Shepherd's pie

Shepherd's pie or cottage pie
Type Meat pie
Place of origin United Kingdom
Main ingredients Mashed potato crust and meat filling
Variations Cumberland pie,
shepherdess pie
  Media: Shepherd's pie or cottage pie

Shepherd's pie or cottage pie is a meat pie with a crust or topping of mashed potato.[1][2][3][4][5]

The recipe has many variations, but the defining ingredients are minced red meat (commonly, "cottage pie" refers to beef and "shepherd's pie" to lamb), cooked in a gravy or sauce with onions and sometimes other vegetables, such as peas, celery or carrots, and topped with a layer of mashed potato before it is baked. The pie is sometimes also topped with grated cheese to create a layer of melted cheese on top.


The term cottage pie was in use by 1791,[2][6] when the potato was being introduced as an edible crop affordable for the poor (cf. "cottage", meaning a modest dwelling for rural workers).

The term shepherd's pie did not appear until 1854,[2] and was used synonymously with cottage pie, regardless of whether the meat was beef or mutton.[1][4][7][8][9][10][11][12] In the United Kingdom, the term shepherd's pie is now commonly used when the meat is lamb.[13][14][15]


In early cookery books, the dish was a means of using leftover roasted meat of any kind, and the pie dish was lined on the sides and bottom with mashed potato, as well as having a mashed potato crust on top.[8][9]

Variations and similar dishes

Other potato-topped pies include:

See also


  1. 1 2 The Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition, Oxford University Press, 1933
  2. 1 2 3 "shepherd's pie". Merriam-Webster. Retrieved 2018-04-17.
  3. "The Chambers Dictionary", Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, 1999
  4. 1 2 Concise Oxford English Dictionary, Eleventh Edition (Revised), Oxford University Press, 2006
  5. "Jewish Cookery by Florence Greenberg", Penguin Books Ltd, 1947–1963
  6. "Home : Oxford English Dictionary". Retrieved 7 December 2015.
  7. The Glutton's Glossary: A Dictionary of Food and Drink Terms. Routledge. 1990. Retrieved 20 January 2009.
  8. 1 2 Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management by Isabella Beeton, recipe 1427 in 1907 edition. Uses beef or mutton. Recipe not in original 1861 edition.
  9. 1 2 Cassell's New Universal Cookery Book by Lizzie Heritage published by Cassell and Company, 1894
  10. The Constance Spry Cookery Book by Constance Spry and Rosemary Hume, J M Dent & Sons, 1956
  11. Mrs Beeton’s Everyday Cookery, editor Susan Dixon, published by Ward Lock Limited, London, 1982, page 145, Shepherd’s Pie made with beef
  12. Chambers Dictionary, Ninth Edition, published by Chambers Harrap Publishing Ltd, 2003
  13. "Delia Smith: Shepherds Pie with Crusted Leeks". Retrieved 24 January 2009.
  14. "BBC Food Recipes: Shepherd's Pie". Retrieved 1 October 2011.
  15. "Shepherds' Pie and Cottage Pie". Retrieved 24 January 2009.
  16. "What is Cumberland Pie?". Retrieved 6 December 2010.
  17. "Shepherdess Pie [Vegan, Gluten-Free] - One Green Planet". Retrieved 2018-08-27.
  18. "Filosoof -". Retrieved 2018-08-28.
  19. "Escondidinho recipe — Brazilian Wave". Brazilian Wave. 2012-08-01. Retrieved 2018-08-28.
  20. "BBC - Food - Recipes : Turkey and ham pie". Retrieved 7 December 2015.
  21. "cottage pie - Aistriúchán Gaeilge ar cottage pie (An Foclóir Nua Béarla-Gaeilge)". (in Irish). Retrieved 2018-08-29.
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