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Shepherd's Pie, Cottage Pie


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I think the two have become somewhat synonomous, yet I've always thought cottage pie ahd tomatoes and cheese on top shepherds had just mashed potato. Also as a kid we always had beef in our pie (Liverpudlian nanny) hmm..seems ther's not much standardiztion.

does this come in pork?

My name's Emma Feigenbaum.

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Interesting. I've never heard of cottage pie, and the shepherd's pie I've eaten has always been made with beef. Perhaps it's a regional thing.

Joie Alvaro Kent

"I like rice. Rice is great if you're hungry and want 2,000 of something." ~ Mitch Hedberg

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I don't like a lot of fake meat products; but, I find that Seitan based Ground Beef substitute is pretty OK, especially in a Vegetarian Cottage Pie.

Can I call it "Satan Pie"?

Anyway, diversify the veggies a bit, add a couple extra root vegetables and some herbs to the mash, and hardly anyone will complain about the Seitan at the bottom. Use all natural sour cream. Low or No-Fat sour creams sometimes do weird things when heated.

------

Vegetarian Cottage Pie

1 package vegetarian ground beef substitute

1 onion (chopped)

3 potatoes (peeled and chopped into 1" cubes)

3 Sweet potatoes (peeled and chopped into 1" cubes)

1/2 pound brown mushrooms (sliced)

1 bunch broccoli (cut into florets)

1 bunch spinach (remove stems)

1/2 cup fresh (or frozen) corn

1/2 cup fresh (or frozen) peas

1 cup sour cream

1 Tablespoon fresh (or 1 teaspoon dry) thyme (chopped)

Olive Oil

2 Tablespoons butter

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup vegetable broth

Boil chopped potatoes and sweet potatoes in salted water. When they are cooked, drain water from pan and mash. Mix in 2 tablespoons butter and 1/2 cup sour cream and fresh thyme. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Sauté mushrooms in olive oil. When liquid has cooked out of mushrooms, add onion. Continue cooking until onion is clear. Add ground beef substitute and brown lightly. Add vegetable stock and 1/2 cup sour cream. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour mixture out of sauté pan into whatever baking dish you are planning on using.

Sauté or steam broccoli until lightly cooked. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Layer into the baking pan. Sauté spinach. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add to baking pan. If you are using fresh peas, sauté lightly in olive oil or blanch briefly. Add to baking pan.

Drain corn and sprinkle onto the vegetable layers you have created.

Cover with mashed potatoes and bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until heated through and the top starts to brown.

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Shepherd's = lamb

Cottage = beef

Both, in my experience, are topped with mashed potato. Sliced potato topping has you veering into the territory of a hot pot.

PS

Edinburgh

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do folks prefer to eat their pies (and tortieres....) with some condiment.

the SO likes HP sauce but i prefer chow chow which is somehwere between a pickle and a chutney made from green tomatoes, lots of dry mustard and celery salt and red pepper. garlic isn't traditional but i've been making it that way for two years now andi'm not going back. onions are added right at the end so they retain their crunch. this to me is the ideal accompaniment to a shepherds pie.

that pie furthermore (undoubtedly made from lamb) need not be made from mince in my books. The shredded remains of a few shanks, a leg, a shoulder warmed with onions, peas, carrots and worcestershire sauce and baked under a topping of loose mashed potatoes (perhaps with a small measure of sharp cheddar mixed in) makes a pie that is truly delightful.

"There never was an apple, according to Adam, that wasn't worth the trouble you got into for eating it"

-Neil Gaiman

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Chow-chow with Shepherds pie? Interesting, but maybe a bit sweet?

Tomato ketchup is also too sweet... it should really be HP Brown Sauce as the one true tracklemeat for Shepherds Pie, though I am partial to my own Green Tomato Chutney.

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My grandmother made Shepards Pie with leftover roast lamb, the gravy, and mashed potato. No vegetables in the pie but served on the side.

If it has beef it isn't Shepard's Pie IMHO but something else. Cottage Pie, I suppose.

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  • 4 years later...

Usually once or twice a year, I get a craving for Shepherd's Pie. In my house, it was always made with minced beef, grated cheese and paprika on top of the potatoes, and soy sauce to flavour the beef, sacrilege all. Maybe. There hardly seems to be consensus. I made this once in a hostel kitchen in New Zealand, I had gotten such a sudden and burning craving for it, before I knew what was on me I was in the local supermarket, pricing mince. Despite the locality, no one gave me a hard time for using beef over lamb, although I did shock and awe another hostel guest, a chef from Israel who watched me for twenty minutes in the kitchen before coming over and demanding to know what I was making. When I explained the dish, he claimed never to have heard of it.

I made it again tonight, using the rather sparsely-equipped kitchen of my in-laws- not being cooks, they don't have so much as a spice rack. I was frustrated in the attempt to create a rich and satisfying base layer for the meat; however, I can't blame the kitchen fully - is it possible to get a good meaty flavoured base, with a thickish gravy holding the meat together; using only mince and the broth it creates itself after adding a bit of water and wine; and some sort of thickening agent? Or is it necessary to cheat it and add Bovril or other stock powders, as I did tonight, using a lone Knorr chicken cube found at the back of the cupboard? And if this is the case, is the problem then using mince itself - for a satisfying pie, wouldn't it be better to start with a good leftover roast as in original versions, and give mince up as bland and unsatisfactory?

We goosed tonight's pie up with lots of ketchup, and it was a hit, but I feel I can do better.

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This past winter I made the best shepherd's pie ever, but given the work and cost involved I'm not sure I'll repeat it.

The secret is pinnekjott, which is mutton or lamb ribs (breast of said beast not the rib chops) which have been salted and dried, much like dried, salted cod. (Since pinnekjott is a specialty from the west of Norway, this should not be a surprise. It's traditionally served at Chritmas.)

The first step is to find the pinnekjott, which is not easy in the U.S. I made the two-hour trip from Philadelphia to Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, to Nordic Delicacies, a Norwegian specialty grocer with many wonderful products; iirc, was priced about $15/pound. Then you've got to soak it; I found it took 36 hours in cold, running water to sufficiently remove the excess salt. Then, the dish is steamed (traditionally over birch twigs) with no additional seasonings. If it's being prepared as a Christmas dish, you then serve it with rutabagas. It's an acquired taste, given the large amount of fat. I enjoyed it.

The next step in preparing it for use in shepherd's pie is to trim away much, but not all, of the fat. This is the extremely tedious part of the prep. Then you mince the meat. After that, prepare as you would a normal shepherd's pie, though since the meat as been cooked you don't brown it. Simply combine with the other cooked ingredients (carrots, onions, etc.), seasonings, gravy, etc., top with potatoes and bake.

Because of the intense lamb flavor, it's definitely only for those who enjoy a very gamey lamb. If all you like is a lean lamb chop or leg of lamb, you may not appreciate this dish. But for those who crave real lamb flavor, it's a winner.

Edited by rlibkind (log)

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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Best shepherds/cottage pie I have ever made

1 1/2 - 2 lbs ground hamburger or lamb

1 cup finely diced onions

3 cloves garlic, finely minced

1 1/2 cups beef stock

1/4 cup diced carrots

1/4 cup frozen peas

1/4 cup frozen corn

2 tsp worchestershire sauce

salt and pepper to taste

tsp demi glace (optional)

2 Tbs tomato paste

1/4 cup flour

1/2 cup red wine

any other spices you desire

Mashed potatoes

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

Fry the ground beef until brown and crumbly. Drain the fat into a bowl and set the beef aside. Put two Tbsp of the fat back into the pan and saute the onions, carrots and garlic until starting to get soft. Add the tomato paste and cook another 5 minutes.

Add the beef back into the pan, sprinkle with the flour and toss to combine. Add the stock and red wine and season with salt and pepper and any other spices you may want to use. Simmer for 20 minutes until thickened and the carrots are soft. Add in the worchestershire sauce and demi glace now if using. Stir in the corn and peas.

Turn into a greased 9X13 baking dish and set aside to cool a bit.

Boil 6 or 7 potatoes until soft. Drain, and put back on heat briefly to dry. Add 1/4 cup milk, a Tbs of butter and salt and pepper and mash. Reserving a tablespoon, stir in one beaten egg.

Heat oven to 375. Spread mashed potatoes on top of the cooled meat mixture.

Brush the top with the reserved beaten egg and sprinkle with cheese if desired. Place baking dish on a tray and bake for 45 minutes until bubbly. If desired, turn on broiler and broil for a couple of minutes until top is browned and crusty.

Let stand 15 minutes before cutting.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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Thanks, Marlene - your recipe is pretty close to the method I used yesterday to make mine. I think my next pass at this dish I'll use leftovers from a roast and (ideally leftover) gravy, to see if I can get a more satisfying flavour from the base layer.

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Worcester sauce is the key.

A good squeeze of tomato ketchup in the meat is good as well

The leftover lamb joint, minced, with any leftover gravy

Some softened onions mixed in.

Personally I would omit carrots, peas, veg etc, and serve them seperately.

Mashed potato on top, then browned

Leftover shepards pie can be mixed all together with an egg, optionally breadcrumbed and shallow fried as rissoles.

Edited by jackal10 (log)
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Worcester sauce is the key.

A good squeeze of tomato ketchup in the meat is good as well

The leftover lamb joint, minced, with any leftover gravy

Some softened onions mixed in.

Personally I would omit carrots, peas, veg etc, and serve them seperately.

Mashed potato on top,  then browned

Leftover shepards pie can be mixed all together with an egg,  optionally breadcrumbed and shallow fried as rissoles.

That is exactly how Shepherds' Pie was made when I was growing up in England and rissoles were often on the menu too though I have not thought about those in years! Lamb is very expensive in Canada and there's never enough left over to use in this way. So now my Shepherds' Pie is really Cottage Pie and made with vegetables - it's good but not the same by a long shot. :biggrin:

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Thanks, Marlene - your recipe is pretty close to the method I used yesterday to make mine. I think my next pass at this dish I'll use leftovers from a roast and (ideally leftover) gravy, to see if I can get a more satisfying flavour from the base layer.

Thanks! I always use leftover gravy if I have it as well. it does make a huge difference.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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In my experience, leftover gravy is as rare as leftover shepherd's pie - but I'll hold some gravy back for just this purpose next time.

Lamb is very expensive in Canada and there's never enough left over to use in this way.

So true! We never had any leftover lamb, so my family has always used beef mince and called it shepherd's pie anyway. Maybe it's a Canadian thing.

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In my experience, leftover gravy is as rare as leftover shepherd's pie - but I'll hold some gravy back for just this purpose next time.
Lamb is very expensive in Canada and there's never enough left over to use in this way.

So true! We never had any leftover lamb, so my family has always used beef mince and called it shepherd's pie anyway. Maybe it's a Canadian thing.

Not really, pretty much all the early (1870-1900) recipes use whatever meat was leftover. The name was ment to add a bit of romance to essentially a way of using up leftovers, not actually refer to anything that Shepherds actually ate. Before the 1870's the same thing was called a Cottage Pie.

People have only got worked up about Shepherd = lamb, Cottage = Beef in the last few decades as far as I can determine.

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In my experience, leftover gravy is as rare as leftover shepherd's pie - but I'll hold some gravy back for just this purpose next time.
Lamb is very expensive in Canada and there's never enough left over to use in this way.

So true! We never had any leftover lamb, so my family has always used beef mince and called it shepherd's pie anyway. Maybe it's a Canadian thing.

Not really, pretty much all the early (1870-1900) recipes use whatever meat was leftover. The name was ment to add a bit of romance to essentially a way of using up leftovers, not actually refer to anything that Shepherds actually ate. Before the 1870's the same thing was called a Cottage Pie.

People have only got worked up about Shepherd = lamb, Cottage = Beef in the last few decades as far as I can determine.

That's very interesting, Adam. Thanks for shariing.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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This is an early recipe for Shepherd's Pie (1862), you can see that it is a dish for using up leftovers, nothing to do with Shepherds or Lamb specifically for that matter.

Shepherd's Pie.

Take cold dressed meat of any kind, roast or boiled, slice it, break the bones, and put them on with a little boiling water, and a little salt, boil them until you have extracted all the strength from them, and reduced it to very little, and strain it. Season the sliced meat with pepper and salt, lay it in a baking dish, pour in the sauce you strained, and add a little mushroom ketchup. Have some potatoes boiled and nicely mashed, cover the dish with the potatoes, smooth it on the top with a knife, notch it round the edge and mark it on the top the same as paste. Bake it in an oven, or before the fire, until the potatoes are a nice brown.

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