Pumpkins are certainly the decorative statement of Autumn, but we have been a bit slower than our American friends to adopt them as a food staple. Part of the squash family, they are high in vitamin A, which is key for good vision, a healthy immune system and cell growth. Most parts of the pumpkin are edible, including the shell, seeds, leaves and flowers, however this recipe which puts a twist on the classic Cottage Pie dish uses only the flesh.

  • 90 mins
  • 4
  • Easy


  • 1kg minced beef
  • 3 medium onions, peeled and sliced
  • 3tbs olive oil
  • 350g tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 2 glasses red wine
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Thyme sprigs
  • For the pumpkin mash
  • 1kg pumpkin
  • Thick slice of butter


Warm the oil in a large, heavy based saucepan and add the onions. Cook slowly over a gentle heat until soft and golden. Add the minced beef and let it cook slowly, breaking up occasionally but not stirring too often until it is brown all over. Stir in the tomatoes, thyme and bay leaves and cook until the tomatoes have started to collapse. Season with salt and black pepper, pour over the wine, partially cover and leave to simmer gently for 30 – 40 minutes until rich and thick.

Meanwhile, cut the pumpkin into large pieces, de-seed and peel. Steam for 20 – 30 minutes until tender, then mash with the butter.

Heat the oven to 200°c/Gas 6, tip the beef mix into a baking dish and spread the pumpkin on top and bake for 35 – 40 minutes before serving the Pumpkin Cottage Pie.

About The Author

Mehdi Boukemach is chef at Fodder, at the RAS Yorkshire Show Ground, Harrogate

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