Mini Cottage Pies in Potato Nests

Perfect for Green Apple Club cadets, these mini cottage pie nests are easy to make and will make you very popular! Lean beef braised with celery, onions and carrots, sitting in nests of crispy shredded potato. This cottage pie is gluten-free and dairy-free and suitable for the whole family. This recipe makes 12 mini pies.


  1. Peel and quarter the jacket potatoes and boil until tender. Drain and allow to cool.

Make the filling

  1. In a large saucepan, fry the onions, celery, carrot and garlic gently in the olive oil for 10 minutes.
  2. Tip the vegetables out into a bowl, set this to one side and then brown the mince in the saucepan for about 5 minutes. Pour off any water that comes out of the mince.
  3. Add the vegetables back into the saucepan with the mince. Sprinkle the veg and mince with the gram flour and stir well.
  4. Add the tomato puree, mixed herbs, hot water, salt, tomatoes and bay leaves into the saucepan and leave to simmer, with the lid off, for 40 minutes.

Make the potato nests

  1. Coarsely grate all of the boiled potatoes.
  2. Lightly oil 12 cupcake tins with olive oil. Spoon the grated potatoes into the wells. Use the spoon to make little nests, ensuring the bases aren’t too thin.
  3. Bake the nests in the oven at 200°C for 20-25 minutes until starting to turn golden brown.
  4. Spoon the cottage pie filling into each nest and top with grated cheese.
  5. Bake in the oven at 200°C for a further 20-25 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and starting to brown.

Serve with salad or steamed vegetables.


1 adult portion is 4 mini pies, cost per pie is 36p.

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