Cottage Pie with Cheddar Polenta

Adapted from Chez Carr Cuisine.

Green bowl with navy lining with carrots, peas, stock, and polenta with cheese inside of it. The bowl sits on a cutting board with rest of cottage pie in background with metal serving spoon out of black cast-iron pan.

Prep Time

30 minutes

Cook Time

55 minutes


8 Servings



1 cup milk, whole
3 cups stock, chicken (or water)
1⁄2 teaspoon salt, kosher
1 dash black pepper, freshly ground
1 cup polenta (finely ground)
2 tablespoons butter, unsalted
2 cups cheese, sharp cheddar (shredded)
2 tablespoons olive oil, extra virgin

Cottage Pie

1 onion, yellow (medium, chopped)
1 carrot (large, diced)
3 celery stalk (diced)
2 turnips, purple (peeled, sliced)
1⁄2 pound mushrooms, button (stemmed, sliced)
1⁄4 cup stock, chicken
1 dash black pepper, freshly ground
2 teaspoons herbs de provence
2 tablespoons parsley, fresh (chopped)
2 tablespoons butter, unsalted
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups stock (vegetable or chicken)
2 teaspoons beef flavoring (such as Better Than Bouillon, undiluted)
2 cups stew beef (cut into bite-sized pieces)
1⁄2 cup peas, frozen (uncooked)
1 dash paprika


For the polenta:

Bring the milk, stock, salt, and pepper to a boil in a covered, medium-sized saucepan. Pour polenta slowly into boiling liquid, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Reduce heat to low and simmer, whisking often, until polenta starts to thicken, about 5 minutes.

Cover and cook for 20-30 minutes, stirring regularly and making sure to scrape the bottom and sides well. Turn off heat and stir in the butter and cheese, then use to top cottage pie.

For the cottage pie:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat the olive oil in a large oven-safe skillet. Sauté the onion, carrot, celery, and turnips until just before tender. Add the beef and brown, then add mushrooms; continue cooking until the vegetables pieces are completely crisp tender. Deglaze the pan with the chicken broth, scraping up all the brown bits, then add the pepper, herbs de Provence, and parsley.

Add the butter and flour to the pan; cook for 2-3 minutes, whisking the entire time, to form a roux. Slowly whisk in the vegetable/chicken stock and beef flavoring. Bring to a boil and simmer to thicken the sauce, stirring often, for about 4 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning (keep in mind that the polenta will also have salt). Stir in the frozen peas.

Smooth the filling out in the pan and top with polenta, then sprinkle lightly with paprika (use a large casserole if it won’t fit in your pan). Bake the pie in the oven for 35-40 minutes or until the filling is hot and bubbly and polenta has browned slightly. Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.