Shepherd's pie

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Shepherd's pie
An example of a shepherd's pie
Type Meat pie
Place of origin United Kingdom
Main ingredients Beef
mashed potatoes
Variations Cumberland pie, Shepherdess pie
  Media: Shepherd's pie

Shepherd's pie (made with minced lamb) or cottage pie (made with minced beef) is a meat pie with a crust of mashed potato.[1][2][3][4][5]

In the United States, the dish can vary widely, whether as a home recipe or a standard menu item in an Irish pub. The most common ingredients are ground meat (usually beef),[6] mixed with 1 or 2 vegetables, and topped with potatoes. The meat and vegetables sometimes include chopped onion and may be cooked in gravy, tomato sauce or tomato paste. Some recipes say to sprinkle grated cheese on the mashed potatoes.


The term cottage pie was in use by 1791,[2][7] 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 since then it is sometimes used synonymously with cottage pie, regardless of whether the principal ingredient is beef or mutton.[1][4][8][9][10][11][12] In the United Kingdom, the term shepherd's pie is typically 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 with mashed potato as well as having a mashed potato crust on top.[9][10]


  • The Shepherdess pie is a variation made without meat (vegetarian) and sometimes without dairy (vegan).
  • The Cumberland pie is a version with a layer of breadcrumbs on top.[16]
  • A St. Stephen's Day pie is made using turkey and ham.[17]
  • A fish pie is a similar English dish.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b The Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition, Oxford University Press, 1933
  2. ^ a b c "shepherd's pie". Merriam-Webster. Retrieved 2017-02-10. 
  3. ^ "The Chambers Dictionary", Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, 1999
  4. ^ a b Concise Oxford English Dictionary, Eleventh Edition (Revised), Oxford University Press, 2006
  5. ^ "Jewish Cookery by Florence Greenberg", Penguin Books Ltd, 1947–1963
  6. ^ "American Shepherd's Pie Recipe". Allrecipes. Retrieved 2017-02-27. 
  7. ^ "Home : Oxford English Dictionary". Retrieved 7 December 2015. 
  8. ^ The Glutton's Glossary: A Dictionary of Food and Drink Terms. Routledge. 1990. Retrieved 20 January 2009. 
  9. ^ a b Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management by Isabella Beeton, 1861.
  10. ^ a b Cassell's New Universal Cookery Book by Lizzie Heritage published by Cassell and Company, 1894
  11. ^ The Constance Spry Cookery Book by Constance Spry and Rosemary Hume, J M Dent & Sons, 1956
  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. ^ "BBC - Food - Recipes : Turkey and ham pie". Retrieved 7 December 2015.