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Monday, October 11, 2010


Cottage Pie or Shepherd's Pie?

Cottage Pie or Shepherd's Pie

I recently found out that Cottage Pie is similar to Shepherd’s Pie except that Cottage Pie uses beef. Shepherd’s Pie also known as Poor Man’s Pie requires lamb or mutton in the recipe. When researching the different recipes, I’ve seen variations with the meat and potatoes alone served in a pie dish with the vegetables on the side. From what I gathered, cottage pie possibly originated from one of the British Isles like England or Scotland where people used foods found in their local region. In Canada, French Canadians call this 'Paté Chinois'.  Some vegetable variations are cut up carrots, peas and/or corn within the main dish. This recipe is easily adaptable.  If you have left over vegetables that need to be used up, try out this recipe and be creative

I’ve once again altered the Cottage Pie to what I normally prepare. This past erev Shabbat, I wanted to have our Shabbat meal prepared way ahead of time and therefore used my crockpot to keep it warm until we were ready to eat. To flavor the meat I included my homemade fermented Ketchup along with a lot of garlic and chopped up leeks to the meat.

7 or 8 medium sized potatoes
Some butter
2 cups of organic corn
1 lb grass fed ground beef
3 to 4 garlic cloves or more if you want
1 small onion
1 leek chopped including white and green part
1 cup full of vegetable or beef broth
2 to 3 soup spoons of homemade fermented ketchup
Salt and pepper
Other spices

  • I washed the potatoes and diced them. You can peel them if you prefer. Cutting them ahead of time helps the potatoes cook faster. These potatoes were cooked in less than twenty minutes. I try to always steam my vegetables with the pot covered.
  • Chop up the onion, the leek and mince the garlic. Sauté the onion and leek for a few minutes and then throw in the ground beef to cook completely. Once the beef is completely cooked, turn down the heat to medium low. Add the beef or vegetable broth and the fermented ketchup. Add whatever desired salt and pepper and other spices you like. Let the meat mixture simmer for at least five minutes or so to make sure everything is mixed in and some of the water is evaporated.
  • While the meat is cooking, if your potatoes are ready, simply place them in a big bowl and mash them by hand adding a little bit of butter if desired.
  • I decided to layer my potatoes, corn and meat in the Crock-Pot/slow cooker, I had enough to place two layers and finish by adding the potatoes on top. We own a 5 quart Crock-Pot/slow cooker, it was set at setting at 10 hours which I kept for maybe 3 hours and then lowered the setting to ‘warm’. By the time we sat down to eat the Cottage Pie had time to simmer and was hot. 
We are a family of 4 including two teenagers and were able to get two meals . Our dinner meal more often than not include a green salad with lots of chopped up veggies and also include another vegetable dish on top of main dish.

Are you able to find grass-fed beef in your area?  Ask around and be sure to visit the farm so you know first hand that the farm is trust worthy.  I hope to cover more on 'clean meats purchase' in a future post.

Do you know of other names and variations for this recipe here in the U.S. and over seas?

This recipe has been shared at:
Monday Mania with The Healthy Home Economist
Tuesday Twister with GNOWFLINS
Hearth 'n Soul with A Moderate Life
Real Food Wednesday with Kelly the Kitchen Kop
Pennywise Platter with The Nourishing Gourmet


  1. Your recipe looks great. I want to give it a try.
    Thank you for sharing.

  2. You are welcome, please do share after you've prepared it for your family!

  3. I never knew that Shepherds Pie is supposed to have lamb in it and that I've been making Cottage Pie all these years! Makes sense though! My husband loves this, so I will have to give your recipe a try ~ thanks!

  4. I live in Australia and have been making shepherds pie, just as my mother made before me and we always used beef. My husband, from Wales, also used to have shepherds pie and it was also made of beef - it was always easier to by beef mince compared to lamb mince. I buy lamb mince to make Moroccan dishes as it is moister than beef (and half the price).


  5. Good morning Jo, thank you for sharing, its nice to hear how this recipe is prepared in other parts of the world. And if this is your first time visiting, welcome! Moroccan dishes, I'd love to hear more...

  6. I have never heard of Cottage Pie - only Shepherd's Pie. By any name this sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing with us at the hearth and soul hop!

  7. I make this dish with beef or venison. I also was told that if it has a tomato base sauce it is called "shepherd's pie", but with a white-cream base sauce it is called "cottage pie". We like it either way.

  8. I've been really surprised to find how fussy people can be with these names. Where I live, no matter what meat you use, it's a Shepherd's Pie. Love it any which way, though. Thanks for sharing at the Hearth and Soul hop.

  9. Mmmm, looks delicious, especially as we are heading in to autumn. I have only heard it referred to as Shepherd's Pie, regardless of meat. I just found a recipe that used a combo of sweet and "regular" potatoes, and I thought that sounded pretty tasty too.

  10. Your cottage pie looks great. When I was kid growing up, shepherd's pie was a frequent Monday or Tuesday night dinner, it being made out of the leftover roast mutton from Sunday lunch.

  11. Hi Carmen, As a kid, I DETESTED shepherds pie because my mother used to grind the lamb herself in an old auger grinder and for some reason it just came out like paste. Years later, I took a leap of faith and tried a cottage pie, which my husband in new hampshire calls chinese pie for some strange reason, but it is what they call it up there, and I loved it! I really like the ease of your version. Thanks so much for sharing on the hearth and soul hop this week! Alex@amoderatelife

  12. This sounds good...I love leak & potatoes together... but I would have to replace the butter with olive oil because of my husbands cholesterol issues... Do you think that would work? .... Do you have a recipe for the homemade ketchup?

  13. Hi Sue, yes olive is fine. It is just a bit to sautée the leeks. The ketchup recipe is from Wardeh at GNOWFGLINS, here is the link. http://gnowfglins.com/2010/06/16/lacto-fermented-homemade-ketchup/ I personalized it but this is the basic recipe.

  14. Darn delicious if you ask me. Cottage or Shepherd's, I'm a pie kinda guy.


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