Please click on the image to see enlarged version of the finished recipe.
Here is a recipe for a good, old-fashioned comfort food.  However we think our Longhorn mince turns the humble cottage pie into food for the Gods. I always try not to set myself up in competition with Michelin starred professional chefs so, when we have chefs visiting to look round the farm, we usually give them nothing more complicated than a cottage pie.  This is the recipe we use.  Note that there are quite a lot of non-traditional touches – the lemon rind, alcohol, even the mushrooms.  I think they give the dish that little extra something but, if you want to omit the frills and furbelows and use a basic cottage pie recipe, the quality of the mince will shine through and it will still be delicious.
The quantities given are deliberately small and based on one pack of our mince.  This will be generous for two.  For two packs of mince obviously double the quantities – the mince mixture will last indefinitely in the freezer. 


  • 500g Longhorn beef mince
  • 1 medium/large onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 x 500g tin tomatoes
  • 75-100ml inexpensive port
  • 75-100ml Madeira
  • Bunch of thyme
  • Zest of half a lemon, taken off with a potato peeler in wide strips
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 250g closed cap mushrooms
  • Olive oil for frying (not extra virgin)
  • Knob of butter for frying
  • Seas alt and black pepper
  • About 500g potatoes suitable for mashing – King Edward’s work well
  • 100ml full fat milk
  • 50g good unsalted butter


  • Slice the onion finely.  Heat the oil in a heavy pan, add the onions and cook slowly over gentle heat until they are soft and sweet. Remove the onions, increase the heat and add the mince. Keep stirring until the meat is taking on a caramel colour in places.  After five minutes, add the finely chopped garlic and continue to cook for a few more minutes. Add back the cooked onion, the tinned tomatoes, tomato paste, Madeira, port and lemon zest. Tie the thyme into a bunch with string and add to the pan attached to the saucepan handle. Season generously and simmer for 20-30 minutes until the liquid is well reduced. 
  • Slice the mushrooms and fry in the butter until brown. When the meat is cooked, add the mushrooms and remove the lemon zest and the thyme. Turn the mixture into a pie dish. 
  • Meanwhile peel and boil the potatoes in well-salted water. Drain and either mash or put through a ricer. Warm the milk and beat it in, followed by half the butter. Season well. Pile the potato on top of the meat, and fork it over to break up the surface and dot the remaining butter all over it. Put in a hot oven until the meat has heated through and the potato ‘thatch’ is brown and crusty.