Shepherd's Pie just sounds so much more appetizing to me than Cottage Pie but there really isn't a difference between the two! Shepherd's pie is made with ground lamb and Cottage pie is made with ground beef. WHATEVER can we just call them both Shepherd's Pie? Yes, lets do it. 😎
My version of Shepherd's Pie Consists of:
- Ground Beef
- Mixed Frozen Vegetables
- Perfect Mashed Potatoes
Fast Track your Pie
Need this thing in the oven in a hurry? Sometimes I will make this completely different than the recipe below. I use a can or two of condensed mushroom soup as the sauce/gravy with the meat. This creates a totally different flavour but it is just as delish. So, to do this method you simply brown your meat and add the garlic, mushrooms and onion and then add a can or two of mushroom soup. Proceed with placing it all in a casserole dish Meat-Frozen Veggies- Mashed Potatoes. For a more traditional Shepherds Pie Scroll Down my Friends.
I use a deep 9x13" casserole dish for my shepherd's pie. I use this same dish for my lasagna, check it out next if you're loving the casserole life.
- 2 pounds ground beef or ground lamb
- 1 Cup White Mushrooms Sliced
- 1 Large Onion (yellow, red, or white) Diced
- 2 Cloves Garlic Minced
- 2 Ribs Celery
- 2 Large Carrots
- 2 tbsp All Purpose Flour
- 2 tsp Parsley
- 1 tsp Rosemary
- 1 tsp Thyme
- 2 tbsp Tomato Paste
- 1 Cup Beef Broth
- ½ tsp salt or more to taste
- ½ tsp pepper or more to taste
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
- 2 Cups Mixed Frozen Veggies Peas, Carrots, Corn etc
- Salt and Pepper
- 3 Pounds Russet Potatoes Peeled, Cut lengthwise
- ½ Cup Cream or Milk
- ¼ Cup Butter or Margarine
- ½ tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp Salt or more to taste
- ½ tsp Black Pepper or more to taste
Meat & Gravy
- On medium heat, Brown the meat in a large pot (Dutch Oven) Add the Mushrooms, onions, garlic, celery and carrots. Let these cook down for about 5 minutes stirring every so often.
- Add the flour- stirring to distribute it. Add in the broth and stir until the flour is dissolved. Add in the tomato paste, parsley, thyme, Worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper.
- Wash and Peel your potatoes then cut them lengthwise and add them to a pot.
- Turn the heat to high and bring the potatoes to a boil once they are boiling turn down the heat and simmer the potatoes for 20-25 mins until tender and can be pierced easily with a fork.
- Once cooked, strain the potatoes and add back to the pot on the stove and cook off and remaining moisture.
- Add milk, butter and seasonings.
- Use a potato masher either manual or electric and mash the potatoes. Don't over do it though, when you work them too long they turn to glue!
- in a Deep 9x13" dish or two 2.5qt dishes spray the dish with non stick cooking spray. Add the meat and gravy to the bottom. Top with the frozen vegetables and top those with some salt and pepper. Dollop the mashed potatoes on top of the vegetables and then spread them out evenly. You can then bake the Shepherd's Pie at 400°F for 30-45 Minutes. If you are adding grated cheddar cheese on top of the potatoes, do so in the last 10 minutes of cooking.
5 Fast Facts about Shepherd's Pie
Shepherd’s Pie Hails from Scotland
The original shepherd’s pies were baked in pastry crusts and used leftover roast meat combined with a savory gravy to bring it all together. When the dish made its way from Scotland to Ireland, they skipped the pastry and used their abundance of potatoes instead, creating the modern-day mashed potato topping.
The Traditional Ingredients Aren’t What You Thought
Our favorite shepherd’s pie recipe has come a long way from its origins. The word “pie” likely comes from “magpie”—a bird well-known for collecting a random assortment of items in its nest. It’s thought that early pie eaters were equally un-picky about the contents of their pies, baking them with everything from pigeons to crows. I’m pretty glad we’ve evolved past that!
It Isn’t the Same as Cottage Pie
Technically, you can only call it shepherd’s pie if it contains lamb or mutton. Any pie made with beef, like these, should be called cottage pie. Want to top your pie with breadcrumbs? You’ll have to refer to it as Cumberland pie.
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 shouldn’t be calling shepherd’s 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 pastry—or mashed potatoes—isn’t enough. (Spoiler alert: It only received half of the requested 10,000 signatures)
South Americans Have Their Own Spin
In Spanish-speaking countries like Chile and Peru, it’s called pastel de papa. With potatoes on top, the casserole looks similar to the shepherd’s pie you know, but instead of vegetables, cooks often layer in chopped hard-boiled eggs, black olives and raisins. Sometimes, it’s wrapped in pastry dough and served up empanada style.