Talk:Cottage pie

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Redundancy[edit]

"A vegetarian version can be made using soya or other meat substitutes, or legumes such as lentils or chick peas." Does this even matter? The same could be said for any type of food containing meat, but does it add anything to the article? I think not. 81.234.108.44 (talk) 16:29, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

I can also say cottage pie is from England, while the variant shepherds pie is from Ireland. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.25.142.10 (talk) 23:21, 28 July 2012 (UTC)

Page Photograph[edit]

I've no idea what the photograph on the page is of, but it certainly isn't either Cottage or Shepherd's pie! 14:15, 28 October 2008 (UTC) ---

It looks pretty close to the various images that turned up in this Google image search: [[1]]. I think a wide variance in how the dish looks is to be expected, given its idiosyncratic nature. Geoff (talk) 17:01, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

Fluff[edit]

It's not just people from Quebec that call it Pate chinois, it's all French Canadians.


Is what you call mince in Britain just what we call ground beef.

Yes I think so.

Because to an American it sounds like mincemeat which is a whole other thing.

As it is in england. Mincemeat is sweet. Go figure.

Also don't you use vegetable in shephard's pie? An typical American recipe would be ground beef, corn -maize- and mashed potatoes. Rmhermen 15:16 Mar 28, 2003 (UTC)

Corn sounds yuck! I've amended the page to take note of you comments. Thanks for the feedbackTheresa knott 15:30 Mar 28, 2003 (UTC)


I've never heard of veggies being added to it in the States, particularly not corn of any kind. (Aside from the cooked onions, that is, and possibly a little bit of cooked garlic for the adventurous, and maybe a little tomato paste in the gravy.) The French, who also eat enormous amounts of it as hachis parmentier, don't put veggies in it either.

Two questions: why, in the recipe, discard the water if thick gravy is used instead? In fact, why cook the meat and onions in water in the first place if the water is going to be discarded? It doesn't make sense -- both the meat and onions have already been cooked, and they are going to bake for another 45 minutes or so when assembled....

And why is this recipe here in Wikipedia rather than the recipe book? A couple of months ago one of my first articles was for Tartiflette, which had been mentioned under Reblochon. I contributed my own recipe and it was put up for deletion (and moving it to the recipe book). I argued that it should remain in Wikipedia but lost.... Maybe no one officious enough has noticed the shepherd's pie recipe? Hayford Peirce 23:27, 8 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Recipes tend to be allowed only where it is valuable in describing the dish to someone who does not know what it is. If this can be achieved (accurately) without a recipe, recipes aren't required. Whether thats the case here or not, answers on a postcard.........Patch86 23:30, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

There is no real defined recipe for shepherd's pie or cottage pie - everyone does it their own way, often with the same result. For example I'd fry onions, garlic and the meat, crumble in a couple of stock cubes then add a can of chopped tomatoes, herbs a handful of frozen peas and some chopped carrot. Never heard of anyone using redcurrant jelly!

In Australia, despite our massive sheep population, Shepherd's pie is almost exclusively made with minced beef and baked with a top layer of grated cheddar cheese. The beef/onion mixture is often cooked with a handful of frozen peas, or with grated carrot and zucchini that disappears into the mixture, which is usually thickened with a commercial gravy mix (e.g."Gravox", cf. British "Bisto"). Many households have shepherd's pie weekly and most frozen food manufacturers have a "TV dinner" variant. --MichaelGG 02:42, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

Image[edit]

Wow, that picture is messy. Are there any free alternatives to that? ZsinjTalk 18:07, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

I might be making a pie next week. I'll take a picture of it for you and pop it into Wikipedia. I'll try not to be too messy. 8^).EasyTiger10 22:22, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

Botato[edit]

Botatoe? Potato? Potatoe? --Kaiolav72 02:59, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

A google search didn't show much for Botatoe, so I'm going to assume that was a typo. Please assume good faith if my change is wrong. - TheMightyQuill 09:47, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

I can't believe you haven't heard of a botato. Not Josh (talk) 20:17, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

Americans[edit]

Could you clarify? Do you actually call the pie made of beef with potato on top "Shepherd's pie"? Skittle 16:56, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

Yes. -TheMightyQuill 16:15, 7 July 2007 (UTC)

Thanks. I may go fiddle with some of the wording in the article then! Skittle 17:27, 7 July 2007 (UTC)

Just wondering why this page is a "stub"? It had more information then most similar pages in Wikipedia.

These wiki-ratings ("stub", "start class" etc) are suitable for being completely ignored. They're assigned by people who enjoy the spurious sense of authority it lends them but who can't be arsed to do any research/rewrites themselves. El Ingles 21:35, 18 July 2007 (UTC)
Or you could just remove the stub tag. And why would this be a pie-related stub, anyway? I mean, by all means shepherd's pie isn't actually a pie, is it? Calgary 19:24, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
What? Yes it is. There is a whole class of pies with a mashed-potato topping rather than pastry (fish pie, cottage pie, shepherd's pie). There's more pies in heaven and Earth... Skittle 22:34, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

It's always been called Hungarian goulash in my family.76.210.248.221 (talk) 04:32, 7 April 2010 (UTC)

Tomato Puree[edit]

Sounds like nonsense to me! At the top of the article it states that this is a traditional dish. How long have tomatoes been available in the UK? With tomatoes it sounds like a "bolognese" pie;-) TinyMark 18:54, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Proposed merge[edit]

As far as I can see, all the information on the Shepherdess Pie page is already here. Perhaps just delete the text from "Shepherdess Pie" and do a redirect to this article! TinyMark 19:44, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

I concur. --Zeamays 18:38, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
Ditto. Thedarxide (talk) 12:08, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
So, what's the difference between Shepherd's Pie and Shepherdess Pie? (which is the reason I came to this page) 193.35.248.121 (talk) 16:00, 8 June 2010 (UTC)

Weird Link[edit]

If you want to see something strange click on Français, on the left of this article, and then click on English in the French article. TinyMark 19:03, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

Cute. Hard to know what to do about that, if anything. The two recipes are similar but not quite the same. --El Ingles 19:12, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
There are many variations on hachis parmentier and many variations on cottage or shepherd's pie. They are essentially the same and it's only the fact that the two hachis parmentier articles (English and French) are based on just one of many recipes that makes them seem in any way different to cottage pie and shepherd's pie. In fact, one recipe for hachis parmentier (not mentioned) is listed by Escoffier: the basic ingredients (chopped meat and mashed potato) are the same but the result isn't school dinner the way I knew it. Letsgetthingsright (talk) 21:20, 16 February 2008 (UTC)

Cottage or shepherd?[edit]

PLEASE!!!! Cottage pie and shepherd's pie. Cottage is made with BEEF. Shepherd's Pie is made with LAMB. Bobbymak880 (talk) 19:09, 16 September 2009 (UTC) bobbymak880 Bobbymak880 (talk) 19:09, 16 September 2009 (UTC) Bobbymak880 (talk) 19:09, 16 September 2009 (UTC)


Quote from http://www.foodtimeline.org/foodpies.html#shepherdspie The key to dating Shepherd's pie is the introduction (and acceptance) of potatoes in England. Potatoes are a new world food. They were first introduced to Europe in 1520 by the Spanish. Potatoes did not appeal to the British palate until the 18th Century. (Foods America Gave the World, A. Hyatt Verrill, page 28). Shepherd's Pie, a dish of minced meat (usually lamb, when made with beef it is called "Cottage Pie")

Opticyclic (talk) 23:08, 5 October 2011 (UTC)

If you read the article, you'll see ten respected references stating that shepherd's pie and cottage pie were and remain synonymous. What you are demonstrating is a recent trend, as clearly stated in the article before you edited it.JoeMCMXLVII (talk) 05:33, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
Thats not what I see when I read the article at all. I see several dictionary references that I can't verify as I don't have those copies. and I see the gluttons glossary referring to Cottage pie with beef due to the disappearance of mutton for shepherds pie. I also read several well respected chefs referring to Shepherd pie as mutton and Cottage pie as beef and I also refer to the historical record above as well. Opticyclic (talk) 13:02, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
So, because you can't find it easily with a web search it doesn't count. I have examined almost all the references cited and they give a very different story (including those available on the web and including the one you've used above) but, for the sake of argument, let's assume that people people visit Wikipedia not to gain knowledge but to have their popular preconceptions confirmed and you're doing a first-class job. JoeMCMXLVII (talk) 09:55, 18 October 2011 (UTC)


If you guys go have a look at the wikibooks (link at the main page), you may notice that "Cottage pie" actually refers to the same recipe with ground beef instead. I think both terms deserve to be mentioned in the article anyway considering that.--Blackhawk charlie2003 (talk) 14:56, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

That information was already under the variations section., And rightly so. Almost everybody in the UK calls it Shepherd's Pie when it is made with minced beef in spite of the majority of them knowing full well that the correct name is Cottage Pie, but the information is still better in the variation section. TINYMARK 00:17, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

I'm puzzled as to why this article is called "Shepherd's Pie" with "Cottage Pie" being redirected to it. Cottage pie does not imply any specific meat and practically every cookery writer I can find uses cottage pie as the generic term, having shepherd's pie as the popular way of describing cottage pie when it's made with lamb or mutton. It would be more useful and logical to call the article "Cottage pie" and have "Shepherd's pie" redirected. Letsgetthingsright (talk) 01:06, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

Totally agree with you, Letsgetthingsright. The "shepherd" in "shepherd's pie" is there precisely to indicate that it's a cottage pie made with lamb or mutton, and even though it's by no means unknown for people to call the minced-beef-and-mashed-potato dish a "shepherd's pie", since this article deals with minced-meat-and-mashed-potato dishes as a whole, the generic term "cottage pie" should be used as it's title. Can anyone please "let it be so"? (I generally get into a tangle when trying to "swap titles and re-directs.) -- Picapica (talk) 15:43, 16 February 2008 (UTC)
I'll give it a try. Letsgetthingsright (talk) 19:50, 16 February 2008 (UTC)
Hmmm. I see what you mean about getting into a tangle. Letsgetthingsright (talk) 20:25, 16 February 2008 (UTC)
By the way, I've found no evidence to convince me that the term "shepherd's pie" was coined to indicate that the meat was mutton, rather than both terms coming into generic use to indicate "a pie made in the shepherds' style" or "a pie made in the cottagers' style", and that the difference was not the content but the nature of the regional agricultural economy. If I'm right, then the key to the nature of the pie is that potato was a cheap crop grown for estate workers as distinct from their landlords, and shepherd's pie was later associated with lamb in the process of folk etymology. If you have other evidence then please say so: I'll be very interested. Letsgetthingsright (talk) 20:56, 16 February 2008 (UTC)
Un-fucking-believable. Wikipedia really has gone to the dogs now. Richard W.M. Jones (talk) 23:14, 16 February 2008 (UTC)
Hello, what upset you then? Letsgetthingsright (talk) 11:58, 17 February 2008 (UTC)
Hi Letsgetthingsright, you really should check WP:MOVE. The talk page is now attached to the other article. GameKeeper (talk) 23:40, 16 February 2008 (UTC)
I've told him already and someone is looking into repairing the damage—I hope! TINYMARK 00:28, 17 February 2008 (UTC)
I haOK I've done what I could to revert the move, not because I disagree with it but because its been mangled by the technology. We still need an admin to get the cottage pie history back. I'll ask for help.
User:Slakr helped and sorted it out GameKeeper (talk) 11:02, 17 February 2008 (UTC)
There has been much heat generated over whether cottage pie and shepherd's pie are associated with particular meats. The short answer is no. Whether or not the shepherd's pie should be limited to lamb, it is not. And a cottage pie can inevitably include any meat, including lamb.122.59.167.152 (talk) 21:45, 27 June 2015 (UTC)

Future moves to be by request[edit]

I had responded to a request and pointed a handful of broken redirects to Shepherd's pie after some poor edits. It looked fine to me - Cottage pie and Shepherd's pie being largely synonymous. The article has now been changed to Cottage pie. So I have again updated the redirects. That was thirteen redirects which had to be updated to point to Cottage pie. Any change now should go through Wikipedia:Requested moves linking to this discussion so that an Admin is aware that there has been prior discussion on this matter, and that there are multiple redirects involved. As the person who approached me said, it really doesn't matter which way round the title is as both forms need to be discussed within the article. Frankly this sort of petty renaming is time-consuming, damaging, disruptive and pointless. When there are two equal terms for a topic, and one has been in place for a long time with an article structured around the existing term, including multiple redirects then the common sense approach is to leave things alone. It's all a learning process, and we've all been there and done similar things! Take from this experience that it's always worth considering the potential disruption involved in a move - especially when there is no real net gain. SilkTork *What's YOUR point? 08:31, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

Admiral's Pie?[edit]

I can find no historical or traditional reference to admiral's pie. It seems to be a marketing idea of Young's Seafood Limited. If, as the main article states, it is fisherman's pie made with cream then it is simply fisherman's pie. I suspect that the term "admiral's pie" is used commercially to signal a better-than-average (more expensive) oven-ready meal. Letsgetthingsright (talk) 00:14, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

What is "china pie"?[edit]

Despite glib advice from Thedarxide, I can find no substantiation for the inclusion of "china pie". I can only guess that it's a short form of Chinese pie, which is an alternative North American term for shepherd's pie, duly discussed in the article.

Certainly, the reference to china pie was introduced by someone with a USA IP address (72.73.96.99).

Let's bear in mind that this is an article about an essentially English traditional dish and if a minority in the USA have other names for it, let them say so in a fitting context, with citations.

81.153.198.83 (talk) 21:36, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

Glib advice? All you had to do was put china pie into the search box. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_pie. It's even listed in the variations section of the article. Thedarxide (talk) 08:51, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Yes, glib. A Google search for "china pie" results in thousands of opportunities to buy pie dishes made from china clay. Since as you now point out, "china pie" is indeed a short form of Chinese pie, it is already included in the article in a suitable context and does not need to be repeated among the accepted UK English names. 81.153.198.83 (talk) 11:51, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

mergefrom Cumberland pie[edit]

Just another slight variation. - TheMightyQuill (talk) 00:51, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

  • Support They seem like the same dish, with the variation so slight as to not justify the separate article. Geoff T C 16:24, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Fools rush in where angels fear to tread Cumberland pie is to me cottage pie au gratin. But first, someone needs to make a sweeping and knowledgeable revision to the Wikipedia gratin article, otherwise a merger will only serve to sacrifice this article to the raging war of popular misconception (and ignorance, I dare add). 86.133.164.142 (talk) 01:22, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Against: Can anyone find a reasonably authoritative reference to Cumberland Pie? The only properly sourced information I've found is to supermarket ready-meals. It seems that it may be a marketing gimmick. Until an authoritative reference can be found, any mention of Cumberland Pie in this article would require a [citation needed] tag, inviting its deletion. 86.133.14.157 (talk) 02:38, 22 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Against: "The true Cumberland Pie therefore should be spiced, sweetened somehow but not sugary, and with an element of fruit – dried fruit such as raisins, or candied fruits, or more acceptable these days apples - in the recipe as well as minced meat. In medieval times mixtures of meat were common, so it seems wrong to specify Herdwick lamb alone, or even more regionally specific Herdwick mutton.

So the essential elements for a Cumberland pie are minced meat, fruit, spices, a sweet element (at the very least sugar in the cooked apple), and a shortcrust pastry casing. Further enhancements can include rum, something found in much Cumbrian cooking since the days when Whitehaven was a major port for trade with the West Indies." from: http://www.information-britain.co.uk/food/foodlegends/Cumberland%20Pie/ Smpr10r (talk) 07:11, 4 August 2009 (UTC) [1]

Merge with French dish?[edit]

Someone suggested merging Cottage Pie with hachis Parmentier, but gave no reason.

The two dishes developed within different culinary cultures and involve different ranges of methods and ingredients. A link between the articles serves readers well and enables the articles to develop independently, as with Chinese pie.

Believe It Or Not (talk) 13:39, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

History[edit]

Is it possible to find out some more info on the history of the dish? What I heard was that the servants would make a lamb roast for their bosses for Sunday lunch, and then they would take the leftovers and make themselves a Shepherd's Pie for dinner. So it would always be made with lamb, and the vegetables in it would be roasted first. I don't know if that's true or not, I would be interested in knowing the history of it, and I'm looking for a traditional recipe too. Would it traditionally have tomato in it? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 114.198.18.121 (talk) 19:36, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

Found a bit more info: http://gourmettraveller.com.au/shepherds_pie2.htm —Preceding unsigned comment added by 114.198.18.121 (talk) 19:45, 10 May 2009 (UTC)
More detail: http://www.foodtimeline.org/foodpies.html#shepherdspie and there's a recipe there too, from 1886. Very plain. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 114.198.18.121 (talk) 19:53, 10 May 2009 (UTC)
I was always under the impression that for a shepher'd pie to be a shepherds pie (as opposed to a mince pie with a potato-crust) it had to be made with leftover roast meat put through a mincer.203.19.175.113 (talk) 08:08, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

The "is it a pie" guff[edit]

Well cited, whomever decided it was important to ask the "is it a pie" question. I can't fault that the sources exist. However, is this notable? In introducing this dish, is there really any need to raise the point, supported by some silly editorialising, that some people like to discuss the semantics of what may or may not be a pie? A counterargument to the effect that other pastry-free pies, such as the fisherman's pie, is irrelevant the question of whether "some have asked the question ...", as the citations support the fact that they have; however such an argument may at least serve to highlight, that it is a silly, fatuous questions, that we need not dignify here, however many examples we may find of it being asked.

Accordingly deleted (non-notable).--Che Gannarelli (talk) 12:14, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

Palestine[edit]

How to make this reference non-political? State of Palestine? The Palestinian Territories? "Palestine" as it stands is a fairly ambiguous reference, which could include, in part, the other countries in the list. LaFoiblesse 2009-08-28 17h11 (GMT)


References[edit]

Shepherds pie in Australia[edit]

In Australia, "Shepherds Pie" refers to beef, not lamb. We don't have a lamb version. Cottage Pie is rarely used but when it is, it's the same thing. 118.209.35.93 (talk) 02:15, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Agreed. The article is incorrect. Its made with beef in Australia and its Shepherds Pie. 110.174.23.139 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 06:18, 12 April 2011 (UTC).

Actually the first time I ever remember having a Shepherds Pie was when my parents put some cold roast lamb through the mincer! In fact, I assumed it was called "Shepherds Pie" because it was made from lamb! So you can't say we "don't have a lamb version"! Perhaps you mean that "if you eat out and find a place which sells it" it's normally made from beef! That, however, is based upon commercial considerations. Beef mince is far more readily available, and generally cheaper, in Australia than say lamb mince, and a commercial kitchen would not roast beef or lamb specifically to make a "Shepherds Pie". They'd be much more likely to buy in bulk raw mince, and then make them as needed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 204.58.245.247 (talk) 10:16, 13 July 2011 (UTC)

Traditional Sheherd's Pie-U.S.?[edit]

Are there other places other than some spots in New England (which was mentioned in the Article) where Shepherd's pie is considered a traditional dish in the U.S.? I was just asking because I remember being served it quite a bit by the chow hall when I took Basic Training in Fort Knox, KY-which is a long ways from New England. Despite it being somewhat...mass produced, I actually did enjoy eating it as it was different from the more traditional foods where I grew up (Texas. Better known for Tex-Mex, Southern Classics like Chicken Fried Steak, Barbecue done w/ beef, etc.). I would be greateful if someone can answer this for me. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 173.226.155.171 (talk) 07:04, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

The article is incorrect[edit]

The article commences "Cottage pie refers to a British or Irish meat pie made with beef mince and with a crust made from mashed potato. A variation on this dish is known as shepherd's pie." This is untrue. Cottage and shepherd's pie are clearly described in Webster's and the Oxford English Dictionary and in a host of authoritative culinary works as a meat pie with a mashed potato crust. It could barely be simpler. It seems that someone or some people have imposed their personal expectations based on local or family habit, perhaps influenced by disbelief in the idea that shepherds might eat beef. JoeMCMXLVII (talk) 18:52, 16 August 2011 (UTC)

It seems your recent edit to correct the article, then, was a good one. Thanks! JoeSperrazza (talk) 20:38, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
It's a pleasure. I have a problem with any publication or any individual purporting unsubstantiated POV as fact. JoeMCMXLVII (talk) 14:02, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
The trouble there though is that the dictionary definition doesn't clarify what kind of meat it is. Could cottage pie still be called cottage pie if made from bacon? Or human flesh? a_man_alone (talk) 15:03, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
Just checked, and at least one dictionary does define what kind of meat is is: websters definition, and even makes the distinction between Cottage & Shepherds pie. a_man_alone (talk) 15:13, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
Webster's describes cottage pie as a shepherd's pie, especially one that's made with beef. Your discovery doesn't mean that a cottage pie is necessarily made with beef. The whole point is that both cottage pie and shepherd's pie describe a meat pie with a mashed potato crust and, believe it or not, which kind of meat you put in it is not a defining issue. JoeMCMXLVII (talk) 17:18, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

Interestingly the Homepride brand changed their Shepherd's pie sauce not too long ago - which previously said to use minced beef and now says minced lamb on it. This is quite correct. Certainly in Irish families we were brought up with Shepherd's pie (lamb), Cottage pie was when the cost of lamb got too expensive and therefore made with beef and Cumberland pie was if you had cheese grated on top and perhaps breadcrumbs too. The difference between cottage pie and cumberland pie to taste is fairly minimal, shepherds pie and cottage pie are two totally different dishes and have only ever been used synonymously by people who don't know what shepherd's pie is. (Generally countries where lamb and certainly minced lamb is less common.) (Roterbaron (talk) 17:11, 6 August 2012 (UTC))


Never heard of cottage pie so can't comment on that but MichaelGG pretty accurately describes the Shepard's Pie I'm familiar with - mincemeat (beef of course), mashed potato and topped with cheese. Meat often includes peas, carrot cubes, corn etc - mixed veges. Seems like there is so much variation it's impossible to be authoritative. Okay just double checked something, looks like Cottage Pie is another term for Shepard's Pie - this article has it the other way round, but it might be better to describe it as mincemeat covered in mashed potato rather than having a potato crust as the potato needn't be the crust layer. 114.33.29.137 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 06:46, 30 September 2012 (UTC)

Cowboy Pie and Mushroom Soup[edit]

There are many interpretations of cowboy pie and the ones I've found bear little resemblance to cottage pie. Also, I can't find any other source to support the alleged popularity of cottage pie with cream of mushroom soup, in New England or elsewhere. For these assertions, a citation was requested months ago and no one has responded, so I'm going to delete them. JoeMCMXLVII (talk) 13:57, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

Name justification[edit]

The intro should not be justification or an argument. It has too much focused discussion backed with two much references. For a page about a meal, it's quite overwhelming. I would suggest, if anyone is interested, the page could be improved by moving that to it's own section, and just listing both names in the title. Kanjo Kotr (talk) 02:19, 2 December 2013 (UTC)