Thursday, 27 October 2016

Love it or Hate it Cottage Pie

This is going to be one of those love it or hate it recipes and one that I know will certainly divide my audience but it is just too good to go unshared!

I have recently joined a local Slimming World group, which I am planning to tell you more about soon. Changing the foods that I can eat freely has made me look at healthier alternatives and ways to add more flavour to meals. Cottage Pie is a firm family favourite but I usually thicken the stock with gravy granules. But, if you follow the Slimming World plan you will know, gravy is not a free food. This got me thinking of a different ingredient that was not only free but would also do the job. The magic ingredient did an amazing job, it thickened the stock to a gravy consistency and added a delicious depth of flavour!

The secret ingredient is Marmite! Hence me calling this my Love it or Hate it Cottage Pie. Even if you are not a lover of Marmite this dish is definitely worth a try. The two boys hate Marmite in sandwiches but loved this cottage pie and still have no idea what I used!

This is what I did...

Love it or Hate it Cottage Pie


500g lean 5% fat mince beef
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, quartered and sliced
2 parsnips, quartered and sliced
1 turnip, chopped
1 leek, sliced
100g sugar snap peas
50g mangetout, sliced into three
4 white cabbage leaves, shredded
250g sweetcorn
500mls beef stock
800g potatoes, chopped
2 tsp Marmite, plus extra fro drizzling
75g cheddar cheese, grated


1 - Place the chopped potatoes in a pan of boiling water and simmer for around 25 minutes, or until soft enough to mash

2 - Dry fry the mince beef with the onions and leek for 5 minutes, moving regularly to ensure that all of the meat starts to brown off

3 - Add the carrots, parsnips, turnip and cabbage and cook for a further 2 minutes

4 - Make up 500mls of beef stock with 2 stock cubes and pour over the mince beef

5 - Add the sugar snap peas, mangetout, sweetcorn and bring to the boil

6 - Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes

7 - Once the potatoes are cooked, drain and mash and leave on a low heat to keep warm

8 - By now all of your vegetables and meat will be cooked, it is now time to add the Marmite

9 - Add the Marmite and stir thoroughly for a minute as you stir you will notice the stock becoming thicker and more like gravy

10 - Pour the meat and vegetables into an oven proof serving dish and top with the mashed potatoes

11 - Drizzle over some extra Marmite, this is optional but add a delicious depth of flavour to the mash!

12 - Sprinkle over the grated cheese and place under a high grill until the cheese has melted and beginning to brown then serve!

This cottage pie was a huge success with everyone and they all demanded seconds! This recipe made enough for our main meal and the smaller portion pictured which the twins and I had for our lunch the following day. 

What I love about these sort of meals is that you can literally add whatever vegetables you may have in the fridge. It is a fantastic way to use up any vegetables that may be nearing their best before date. Reducing food waste but also have a perfect autumn meal!

If you are following the Slimming World eating plan this is a syn free meal if you have the cheese as your healthy extra a choice. 

This post is in no way collaborated with Marmite, I am simply sharing the recipe because we loved it.

Enjoy x

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Hosted this week by Sneaky Veg


  1. What a clever idea! My daughter doesn't like marmite on its own but she does like marmite and cream cheese together in a sandwich. So random. I'm sure she'd enjoy this cottage pie too. Thanks for linking up with #CookBlogShare this week x

  2. My children love marmite and will eat it on it's own if I let them! I love how it's been used to flavour and thicken the mince and vegetables here. Thanks for sharing with #CookOnceEatTwice!

  3. I never thought of using Marmite but next time I may have to try it! I don't have as many veggies as you do in my cottage pie but I tend to use beef or chicken stock and Worcestershire sauce along with a bit of tomato paste for my flavour.


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