What Is The Difference Between Shepherds Pie And Cottage Pie
Originally, a pie made with any kind of meat and mashed potato was called a cottage pie. In modern British English, the dish is usually called cottage pie if it is made with beef. If it is made with lamb, it is usually called shepherds pie . Both have mashed potatoes on top, and occasionally on the bottom as well.
The name cottage was applied to this kind of meat pie around the time potatoes were being introduced in the UK, because they were an affordable thing to eat for peasants, many of whom would live in cottages.
The term cottage pie predates shepherds by nearly a century, but each was used synonymously with the other for a long time. According to the Oxford Companion to Food, Scotland used to make its shepherds pies with pastry instead of mashed potatoes.
Although variations of this dish crop up throughout history, no name for it came into use until the introduction of the mincing machine. Before that, the meat would have to be chopped by hand, or made from leftovers.
This version of shepherds pie calls for ground lamb, readily available in most supermarkets. If you have a tight relationship with your butcher, ask them to grind it fresh. This pie was actually created as a way to use up leftover lamb, probably over a century ago. It is completely worth making even without leftover lamb.
Variations And Similar Dishes
Sometimes there is a bottom layer of potato as well as a top.
Other potato-topped pies include:
- Potato pie is a ground red meat pie topped with mashed potato the difference is that the potato pie does not include any other vegetables.
- The modern Cumberland pie is a version with either beef or lamb and a layer of breadcrumbs and cheese on top. In medieval times, and modern-day Cumbria, the pastry crust had a filling of meat with fruits and spices.
- In Canada, pâté chinois or shepherd’s pie is made in a casserole dish with ground beef on the bottom layer, canned sweetcorn in the middle, and mashed potato on top.
- Shepherdess pie or shepherdless pie is a vegetarian version made without meat, or a vegan version made without meat and dairy.
- In the Netherlands, a very similar dish called philosopher’s stew often adds ingredients like beans, apples, prunes, or apple sauce.
- In Brazil, the name escondidinho ‘hidden’ describes the way sun-dried meat is hidden under a layer of manioc purée. The dish often includes cheese and chicken cod is sometimes used instead of beef.
How To Make A Shepherds Pie
While shepherds pie certainly came about as a way to put those leftovers to good use, the results were delicious. Recipes vary widely but have the same basic structure. Theres a crust of mashed potatoes on the top and bottom. Inside, theres minced meat.
The meat is simmered in a gravy of onions and other vegetables like celery, carrots or peas, sometimes all of these. The result is something comforting and delicious that will warm you from the inside out. So while the history of this dish is anything but mystifying, it is something that Irish and English cooks like to put their own unique spin on. Like anything else, its fun to try out different seasonings and vegetables. And just like everyone makes mashed potatoes in their own way, the whole thing can be an incredibly diverse experience.
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How Long To Boil Eggs For Deviled Eggs:
- Fill a large pot 3/4 full of water.
- Place the pot over high heat until the water comes to a rolling boil. This can take between 7-12 minutes, depending on the size of your pot and how much water you use. To speed things up, I use hot tap water and keep the lid on the pot until the water is boiling.
- Carefully and gently add the desired amount of large eggs to the boiling water. A mesh strainer works well for gently lowering more than one egg at a time into the hot water.
- Boil the eggs for 13-14 minutes. Adjust the heat as necessary so that the water doesnt boil over.
- Remove the pot from the heat. Drain the hot water from the pot while keeping the eggs in the pot. You could use the lid of the pot or a strainer to help keep the eggs in the pot as you drain the hot water.
- Add cold water to the pot until the eggs are covered in cold water. Pour that water out. Repeat with more cold water.
- Add 2 cups of ice to the pot. Gently stir the eggs. If the ice melts, add more until the water stays ice cold.
- Let the eggs rest in the ice cold water for 5 minutes.
- Remove the eggs from the cold water. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week until you are ready to use them.
- Gently crack the egg shells and peel the eggs.
What Are The Variations Of Shepherds Pie
The recipe has many variations, but the defining ingredients are minced red meat, cooked in a gravy or sauce with onions and sometimes other vegetables, such as peas, celery or carrots, and topped with a layer of mashed potato before it is baked. The pie is sometimes also topped with grated cheese to create a layer of melted cheese on top.
The modern Cumberland pie is a version with either beef or lamb and a layer of breadcrumbs and cheese on top. In medieval times, and modern-day Cumbria, the pastry crust had a filling of meat with fruits and spices.
In Quebec, a variation on the cottage pie is called pâté chinois. It is made with ground beef on the bottom layer, canned corn in the middle, and mashed potato on top.
The shepherdess pie is a vegetarian version made without meat, or a vegan version made without meat and dairy.
In the Netherlands, a very similar dish called philosophers stew often adds ingredients like beans, apples, prunes, or apple sauce.
In Brazil, a dish called escondidinho refers to the fact that a manioc purée hides a layer of sun-dried meat. The dish often includes cheese, and chicken or cod are sometimes used instead of beef.
The best recipes for shepherds pie keep things simple and season the dish with abandon. If using an herb, stick to one and choose a lot of it. Forego false finery and choose good organic sourced ingredients. The mashed potato on top should have lots of butter and milk in it. Ideally, theyre not mashed too smoothly.
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Cook The Impossible Burger
Place a sauté pan over medium high heat and add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil into the pan. When the pan is very hot, add the Impossible Burger and break into pieces, allow to brown in the pan for about 2-3 minutes. Season with 1 ½ teaspoons Kosher salt and fresh pepper. Then stir the Impossible Burger with a flat spatula, scraping the bottom of the pan, and continue cooking and browning until little red is still showing, around 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside on a dish.
Traditional Shepherds Pie Recipe
- 1 1/2lbsground lamb or beefor a mixture of the two
- olive oil
- 2Tbspred wineoptional
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1/2Cfrozen peas
- 1/2Cfrozen cornor skip the corn and do 1 C peas
- 4-5Large potatoes peeledand cubed for faster boiling if you want
- 1/4Cheavy whipping cream
- 4Tbspmelted butter
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1/2Cfreshly grated parmesan cheeseplus more for sprinkling
- Start by boiling the potatoes
- then start the meat add the ground meat to a 12 inch skillet and brown
- drain all the grease/fat
- add a splash of olive oil and add the carrots, onions and garlic cook a min or two
- add the fresh thyme and rosemary, salt and pepper, worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, beef broth and red wine.
- stir it and keep cooking until you cook down the liquid to almost nothing it will still be moist but not wet.
- add the frozen peas and carrots and give it a quick stir then scoop into whatever container your going to bake it in
- the potatoes should be done now so its time to mash them you can do this however you want I prefer to rice them its amazing
- add the melted butter, cream, salt and pepper to taste and the parmesan and fold together it will be really creamy
- add on top of the of the meat mixture you can pipe it on to be pretty like I did or just plop and spread dont leave it perfectly smooth though, take a fork and mess it up so that it has texture.
- top with with a light sprinkling of parmesan and bake it for 20 mins, until the potato tips are golden
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Make The Mashed Potatoes
To make the mashed potatoes, mash the cooked, hot potatoes in a mixing bowl with a masher, a hand mixer, a ricer, or a food mill. Heat the milk in a microwave for 30 seconds or in a pan on the stove top, add to the potatoes, and then add the butter and season with 2 teaspoons Kosher salt. Mix until fully incorporated. Season to taste and add additional salt and freshly ground black pepper if needed.
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What Is The Origin Of Shepherds Pie
Shepherds pie first came about late in the 1700s and early 1800s. Accordingly, housewives back then were on the frugal side. Much like we do today, they were looking for ways to incorporate those leftovers that husbands and kids would turn up their noses at. The struggle was real back then just like today.
Shepherds pie, common and inexpensive British dish originated from the sheep country in Scotland and northern England. It is a homely thing in one or another sense of the word, depending on your point of view. The coziest comfort food on a wintry night, shepherds pie in different guise. Comfort comes from fresh ingredients selected for the very purpose of assembling the pie.
What’s The Difference Between A Shepherd’s Pie And Cottage Pie
A true shepherd’s pie is made with lamb while a cottage pie is made with beef. In the US, I notice that it is often called a shepherd’s pie when it really is just a cottage pie.
Since the type of meat used is the only real difference in this dish, I find most have a version using beef that they call shepherd’s pie even if it technically isn’t. Our family often grabs beef for this since lamb isn’t as readily available in our grocery stores. That said, I much prefer the truly authentic version using lamb.
If you are watching your red meat intake, you can use ground turkey, ground chicken, or even ground pork in place of lamb or beef. While that will keep it from being truly authentic, the flavors can still be fantastic.
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History Of Shepherds Pie
Shepherds pie, which originated in the late 1700s in the United Kingdom, was a way to introduce the potato as an edible crop for the poor. Although the potato was discovered in South America and introduced to Europe much earlier by Spanish conquistadores, it got to Ireland via Virginia colonists sent by Sir Walter Raleigh. He cultivated it in Ireland, where it eventually became a cheap, nourishing, primary food source. Shepherds pie probably originated in Ireland, where the bits of stewed meat and vegetables could be stretched to fill a hungry family by topping it with a generous portion of potatoes. But it was a favorite that soon spread to Wales and the rest of the United Kingdom.
The term shepherds pie appeared in 1854. Favorite vegetables include onions, peas, and carrots, but many kitchens have yielded the dish with other vegetables and topped the potatoes with cheese.
The years have produced variations of toppings for the meat and vegetable mixturecovering it with pie crust or dotting it with baking powder biscuitsbut the original recipes demanded a mashed potato topping.
The classic shepherds pie below, from Allrecipes.com, makes a modern-day twist on the traditional recipe.
Tips For Freezing This Recipe To Cook Later
This is for those busy moms that like freezer meals. There is no better easy freezer meal than a shepherd’s pie! It’s so fast and easy to whip up, you can make several at a time, wrap, and freeze them for later!
I prefer two methods for making this as a freezer meal.
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What Vegetables Go In Shepherd’s Pie
The most traditional vegetables you will find in this dish are carrots, peas, and onions. That isn’t the only mixture that is known, and our family loves the addition of some corn. Below are some other vegetables that I have seen in a cottage or shepherd’s pie and know are still considered pretty true to original flavors.
- Shredded cabbage
If you want to stick with a truly authentic meal, these are the ones you should turn toward. For families that have different vegetable preferences, use whatever you wish. It’s my opinion that while there are some things that I would use, cooking is truly personal experience. Turn this recipe into one that fits your needs and it will be a masterpiece you prefer.