Cottage Pie

I’m a firm believer in that people should make what they will of recipes. After all they are the ones that have to eat them.  So not a lot irks me when it comes to food.  Except maybe this bit.  People calling cottage pie shepherd’s pie.  So indulge me a moment as I’d like to get up on my soap box.  Ahem, here we go.  Shepherd’s pie is made with lamb.  Easy to remember as sheep get herded by a shepherd.  Shepherds don’t herd cows.  Therefore a shepherd’s pie doesn’t have beef in it.  Which is why it is generally known as cottage pie.  Thank you, I will climb down now and put the box away.

I made this last night as it was a raw day.  Well miserable in fact.  It was supposed to snow and instead we got a cold pouring rain that wasn’t quite freezing but nearly there.  So it was a good night for comfort food.  This is also a quick dish to make if you aren’t overly particular about presentation.   Now if you want presentation you need to check out Conor’s Cottage Pie.  Epic.  🙂

To start I chopped up carrots, garlic, onion, and mushrooms.

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In a bit of olive oil I saute the carrots, garlic and onions.

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Once the onions are a bit translucent I add the beef to brown.

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I used our veg broth for this.  In hindsight I probably should have used 1/2 cup but I used 3/4 cup of broth.  I added the mushrooms, 3 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce, and a good squirt of stone ground mustard and brought it to a simmer.

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In the meantime boil potatoes for the mash to go on top.  Once they are cooked I added a healthy pat of butter and enough milk to make it smooth.  I wanted it to be easy to put over the beef.  I also added some grated Jarlsberg to mix in along with a bit of salt and pepper to taste.  And yes I do keep the skins on.  Adds colour and keeps the nutrition with the potato!

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As it was just my husband and I the dish was kept pretty rustic.  I divided the beef mixture into two bowls for us.

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I spread the mash over the beef and shredded more Jarlsberg over the mash.

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Stick it under the broiler until the cheese is melted then it is ready to serve.

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My husband, who isn’t normally a huge fan of cottage pie, enjoyed this one.  🙂  And it was lovely with red wine.

33 thoughts on “Cottage Pie

  1. Would you believe that I just learned this little fun fact about cottage pie vs. shepherd’s pie less than a year ago! I never knew even knew there was anything other than shepherd’s pie as a name. Anyway… now I know better. I really like the individual portions. Makes it more fun somehow.

  2. – Such a nice dish when it’s miserable outside.
    – I’ve also read that the difference is the cheese on top! I think I’ll stick with the shepherds and their flock theory. Especially as I’ve never had this with lamb before. Wouldn’t even dream of it.

  3. mmmm, this would go very well on this cold Chicago day! whenever I see shepherd’s or cottage pie recipes, I always remember Gordon Ramsay’s rant about the difference between them…he is a funny guy 🙂

  4. Yum, this is the kind of food I love! And, having grown up in NYC and moved to the Midwest, I have similar feelings about bagels that you do about cottage/shepard’s pie. Namely, there are certain permissible flavors for bagels and others that, if used, turn bagels into merely bagel-shaped objects. There’s more to it, but you get the idea.

  5. It’s funny, but I’ve never actually set out to make a cottage pie – or a shepherd’s pie, for that matter. Im my kitchen these dishes seem only to happen when there’s a bit of left-over caserole or stew, or maybe even bolognese sauce as long as it isn’t too “wet”. It’s such a great way to make left-overs into something else entirely!

    (Also, it IS great comfort food on a cold day…)

  6. I have never heard of cottage pie before! This looks delicious! My 21 year old son love Shepherd’s Pie-lamb, and he would like this too 🙂

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