• Instant Pot Cottage Pie - cook your mince and potatoes all in one pot, at once!

Instant Pot Cottage Pie

Like my lasagne recipe, this is a meal  I have cooked pretty much my whole life and it has a very special place in my heart. Cottage Pie is a homely, comforting dish made of minced beef topped with buttery mashed potatoes. It’s British comfort food at it’s finest.

Back in the day, leftover roast beef would have been ground up and minced to be recycled into a pie the day after a Sunday roast but I think more families make it afresh with minced beef, a much more affordable beef cut. Since I’ve become a pressure cooker nutter these days, it was only a matter of time before I adapted my recipe into this Instant Pot Cottage Pie, with the mince and potatoes cooked together, at the same time!

I recently bought myself a handy-dandy tall trivet, purely for the purpose of making this dish (there will be plenty of other uses coming your way, fear not!):

It’s such a simple piece of kit – the idea being that you can cook the mince in the bottom of the inner pot, pop this trivet in it then cook your potatoes on top so both cook at the same time! It’s much taller than the one which comes with the IP so you have space for both components of the meal. Super handy!

Cook your mince and potatoes at the same time in the Instant Pot for this delicious Cottage Pie!Click To Tweet

As the Inner Pot is quite full and the potatoes are cooked above the mince further away from the hot plate in the base, they actually take the full 12 minutes to cook. If you were cooking them on their own, like in my Instant Pot Sausage & Mash, they only take 4 minutes but actually, it’s pretty handy having both elements cooked in exactly the same amount of time and in the same pot!

Instant Pot Cottage Pie - cook your mince and potatoes all in one pot, at once!

I cook my beef mince with some small diced onion, carrots, celery and a few mushrooms – if you had a leek, you could use that instead of or as well as the onion and celery. Sometimes I use fresh thyme, others I use rosemary. It wouldn’t be a cottage pie without a few peas stirred in at the end of cooking too. I always include a splash Worcestershire sauce (which is resolutely referred to as Henderson’s Relish here in Sheffield where they make their own version of Worcestershire sauce) and I simply have to sprinkle a little extra on top of the mash before I grill it to get the top good and crispy.

This isn’t the fastest recipe you can make in the IP and you do need to turn the grill (broiler) on to crisp the top but it really is worth it. If I were making this on the stovetop, I’d take me up to a couple of hours to put the whole dish together and much of that time is stood at the hob, attending to the various components. Here, you can walk away whilst it cooks and grills, with no more than 20 mins of your time for chopping, mashing and assembly in total. If that doesn’t make this Instant Pot Cottage Pie the best sort of comfort food you can get, I don’t know what will 🙂

5 from 3 votes
Instant Pot Cottage Pie - cook your mince and potatoes all in one pot, at once!
Instant Pot Cottage Pie

A homely, traditional British dish which is a perfect one pot meal especially on cold days. Plus it's so easy as you make the mince and the mash at the same time - and in just 12 minutes of cooking time!

You'll need a long-legged trivet as well as the one which comes with the Instant Pot for this recipe. 

Servings: 4
Author: Just Jo
For the mince:
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 rib of celery, finely chopped
  • 100-150 g button or chestnut mushrooms
  • 1 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 tsp fresh rosemary or thyme, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 500 g lean beef mince
  • 1 beef stock cube or 200ml beef stock
  • 100-150 g frozen garden peas
For the mash:
  • 800 g floury potatoes, peeled and cut into 1.5 inch cubes
  • 120 ml milk
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  1. Set the Instant Pot to Sauté and add the oil. Add in the onion, carrot, and celery and cook for couple of minutes to soften before adding the mushrooms. Cook another couple of minutes before adding the garlic, rosemary, Worcestershire sauce, tomato purée and beef mince. 

  2. Cook until there is no obvious pink mince remaining. If using a beef stock cube, dissolve it first into 200ml boiling water before adding to the mince and stirring well. 

  3. Tuck the tall trivet into the mince then place the one which comes with the IP on top (with it's arms folded over the potatoes to make retrieval easier later). Sit the potatoes on top - see photos in the post. 

  4. Put the lid on, cancel Sauté mode then press Manual and set to 12 minutes. Leave to cook and you can do either a QPR or NPR here, it doesn't matter in this recipe. Taste the mince to see if it needs more salt. You can preheat the grill (broiler) ready for browning the top. 

  5. Measure the milk into bowl with some sea salt and black pepper then pass the potatoes through a ricer into the milk. Or just use a masher if that's all you have (I love my Oxo ricer - link in post). 

  6. Stir the peas into the mince then scoop it into an oven proof dish. One about 8-9 inches round or square is just right. Scoop the mash on top and use a fork to fluff it up before sprinkling with a little Worcestershire sauce. Grill for 15 minutes or until crispy and golden brown on top. Dig in and eat! 

Recipe Notes
  1. Don't get too hung up about exact quantities for this recipe - if you have or want a little more, or a little less of any of the parts, then go with it. I often change up the herbs or use dried ones when I have none fresh. 
  2. The Worcestershire sauce is salty but taste the mash and the mince to be sure it's seasoned to your taste. I find 1/2 tsp Malden sea salt enough for the mince and a little less for the mash. 
  3. If you don't want to eat it immediately, you can prepare the dish and then place in a low oven for up to 1 hour - everything is cooked already and hot so it will get the mash really good and crisp on top if you're in no rush to eat. 
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A British comfort food classic made in the Instant Pot - Cottage Pie!

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  1. Monica 02/03/2017 at 20:16 - Reply

    Wow – that is insanely fast to have something so cozy looking on the table! I haven’t yet joined the Instant Pot bandwagon, but this makes a pretty convincing case. It probably is extra persuasive since it’s cold and rainy where I am today – makes cottage pie sound extra delicious! 🙂

    • Just Jo 03/03/2017 at 15:17 - Reply

      It’s crazy isn’t it? 12 minutes between you and a comfort eating classic! I really can’t recommend the IP enough, it’s a real essential in my kitchen 😀

  2. Lucy @ Supergoldenbakes 02/03/2017 at 20:35 - Reply

    I never knew there was another name for Worcestershire sauce. Your pie looks wonderful – a great take on a classic.

    • Just Jo 03/03/2017 at 15:15 - Reply

      Yup, the Henderson’s factory (which is teeny) is 5 mins away from where I live – you see it on menus and of course on the tables of restaurants and cafes all over Sheffield! The bottle looks veery similar if you google it 😉 And thank you – we love this for dinner!

  3. Oh my gosh. This is totally perfection. Will have to find some of those ingredients and try it out. Pinned!

    • Just Jo 03/03/2017 at 15:18 - Reply

      Thank you Oriana! I hope you find what you need and give this a go 😀

  4. Jacqueline (PiperCooks) 02/03/2017 at 20:54 - Reply

    Cottage pie is just the best, your recipe looks great! I gotta get an Instant Pot one day…

    • Just Jo 03/03/2017 at 15:18 - Reply

      Join us Instant Potters Jacqueline 😉 We have the most tasty food around lol…

  5. Dannii 02/03/2017 at 21:05 - Reply

    I have such happy memories of cottage pie, as we always used to eat it growing up. I love how simple your recipe is too.

    • Just Jo 03/03/2017 at 15:19 - Reply

      It’s a nostalgia evoking meal for me too Dannii. It’s simple but so good – I hope you give it a try!

  6. Suchi Modi 02/03/2017 at 21:37 - Reply

    its great you made a complex recipe in a simple instant pot. looking forward to trying it.

  7. Jan 12/08/2017 at 16:02 - Reply

    Hello, thanks for sharing! Just FYI John and Lucy@goldenbakes: Henderson’s is not another name for (classic) Worcestershire sauce. Both are 19th C products, but Henderson’s is vegan. WS contains anchovies. Cheers.

  8. Heather 24/10/2017 at 02:50 - Reply

    Hi – Is minced beef the same as ground beef? Thanks

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