“Proper Dorset” Cottage Pie with Roasted Bone Marrow

Courtesy of chef Ryan Lister, Photo Credit: Cindy La




  • 4 to 6 2-inch cross-cut beef bone marrow
  • 1 kg medium ground beef
  • 1 large onion (1 cm cubed)
  • 1 large carrot (1 cm cubed)
  • 2 stalks celery (1 cm cubed)
  • 1/2 medium-size rutabaga (1 cm cubed)
  • 1/2 bulb garlic (minced)
  • 72 g tomato paste
  • 1 473-ml can   Big Rock Traditional Ale (or another dark brown ale, or Stout)
  • 1 litre beef stock
  • 45 ml soy sauce (optional)
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 sprigs thyme (chopped)
  • 1 sprig rosemary (chopped)
  • 60 g cornstarch
  • 60 g water
  • 100 g frozen peas
  • 50 g frozen corn (optional)


  • 7 or 8 good-sized Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 1 egg yolk (optional)
  • 1 tbsp  Dijon or English mustard
  • 2 tbsp sour cream
  • 1/2 stick of unsalted butter



  1. Heat 2 tbsp Canola Oil in a wide based pot till nearly smoking.
  2. Season beef with salt and pepper.
  3. Crumble beef around pot using the entire surface area.
  4. Remove ground beef from the pot once nicely browned.
  5. Strain and reserve the fat.
  6. Chop all vegetables to around 1-cm cubes.
  7. Using half of the strained fat, sauté the onions, garlic, celery, carrot and rutabaga until softened.
  8. Add the tomato paste to the vegetable mixture and continue cooking for 2 minutes.
  9. Add the ground beef back to pot and deglaze with your choice of beer.
  10. When the beer is reduced by half, add beef stock, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, rosemary & thyme.
  11. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 30 minutes. At this point test the seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.
  12. Make a slurry (2 tbsp cornstarch per 1 cup of water) and add to filling to thicken it.
  13. Add the frozen peas and corn.
  14. Check seasoning and adjust to your taste.
  15. Pour filling into a deep, heavy-bottomed tray and refrigerate for approximately 30 minutes or until firm.


  1. Peel and cut the potatoes evenly.
  2. In a pot, cover with water and season with salt. Place on high heat.
  3. When the potatoes boil, turn to a simmer.
  4. When you can pierce the potato all the way through with a skewer or small knife, strain in a colander.
  5. Mash the potatoes until smooth.
  6. Add butter until fully incorporated, then follow with sour cream and mustard. Add an egg yolk if desired to help get a nice, golden and crispy top while it bakes.

Cottage Pie

  1. Preheat oven to 400˚ F.
  2. Slather the mash on top of the firm pie filling, spreading it around evenly.
  3. Using a fork, make a crisscross pattern on the top of the pie, creating little pockets for mash to get super crispy.
  4. If using bone marrow,stick the bone marrow into your pie, so that they bake inside of it.
  5. Place pie in oven and cook for 30 minutes until the pie filling is hot, the mash is crispy and the marrow is soft all the way through (use a tooth pick or skewer to check this).
  6. Remove from the oven and top with some chopped chives, green onions and/or parsley.

Serves 4-6

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