash stars onto my mini Cottage Pies and didn’t even question what on earth I was doing. I love that he knows me so well that seeing me doing things like this is no surprise! Hehe I definitely have a keeper.


I made 6 mini cottage pies using ramekins however, you could make one really large cottage pie instead if you prefer! Anyway, these mini cottage pies were the perfect winter warmer dinner… and knowing the Melbourne weather, we are going to be needed a whole heap more winter warmers in the coming months!


What other meals do you like to make with red meat? I need some inspiration!!!

Mini Cottage Pies with Sweet Potato Mash

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 6
Author Bake Play Smile


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • kg beef mince
  • 2 onions finely chopped
  • 3 carrots chopped
  • 3 celery sticks chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • large glass red wine optional
  • 850 ml beef stock
  • 4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • few thyme sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 3 sheets shortcrust pastry
  • 2 large sweet potatoes peeled and chopped
  • 50 g butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese.


  1. Defrost shortcrust pastry by leaving out on the bench while you prepare the filling.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a saucepan and fry the mince until browned.
  3. Place the browned mince into a bowl and set aside.
  4. Put the rest of the oil into the pan, add the vegetables (except for the frozen peas!) and cook on a low heat until soft, about 15 mins.
  5. Add the garlic, flour and tomato paste.
  6. Increase the heat to medium and cook for a few minutes.
  7. Return the beef to the pan.
  8. Pour in the wine (if using) and boil to reduce slightly before adding the stock, Worcestershire sauce and herbs.
  9. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 45 mins.
  10. By this time the gravy should have thickened - if it's still too liquidy then turn the heat up a little.
  11. Pop in the frozen peas and stir to combine.
  12. Season well, then discard the bay leaves and thyme stalks.
  13. Leave the mixture to cool.
  14. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius.
  15. Lightly spray your ramekins with cooking oil.
  16. Lay the pastry over each ramekin and gently press into the bottom and sides.
  17. Cut off the extra pastry.
  18. Alternatively you can simply use the pastry to line the bottom and sides of a large casserole dish.
  19. Pop the ramekins or casserole dish into the oven for 10-15 minutes or until lightly golden (if you're using a casserole dish, it may need slightly longer).
  20. Take the pastry cases out of the oven and set aside.
  21. In a medium saucepan, cover the sweet potato with water and boil until tender. Drain and mash with extra butter and season with salt and pepper.
  22. Spoon meat into the ramekins (or casserole dish).
  23. Pipe or spoon on the mash to cover.
  24. Sprinkle on the grated cheese.
  25. Cook for 25-30 mins, or until the topping is golden.

This recipe has been adapted from a BBC Good Food recipe. 🙂

36 thoughts on “Mini Cottage Pies with Sweet Potato Mash”

  1. I was excited when I saw you got picked on mamamia! Got my vote-good luck!

    1. Bake Play Smile says:

      Thank you!! And thanks so much for voting! xx

  2. Looks fab and I wish you all the very best in the comp! When do you find out?

    1. Bake Play Smile says:

      Thank you Jody! The voting ends next Monday morning!! Eeek!!! xx

  3. Congratulations on being a Mamamia finalist!! So exciting.

    1. Bake Play Smile says:

      Thank you so much Sarah! I still can’t believe it!! xx

  4. Lee-Anne says:

    Good luck, Lucy, just posted my vote! (those mini cottage pies with sweet potato look scrumptious) 🙂

    1. Bake Play Smile says:

      Oh thank you so much Lee-Anne!! You are wonderful! xxx

  5. You may be a fab cook but your maths is shocking! Your chance of winning is not ZERO! It’s one in 5 or 20% (and I’m off to vote for you now, so I want a more kick ass attitude on my return!)

    1. Bake Play Smile says:

      Haha thank you for your vote and your positivity!! xx

  6. Congrats on being a finalist. 🙂 These look so tasty. Ideal for winter.

    1. Bake Play Smile says:

      Thanks Kaz xxx

  7. A HUGE congratulations on being a finalist, I have everything crossed for you! These pies look delicious, it feels like winter has finally arrived here in brissie, I might have to make these once I’ve finished my detox!

    1. Bake Play Smile says:

      Thank you so mud Lauren! Hope you’re surviving the detox ok! xx

  8. Swoon! They sound delicious!
    I’ve been a terribly lazy cook since I started living the single life, my poor kids! I need to find the inspiration again to tickle their tastebuds and expand their pallets. This could be just the thing 😉

    1. Bake Play Smile says:

      Haha yep when I’m home alone I often have a bowl of cereal for tea!!

  9. Chantel says:

    Congratulations! I love sweet potato – i have no time for white potatoes, so sweet all the way for me – great looking recipe – good luck!!!

    Hello from #teamIBOT

    1. Bake Play Smile says:

      I don’t like normal potatoes much either – but I do love sweet potato!

  10. These look like a must try in my house. I love sweet potato also, though traditional white mash on my pie is my fav! I tend to use leftover casseroles to make pies as I am just one lazy human being but I think I will go out of my way to make this little beauty. Thanks for sharing it with us 🙂 x

    1. Bake Play Smile says:

      mmm nothing lazy about using leftovers!!! 🙂

  11. Voted for you last week, I really hope you get this – for all your hard work you deserve it! x

    1. Bake Play Smile says:

      Thank you so much Em- it would be such an amazing opportunity! xx

  12. You have every chance in the world of winning! I have voted for you and will keep my fingers crossed. You so deserve it. Yay Lucy!!!!!

    1. Bake Play Smile says:

      Thank you so much Renee! You’re amazing! xx

  13. Tegan says:

    Good luck with the comp!

    Paul hates sweet potato but I’ve grown to love it so I might have to make one of these while he’s not here.

    1. Bake Play Smile says:

      Thanks Tegan! Haha yep I like to have mushrooms when my hubby is away! 🙂

  14. Best of luck on the competition, Lucy! I like your recipe – it’s so filling and varied. Look at the melted cheese on top!

    Gourmet Getaways

    1. Bake Play Smile says:

      Thanks Julie – I hope you like it!

  15. Congrats girl!! Hope you win and this pie looks delicious!

    1. Bake Play Smile says:

      Oh thank you so much Ami! I really appreciate it! xx

  16. Mmm… yum, yum, yum. I actually made a large cottage pie with sweet potato topping earlier in the week and have enjoyed the leftovers very much. I don’t normally do the pastry bottom though, but it was good for a treat.

    1. Bake Play Smile says:

      I agree Glenda – sometimes I do the pastry and sometimes I leave it off! Depends how much I can be bothered lol!

  17. They look absolutely gorgeous and something a little different. I am so going to give these a shot next time. I’m a big fan of sweet potato too.

    1. Bake Play Smile says:

      Thanks Eva! Sweet potato is just so good!!!

  18. Rebecca says:

    I am pretty sure I have commented on this already but it just looks so good that I need to comment again! I love cottage pies but haven’t had any since I turned veggie.. I could vegetarianise this recipe?! Looks delicious and I love the idea of sweet potato instead of normal. Yum! x

    1. Bake Play Smile says:

      Oh thank you! Yes I think you could definitely vegetarianise it. Why not!!

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