Tips For Making Shepherds Pie
There are a few stages to making Shepherds Pie, but its a straightforward recipe. Theres just two little things that you dont see in most recipes, little things that bugged me:
Cool the filling before topping with potato: It thickens and makes it easier to spread the potato across the top and it stops the potato weeping into the filling
Creamier mashed potato = easier to spread and just an all round better eating experience. I just dont like dry, very firm mash. When I break through the mash, I want it to be borderline collapsing, rather than being able to cut cleanly through it like cake.
I stress again these are little things that bug me, so feel free to by-pass them! Nagi x
PS One last time Cottage Pie is made with beef. Shepherds Pie is made with lamb!
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More Vegetarian Casseroles To Try
Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and the pepper. Stir in 2 cups of the cheese, scallions, and parsley. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if you like.
Spoon the potatoes over the vegetables in the baking dish. Use a fork to make swirls in the potatoes to create peaks and valleys. Sprinkle the top with the remaining 1/3 cup grated cheese.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until the filling bubbles and the potatoes are golden. Let rest for 10 minutes and serve.
What To Serve With It
- In England, HP Sauce or brown sauce is often served with shepherd’s pie. It’s got tomatoes and tamarind and an addictive tangy taste!
- Shepherd’s pie also pairs well with a side salad. Try this parmesan arugula salad or some mixed greens with this Creamy Balsamic Dressing.
- It’s also fantastic on its own or with a slice of crusty bread.
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The Special Topping: Cauliflower And Potato Mash
One other change from traditional shepherds pie is the topping: Its a blend of cauliflower and potatoes! This means fewer carbs and calories , but more importantly, the added health benefits of cauliflower.
The recipe calls for sharp or extra-sharp cheddar cheese, which plays off of the cauliflower and adds a pleasing crust when baked.
What Fruits Go In Shepherds Pie
Shepherds Pie is a classic dish thats always a favorite among comfort food lovers. With apples and pears, which are both slightly sweet and crisp and pair well with the savory richness of Shepherds Pie.
Shepherds pie is a traditional English dish consisting of a layer of minced meat topped with a layer of mashed potatoes, baked in an oven.
While most of us might think of pairing traditional mashed potatoes with shepherds pie, the truth is that many types of fruit can be used to garnish or complement the flavors in this dish.
The biggest issue people have with this home is how to make the Shepherds Pie taste even better. Happily, there are many ways to do that, including adding fruits to the dish.
The addition of fruits to the meat and potatoes adds a certain freshness to the dish that is hard to resist. The key is to use fruits with a high acidity and sweetness content that will cut through the meat and potatoes.
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Yes You Can Make It Ahead
Once you have topped the filling with the potatoes and sprinkled the last bit of cheese over it, let it cool completely, then cover it with plastic wrap. You can keep it assembled, but unbaked, in your refrigerator for up to three days.
To bake the pie, remove the plastic wrap and take it straight from the fridge to the oven. Add an extra 15 minutes to the baking time. Check the pie after 30 minutes.
Cover it loosely with foil if the top browns too quickly.
Its Pie Status Has Been Questioned
The Brits are serious about pie: According to a petition calling to make wrongly describing a casserole with a pastry lid as a pie a criminal offence, we shouldnt be calling shepherds pie a pie at all! The petitioners argued that a pie has to have a top and base of pastry a casserole covered by a puff pastryor mashed potatoesisnt enough. .
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Can Dogs Eat Mashed Potatoes
Potato eaters dogs should eat mashed potatoes, mashed potatoes? You may bring your pet this dish over to the porch if the potatoes have not been roasted and do not have any salt added, seasonings, milk or butter. In spite of the fact that potatoes are often filled with nutritional value for dogs, that value isnt good for them.
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Whats The Difference Between Shepherds Pie And Cottage Pie
Shepherds pie was originally called cottage pie back in the 18th century in Ireland and the United Kingdom as a way to describe a dish made by frugal cottage dwellers to use up leftovers. These days, the two terms are often used interchangeably, but in general, shepherds pie is made with lamb and cottage pie is made with beef. The mashed potato topper could be replaced with mashed turnips or other root vegetables, or even with a pastry crust .
Related: Our Top 10 Shepherds Pie Recipes
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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.
Read The Labels On Your Worcestershire Sauce
Diving into the meat filling, youll see that Worcestershire is a key ingredient. This is a vinegar based sauce made from fermented onions and garlic, along with molasses, tamarind, anchovies, spices and more. Yep, you can say this sauce has an intense depth of flavor, making it perfect to add to meats.
But if youre gluten-free, youll need to be mindful of the brands you buy. Worcestershire often includes a wheat-based soy sauce to get that deep dark brown color. So, I recommend purchasing one of the below brands that are gluten-free .
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How To Freeze Healthy Shepherds Pie
Once the shepherds pie is baked, cool completely and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Place it in the freezer until fairly firm, about two hours. Then, cover tightly with plastic wrap, followed by aluminum foil. Mark the date on the outside and store in the freezer for up to two months.
When ready to serve, remove the foil and plastic wrap. Use the foil you just removed to loosely cover the pie. Make sure that your casserole dish can go straight from freezer to oven if not, set the casserole in the oven while the oven preheats so that the dish warms slowly.
Bake the casserole for an hour, or until the pie is hot all the way through. Remove the foil for the last 15 minutes to allow the top to brown.
The Traditional Ingredients Arent What You Thought
Our favorite shepherds pie recipe has come a long way from its origins. The word pie likely comes from magpiea bird well-known for collecting a random assortment of items in its nest. Its thought that early pie eaters were equally un-picky about the contents of their pies, baking them with everything from pigeons to crows. Im pretty glad weve evolved past that!
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Can You Freeze Cottage Pie
Make sure the pie is completely cold, then cover it well with cling film and freeze. Always freeze the pie on the day that you make it. Defrost in the fridge overnight, then cook as per the recipe. Alternatively, to cook from frozen, heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4, cover with foil and cook for 1½ hrs.
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.
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Assemble The Shepherds Pie
- Top the meat filling with the mashed potatoes.
- Drizzle melted butter and sprinkle some more shredded cheese.
- Place the pan on a baking sheet, that way if anything bubbles over it wont make a mess out of your oven!
- Bake at 375ºF for 30 minutes. If desired, pop under the broiler for some extra color!
- Let it rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.
What Youll Need For Cottage Pie:
- Meat: this cottage pie calls for ground beef and sausage but depending on the type of savory pie you want to make, you can use ground lamb , or essentially any leftover meat in your fridge.
- Spices: fresh thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, salt and pepper.
- Vegetables: onion, celery, carrots, corn, and peas.
- Mashed potatoes: made homemade, or in the Instant Pot, or use leftovers!
- Gravy ingredients: garlic, flour, beef stock, tomato paste, beef bouillon, Worcestershire sauce.
- Cheese: parmesan cheese goes in the mashed potatoes and shredded cheddar cheese is added on top before baking.
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What Ingredients Make The Filling Taste Better
Once the meat is selected, other vegetables and herbs are added to make the filling more interesting. Onions, carrots, celery, and garlic are sauteed to give texture and aroma. Rosemary and thyme are robust herbs that complement the unique flavor of the lamb. Tomato paste adds a touch of sweetness to the dish. Tangy Worcestershire sauce provides balance and makes the flavors in the filling more vibrant.
The Best Mashed Potatoes For Cottage Pie
You can easily use leftover Creamy Mashed Potatoes or even Garlic Mashed Potatoes if you have some on hand, but be sure to add parmesan and egg. Heres what youll need to cook mashed potatoes for Shephards Pie:
- Russet Potatoes whip up super creamy and smooth
- Heavy Whipping Cream makes potatoes luxuriously creamy
- Salt add to taste after mashing
- Parmesan cheese gives the potatoes the best taste
- Egg creates that lovely golden hue in the oven
- Butter helps with color and keeps the potatoes moist
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Tips From The Betty Crocker Kitchens
- tip 1 Traditionally, shepherds pie is made with lamb . However, as the dish gained wider popularity outside of its native English homeland , beef became a common substitute, especially in America where its more widely available than ground lamb.
- tip 2 Refrigerated mashed potatoes cut a ton of prep time off of this recipe and are good to keep on hand. Try any flavored, refrigerated mashed potatoes to top this main-dish pie.
- tip 3 Looking for a few more ways to turn a pound of ground beef into dinner? Check out the rest of Bettys kitchen-tested ground beef recipes.
Suggestions And Substitutions For Shepherds Pie
A true shepherds pie is actually done with lamb, not beef . Cottage pie is the term traditionally applied to one made with beef.
Regardless of what you call it, you can make this with basically any type of ground meat you like, knowing that they range widely in fat content. Ground lamb, turkey, bison, venison, and beefor half and half of any of the aboveare all fair game.
Nothing beats fresh vegetables and cheese youve grated on the spot to make this recipe, but if youre short on time, here are a few shortcuts:
- Swap in frozen mixed vegetables for the carrots, celery, and peas. Use two and a half cups and add them to the dish when it instructs you to add the peas.
- Use pre-shredded sharp cheddar. Take a gander at the ingredients, since some brands use additives to keep the cheese from clumping. Less is more, if you ask me.
- Buy screw-top wine. Every little bit counts when it comes to saving time. Plus, fussing with a bottle opener isnt my favorite pastime. You dont need fancy wine for this anyway, just something dry and drinkable.
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Boil And Drain The Potatoes
Grab a stockpot and place it on your stove. Add in the diced potatoes. The potato chunks should be about 1-1.5 inch thick, Shelbert shares. Cover the potatoes with water and turn the heat up to high. Once the water starts to boil and you see bubbles reaching the top of the surface, you can lower the heat to a rolling boil. Continue cooking the potatoes for about 15 minutes, until you can easily pierce them with a fork. Remove from the heat and strain the excess water through a colander.