What’s In Shepherd’s Pie

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This Is What’s Really In A Shepherd’s Pie


Have you ever eaten shepherd’s pie? Although it’s not as well known in the U.S. as pot pie, this UK classic has been providing thrifty Brits with a tasty way to use up leftovers for nearly 200 years. While the British Food in America blog details extensive squabbling over whether shepherd’s pie is Scottish or English in origin, the Irish Nobleman pub claims it as “one of Ireland’s most beloved dishes.”

Although the sources can’t quite seem to agree which UK nation first came up with the idea of shepherd’s pie, there is one thing everyone agrees on in order to be authentic, a shepherd’s pie must be made with lamb or mutton. If it’s made with beef, it’s called a cottage pie, and if it is made with chicken or any other meat or non-meat , in that case, it’s a whole ‘nother dish altogether.

Is There A Frozen Shepherds Pie

This classic shepherds pie frozen dinner is made with seasoned beef, carrots, and corn in a rich, savory gravy all topped with mashed potatoes for a warm, hearty, and delicious meal you can enjoy at work or at home. Marie Callenders Beef Shepherds Pies are made with no artificial flavors and no artificial colors.

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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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    What Kind Of Potatoes Are Used For The Topping

    Russet potatoes are the best to use to make the mashed potato topping. They are a type of potato that is very starchy, and when cooked easily breaks into light and flaky pieces. The texture makes is very easy to spread across the top of the filling. The potatoes are gently combined with butter, warmed whole milk, and egg yolk for richness and color when baked.

    Assemble The Shepherd’s Pie In A Baking Dish

    8 Things You Never Knew About Shepherd

    There are still a few more things you will need to add to the skillet. Begin with the tomato paste, broth, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir to combine with the meat and veggies. Bring the mixture to a boil and then lower the heat. Cover the skillet with a lid and let the mixture simmer for about 10 minutes.

    Next, add in the frozen corn and peas. Then, you can transfer the ground beef and vegetable mixture into a baking dish. Put the mashed potatoes on top of the ground beef and smooth them out in an even layer.

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    Where Did Shepherds Pie Originate

    Shepherds Pie is believed to have originated in the 1850s in the United Kingdom. In the 1700s a similar dish was referred to as Cottage Pie. For a while the terms cottage pie and shepherds pie were use synonymously. Some dishes have historically included a mashed potato layer on both the bottom of the dish as well as the top.

    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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    Why Is It Called Shepherds Pie

    Originally a meat pie made with minced meat and mashed potatoes was known as a Cottage Pie . It is very popular in Ireland, Scotland and England as well! In the late 1800s the pie was named Shepherds Pie if made with lamb and if made with beef it was called Cottage Pie.

    Regardless of the name, this recipe is a classic Shepherds Pie recipe loaded with flavor and the perfect make ahead meal to serve all year long!


    New Cookbook: The Ultimate Instant Pot Cookbook


    This is absolutely my new favorite way to make Shepherd’s Pie, but there are plenty more recipes in this book that I’m excited to try.

    I’ve actually already made the Sweet Potatoes Stuffed With Black Beans and Quinoa. Verdict: phenomenal. I love having this easy, meat-free meal in my back pocket.

    A few that are next on my list:

    • French Toast Casserole
    • Hoisin-Glazed Spareribs
    • Caramelized Onion Dip

    Coco sprinkles her recipes with useful tips and suggestions for substitutions, which are all very useful for cooks like me who employ a mix of roughly 80% “follow the recipe” and 20% “wing it.”

    Reading through the book, I also appreciate how straightforward and approachable all the recipes feel — though of course, this shouldn’t come as a surprise since this is why I love featuring her recipes here on Simply Recipes as well! With its mix of basic recipes and recipes to make for dinner, I think this book would be a good one for new Instant Pot users and die-hard fans alike.

    Recommended Reading: Jim Brush Key Lime Pie

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    Garlic Lemon Green Beans

    Adding a crunchy dish to the casserole can make your meal even more delicious, and garlic lemon green beans certainly do that.

    Garlic lemon green beans pair up well with most heavy foods, so you can add it as a side with shepherds pie.

    Green beans, also known as string beans, snap beans, and French beans, differ from other beans because you cook them with the pods still on.

    So, you have a crunchy texture which adds a freshness to the whole meal.

    The dish with lemon, garlic and toasted almonds is also easy to make as it takes just about fifteen minutes to cook.

    Add salt, pepper and some chili flakes if you like some spiciness.

    The dish will click with the shepherds pie, whether you stir fry, sauté or roast it.

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    What To Serve With Shepherd’s Pie

    If you’ve loaded up your pie with peas and carrots and parsnips, it may well serve as a one-pot meal. Should you want additional veggies on the side,The Guardiansuggests these same peas and carrots and parsnips, or perhaps leeks, shallots, cabbage, or kale. Or even baked beans, if you really want a taste of comfort food, British-style.

    As to the proper drink? Why, tea, of course, although an Irish beer such as the dark, hearty Guinness would also work. Or you could do as Member of Parliament-turned-ex-con and novelist Jeffrey Archer apparently did, and pair the finest French champagne with your shepherd’s pie.

    Dress it up and accompany it however you like, though, shepherd’s pie will never forget its working class roots, and will stick to your ribs so you can get on with the backbreaking work that built an Empire .

    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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    Beet & Goat Cheese Salad With White Wine Vinegar Dressing

    A great salad is one of the best things to go with your shepherds pie!

    The crisp textures and delightful tangy flavors are a marvelous contrast to the richness from your main dish.

    Beets are a rustic ingredient that are perfect for this time of year and they really pair beautifully with goat cheese.

    You could simply toss a bed of greens with beets and goat cheese and call it a day, but why stop there?

    Check out this recipe below: She uses roasted beets, granny smith apples, pecans, and goat cheese for an epic combination of texture and sweetness with a tangy white wine vinegar dressing.

    We are in love with this salad by Lacey at A Sweet Pea Chef.

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    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.

    Tips From The Betty Crocker Kitchens

    How to Make the Easiest Best Beef Shepherds Pie | CHOW-TO Make It #WithMe
    • 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.

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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.

    Is Cheesecake Factory Shepherds Pie Gluten Free

    Description: The Cheesecake Factory offers something for everyone featuring a wide variety of over 200 menu items prepared fresh to order each day, plus over 30 legendary varieties of the Finest Cheesecake. Gluten Free Shepards Pie!! We had a very delicious meal of gluten free shephards pie last night!.

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    What To Serve With Shepherds Pie 7 Best Side Dishes

    Initially invented in England, Shepherds Pie has come a long way and become one of the most popular dishes in many places.

    Also called Cottage Pie and Hachis Parmentier , its a dish of minced meat topped with a mashed potato dish.

    The most notable ingredients are red meat and onions in sauce or gravy.

    Its a heavy and filling dish, and you can enjoy and satiate your hunger simultaneously.

    If you want to lighten it up, side dishes work great with the delicious dish.

    So, have you considered what to serve with Shepherds Pie? If youre not very familiar, continue reading.

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