Traditional British Recipes
Shepherd's or Cottage Pie
This good traditional, warming, dish is often served in British homes, restaurants and pubs around the country. According to tradition, Shepherd's Pie is made with lamb and Cottage Pie contains beef. At one time it was made from the leftover meat from the traditional Sunday roast but today it is usually made with fresh meat (minced). There are many regional variations of the dish, either using different herbs, adding mixed pickle to the mince or using grated cheese as a topping before baking.
Ingredients for Shepherd's Pie
- 1 kilogram (2.25 lb) potatoes
- milk (for mixing potatoes)
- butter (for frying and mixing)
- 1 onion
- 2 or 3 large carrots
- 450 grams (1 lb) minced lamb (or minced beef for Cottage Pie)
- 30 ml tomato puree
- 140 ml (1/4 pint) water
- salt & pepper to taste
- herbs (thyme and bay leaves)
- Worcester sauce
How to Make Shepherd's Pie
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (350°F / gas mark 4).
- Peel and chop-up the potatoes and put them in a pan to boil for 20 minutes.
- Peel and chop the onions and carrots and fry in a little butter for five minutes. Then add the mince and fry until browned.
- Dissolve the tomato puree in the water and pour into the mixture.
- Season with salt, pepper and a dash of Worcester sauce and add a pinch of fresh thyme and a few bay leaves (or use dried if you have no fresh).
- Turn down the heat and let simmer while you prepare the potatoes.
- Drain the potatoes and mash with a little butter and milk until smooth.
- Put the fried meat and vegetables into an oven dish of suitable size and cover with a layer of mashed potatoes.
- Fork the potatoes over and dot the top with butter.
As an alternative to butter you can sprinkle over a little grated Cheddar Cheese or Red Leicester.
- Bake at the top of the oven for 45 minutes, until the top is golden brown.
Serve with boiled peas, cabbage or other greens for a complete meal.