Instant Pot – Cottage Pie

Serves 4-6 | Prep: 15 minutes | Cook: 30 minutes


This Pilgrim’s Life – Shepherd’s Pie –


Notes: This is the recipe from This Pilgrim’s Life. My notes are are in bold.

  • 4 russet baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ cubes KB: I used 4 medium sized potatoes. Ended up with a lot of mash potatoes.
  • salt, divided
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 onion, diced KB: Small onion would be perfect.
  • 3 carrots, peeled & cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 C chopped mushrooms
  • 1 C frozen peas KB: I used canned sweet peas (15oz)
  • 1 C beef broth
  • 3 Tbsp flour KB: Tablespoons and not teaspoons!
  • 1 C cheddar cheese


  1. Combine potatoes, 1 cup water, and 1 teaspoon salt in the Instant Pot. Cook on high pressure for 8 minutes. KB: I think next time, use the trivet. When I cooked the potatoes, I found that the potatoes ended up sticking to the bottom of the Instant Pot liner making it a pain in the butt to clean. Drain the potatoes and transfer to a mixing bowl. Add 1 egg, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, and 2 tablespoons butter to the potatoes. Mash the potato mixture with a masher, or whip with a hand mixer.
  2. In the now-empty Instant Pot, sauté the ground beef for 5 minutes until it begins to brown*. Add the carrots, onions, peas, mushrooms, and 1 tsp each salt and pepper. Stir to combine. KB: I tried to let the veggies, especially onions, reduce a little bit before adding the beef broth. Mix together beef broth and flour in a small measuring cup, then pour the broth mixture into the Instant Pot and stir to combine again.
  3. Top the beef mixture with the mashed potatoes and smooth the top of the potatoes with a spatula. Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes.KB: I felt like I had a ton of beef filling mixture and mash potatoes. Nothing wrong with cooking the Cottage Pie in that quantity, but might be worthwhile to split the quantity between the Instant Pot and a small casserole dish.
  4. Quick release the pressure. Immediately** top with shredded cheese and serve.

Other Notes:

As my friends have pointed out… Shepherd’s Pie is made with lamb. Cottage Pie is made with beef. Enjoy!

Flo Lum has her own twist to Cottage Pie using scalloped potatoes instead of mashed potatoes. Check out her recipe here:

Mashed Potatoes: If you enjoy homemade mash potatoes, I would recommend the first half of this recipe. 4 russet potatoes, cubed into 1″ pieces, plus 1 cup of water and some salt. Cook on manual for 8 minutes. Add 1 egg, 2 Tablespoons of butter, salt, pepper, and garlic powder; and mash, mash, mash.


Instant Pot – French Dip Sandwiches


No. 2 Pencil –


Notes: Recipe by No. 2 Pencil. All my notes will be in bold.

  • 2.5 pound chuck roast KB: Enough for 4 or 5 people
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons of kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 onion, sliced KB: I used one medium white onion
  • 1/2 cup of red wine KB: Don’t need anything fancy. Use the cheapest red wine you can find. I ended up using a $3 bottle of Merlot.
  • 1 14 oz can of low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 6 soft rolls
  • 3 tablespoons of butter, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 6 slices of provolone cheese
  • KB: Consider adding some soy sauce and/or Worcester sauce. The Au Jus was missing something.


  1. For best results, let chuck roast rest at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before searing.
  2. Add vegetable oil to the Instant Pot and hit the sauté button.
  3. Season chuck roast with 2 teaspoon of kosher salt, freshly ground pepper to taste and 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder on all side. KB: See item 3 in the notes at the bottom of the page.
  4. Using a pair on long heat-proof kitchen tongs, sear roast on all sides in Instant Pot.
  5. Remove seared roast from Instant Pot and set aside.
  6. Add onions to pot and sauté just until they start to soften.
  7. Add red wine to pot and let simmer until reduced by half.
  8. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up seared bits from the bottom of the pot as it simmers.
  9. Once wine has reduced, add low-sodium beef broth and bay leaf.
  10. Return roast to Instant Pot, close lid and make pressure release valve is set to sealing.
  11. Hit Meat/Stew function and increase time to 100 minutes.
  12. Let Instant Pot natural release for 25 minutes, then turn valve to venting to release any excess pressure.
  13. Remove lid and transfer roast to a serving plate and shred.
  14. Strain liquid through a fine mesh strainer and serve warm for dipping sandwiches. KB: Definitely do this. The cooking process made the onions super mushy and you don’t want to use them in your sandwich.
  15. Set oven to broil and place sandwich rolls on a baking sheet.
  16. Combine melted butter, 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder and pinch of kosher salt in a small bowl.
  17. Brush over rolls and toast 2-3 minutes, just until gold brown.
  18. Pile meat onto rolls and top with cheese. Return to broiler and heat just until cheese has started to melt.
  19. Top sandwiches with freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley and serve with warm au jus for dipping.


I thought this recipe was really good. Like I mentioned above, the Au Jus sauce wasn’t quite right. It seemed to be missing something. I’ll be adding some Worcester and Soy Sauce (or maybe fish sauce) next time to get the dipping sauce to where I would like it.

Might be worthwhile to splurge the $1.60 (at Safeway) for the McCormick’s Au Jus spice packet.

Instead of cooking a whole beef chuck, next time, I’ll try cutting the chuck into smaller pieces and cooking for 60-65 minutes instead of the 100 minutes that this recipe calls for. I don’t see any real benefit to cooking the beef as a whole. The smaller pieces would be easier to handle and will cook quicker.