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Shepherd's Pie


Cottage pie or shepherd's pie is a meat pie with a crust of mashed potato. The term cottage pie is known to have been in use in 1791, when the potato was being introduced as an edible crop affordable for the poor.
In early cookery books, the dish was a means of using leftover roasted meat of any kind, and the pie dish was lined with mashed potato as well as having a mashed potato crust on top. The term "shepherd's pie" did not appear until 1877, and since then it has sometimes (incorrectly) been used synonymously with "cottage pie", regardless of whether the principal ingredient was beef or mutton. The term "shepherd's pie" should be used when the meat is mutton or lamb, with the origin being that shepherds are concerned with sheep and not cattle.

Olive Rieflin

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  • 1 lb minced mutton or lean hamburger
  • 1 lb potatoes, mashed
  • 4 oz chopped onion
  • 3 oz diced carrots
  • 3 oz peas
  • 1/2 C flour
  • 1/4 C oil or drippings
  • 1 C beef stock or red wine
  • 2 T Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 T chopped parsley
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Salt and pepper



Step 1

Melt drippings in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Fry onion and carrots together for 3-4 minutes. Add minced mutton or beef; cook until lightly browned. Sprinkle with flour; mix well and cook a further 2-3 minutes. Add stock and/or wine, Worcestershire sauce (to taste) and seasonings. Cook for 1-2 minutes, if using cooked meat, and 5-10 minutes if using raw meat. Meanwhile, cook the peas in salted water for 3-4 minutes. Drain and add to meat mixture. Boil potatoes in the usual way. Drain well, then mash with a little hot milk, butter and seasoning. Put the meat mixture into a greased pie dish. Spread the potatoes on top; score with a fork to give a rough appearance. Brush with egg, if liked. Bake for 30-40 minutes in a 375˚F oven.

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