Sausage Cottage Pie

Sausage Cottage Pie Recipe
Photo © Mark Heap
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 70 mins
Total: 90 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings

This recipe comes from Paul Gayler in his superb book, Sausages published by Jacqui Small. It is an unusual dish as though the method is that of a ​cottage pie, the ingredients are very different using sausages and Paul explains.
This dish is based on a traditional cottage pie but instead of mashed potato, uses parsnip and swede— two favorite root vegetables—to make a deliciously light and airy soufflé-style topping. Beneath the topping lies a rich red-wine-braised sausage mix with mushrooms and shallots. Serve with buttered cabbage and enjoy.


  • Pie Filling: 
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 7 oz./200 g. dry-cure back bacon (cut into small dice)
  • 10 Cumberland or Lincolnshire sausages (each cut into 4)
  • 11 oz./300 g. shallots
  • 14 oz./400 g. carrots (peeled and cut into 1/2 in/1 cm slices)
  • 1 tsp. caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp. plain flour
  • 1/2 pint/300 mL red wine
  • 1 tsp. finely chopped thyme leaves
  • 3 1/2fl oz./100 mL Madeira (preferably sweet)
  • 1 pint/600 mL beef stock
  • 7 oz./200 g. small portobello mushrooms (cut into 1/2 in/1 cm slices)
  • For the Topping: 
  • 1 lb./450 g. swedes
  • 1lb./450 g. parsnips
  • scant 1 oz./25 g. unsalted butter
  • scant 1oz./25 g. plain flour
  • 3 1/2 fl oz./100mL full-fat milk
  • 2 large free-range eggs (separated)
  • 2 1/2oz./75 g. Cheddar cheese (coarsely grated)
  • salt, and freshly ground black pepper

Steps to Make It

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F/190 C/Gas 5).

  2. Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add the bacon and sausage pieces and fry for 1 minute, turning occasionally until golden. Remove to a plate with a slotted spoon and set aside.

  3. Soak the shallots in very hot water for 5 minutes, then peel and cut in half.

  4. Add the shallots and carrots to the pan and fry, turning regularly until golden, about 2 to 3 minutes, then sprinkle over the sugar and cook, stirring, until lightly caramelized. Sprinkle over the flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more.

  5. Add the wine and stir well, then add the thyme, Madeira and beef stock. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.

  6. Add the sliced mushrooms, return the bacon and sausages to the sauce, and simmer for 10 minutes more, until the sauce is thick. Transfer to an ovenproof casserole or gratin dish.

  7. Meanwhile, make the topping. Peel the swede and parsnips, remove the woody core from the parsnips, then cut both vegetables into small chunks. Put in a pan of lightly salted water, bring to the boil, reduce the heat and cook for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are very tender.

  8. Remove from the heat, drain well, mash thoroughly with a potato masher or potato ricer, then return to the pan over a low heat to dry. Season well with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.

  9. Melt the butter in a pan over a low heat and when it is hot, add the flour and cook gently for 1 minute, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon. Gradually add the milk and bring to the boil, stirring all the time. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring, until the mixture is smooth and thick.

  10. Remove from the heat, add the mashed vegetables, then beat in the egg yolks.

  11. Whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl until stiff but not dry, then fold lightly into the mixture.

  12. Spread the soufflé mixture over the sausages and sprinkle with the cheese.

  13. Transfer to the preheated oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the topping is risen and golden. Serve immediately.