When is a pie not a pie? Does cottage pie count?

cottage pie dish

Each year, British Pie Week reignites the ‘when is a pie not a pie?’ debate…

The general consensus seems to be that to truly count, a pie needs to be fully covered in pastry – with a base, sides and lid.

But, if this is the case, where does it leave the potato-topped pies – cottage, shepherd’s and fish?

At Boosh, we couldn’t resist including the humble cottage pie in our British Pie Week recipe round up…

Topped with creamy buttery mash, filled with flavoursome beef and veg and with stock swapped out for Boosh Organic Beef Bone Broth we think this recipe is utter pie-fection.

Stop reading now if you think that cottage pie is an im-pie-stor…

Recipe serves 4
1.40 hours to cook, with 15 minutes prep time


2tbsp olive oil
500g beef mince
2 carrots – chopped finely
1 celery stalk – chopped finely
1 onion – finely diced
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
1 clove of garlic
1 bay leaf
A sprig of fresh thyme
1 tbsp plain flour
Worcestershire sauce – to taste
350ml jar of Boosh Organic Beef Bone Broth – available from booshfoods.com, Ocado, and Amazon
800g potatoes – peeled and chopped
100g butter
100ml milk
Salt and pepper to season


  1. Heat oil on a medium heat in a large saucepan. Fry the beef mince for 4-5 minutes until browned all over, then remove from the pan.
  2. Add a little more oil to the pan and cook the onions, carrots, celery and garlic on a low-medium heat for 20 minutes until soft.
  3. Increase the heat and add the tomato puree and flour to the pan, cooking for a few minutes.
  4. Place the beef back into the pan and season. Then add the Boosh Organic Beef Bone Broth, tinned tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Bring the pan to a simmer and leave to cook for 40 minutes or until the sauce has thickened and the beef is tender.
  5. In the meantime, make the mash. Boil the potatoes for 15 minutes and drain once soft. Return them to the pan and mash well, then add butter and milk and beat until smooth.
  6. Preheat the oven to 200c (gas).
  7. Remove the thyme and bay leaves from the pan and put the mince and sauce into a large baking dish. Top with the mash and cook in the oven for 25-30 minutes until the mash is golden-brown.