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Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 60 minutes
Servings: 6


1 clove garlic

1 large onion

2 celery sticks

6 mushrooms

1 large carrot

400g (14oz) minced beef

1 beef stock cube

425ml (¾ pint) boiling water

2 large handfuls red lentils

2 teaspoons dried mixed herbs

Ground black pepper to season

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce (optional)

2 teaspoons cornflour

3-4 large potatoes

1 swede/turnip

Milk for mashing potato

90g (3oz) mature cheese (optional)


1. Heat oven to 200°C (Gas Mark 6).

2. Peel and finely chop the garlic and onion.

3. Finely chop celery and mushrooms.

4. Wash and grate the carrot.

5. Dry fry the miced beef in a large saucepan for 4-5 minuts until browned. Drain off any excess fat. If using lean minced beef then you may not need to do this.

6. Add the garlic, onion, celery, mushrooms and carrot, gently frying for 3-4 minutes until beginning to soften.

7. Crumble in the beef stock cube and add 425ml (¾ pint) of boiling water.

8. Stir in the red lentils, mixed herbs and season with black pepper. Add the Worcestershire sauce if using.

9. Mix the cornflour with a little cold water in a mug and add to the beef mixture to thicken the sauce. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 15-20 minutes.

10. Meanwhile peel and chop the potatoes and swede/turnip into small pieces.

11. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and add the potatoes and swede. Cook until tender - about 10-15 minutes.

12. When potatoes and swede/turnip are tender, drain and mash well, adding milk.

13. Transfer meat mixture to an ovenproof dish and top with mashed potato mixture - fork the potato topping to give a lined texture.

14. Top with grated cheese (optional) and bake in oven for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.

Cottage pie in a dish on a silver background