Shepherd's pie

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Shepherd's pie
An example of shepherd's pie, served lasagna-style with fresh onion and tomato
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]


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).


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.[7][8]

The term "shepherd's pie" did not appear until 1877,[2] and since then it is sometimes used synonymously with "cottage pie", regardless of whether the principal ingredient is beef or mutton.[1][4][9][7][8][10][11] In the United Kingdom, the term "shepherd's pie" is typically used when the meat is lamb.[12][13][14]


  • 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.[15]
  • A St. Stephen's Day pie is made using turkey and ham.[16]
  • A similar English dish made with fish is a fish pie.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b The Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition, Oxford University Press, 1933
  2. ^ a b c Merriam-Webster Online
  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. ^ "Home : Oxford English Dictionary". Retrieved 7 December 2015. 
  7. ^ a b Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management by Isabella Beeton, 1861.
  8. ^ a b Cassell's New Universal Cookery Book by Lizzie Heritage published by Cassell and Company, 1894
  9. ^ The Glutton's Glossary: A Dictionary of Food and Drink Terms. Routledge. 1990. Retrieved 20 January 2009. 
  10. ^ The Constance Spry Cookery Book by Constance Spry and Rosemary Hume, J M Dent & Sons, 1956
  11. ^ Chambers Dictionary, Ninth Edition, published by Chambers Harrap Publishing Ltd, 2003
  12. ^ "Delia Smith: Shepherds Pie with Crusted Leeks". Retrieved 24 January 2009. 
  13. ^ "BBC Food Recipes: Shepherd's Pie". Retrieved 1 October 2011. 
  14. ^ "Shepherds' Pie and Cottage Pie". Retrieved 24 January 2009. 
  15. ^ "What is Cumberland Pie?". Retrieved 6 December 2010. 
  16. ^ "BBC - Food - Recipes : Turkey and ham pie". Retrieved 7 December 2015.