How to Make Shepherd's Pie or Cottage Pie

Updated on June 30, 2018
Diana Grant profile image

I'm a food lover, cooking family meals for over 50 years. Before qualifying as a lawyer, I worked in my family's restaurant & helped run it.

A Lovely Dish of Shepherds Pie

Source

Shepherd's Pie is One of my Family's Favorite Meals

People have different ideas about how to make shepherd's pie. This recipe for is the way I have been making it for half a century, refined to perfection over the years and passed on to me by my mother, who was an excellent cook. It contains lots of vegetables, as well as meat—and children and old people love it because it is easy to eat, being soft, as well as delicious. (And "why would old people like soft food?" I hear you ask. That is a subject for further conjecture, and I put it to you that you can work out for yourself why chewy food is not always practical for them).

It's Easier to Make Than It Looks

Shepherd's pie may be a bit fiddly to make, but it is very cheap and nutritious. Most of the seasoning I have mentioned below is optional, so if you prefer a bland flavor, or haven't got some of the ingredients, all is not lost, as long as you have the main ingredients, minced meat, and potato.

If your family are not keen on vegetables, this is an ideal meal for disguising them, for instance by adding a grated carrot, or finely chopped celery or greens to the minced meat. I've been there, read the comic and got the T-Shirt, and have become a bit of a tricky Dicky in that respect. You don't become a grandmother of five without picking up a few techniques along the way.

Another point I would like to make about the ingredients is that I like to cook with minimal salt, for health reasons. And I always use olive oil for frying, as it is healthier than most other cooking oils. You could even spread a little olive oil on top of the potato instead of using butter, if you are really virtuous, but butter does give it a better flavor.

Add Your Star Rating for this Shepherds Pie Recipe here

4.3 stars from 4 ratings of Shepherds Pie

Cook Time for Shepherds Pie

Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 40 min
Ready in: 1 hour 10 min
Yields: Serves three people

Here's My Own Pyrex Dish - Very Useful With Lid Which Can be Used in Microwave Oven or Freezer

Source

Ingredients for Shepherds Pie or Cottage Pie

  • 13 oz. (350 g) Minced meat, Best beef mince, which is lower in fat or minced lamb
  • 1 medium size Onion
  • 3 medium size Potatoes
  • 4 leaves Cabbage
  • 1 tin Chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons Olive oil, or other cooking oil
  • 2 tablespoons Milk
  • 1 blob Butter
  • 2 tablespoons Sage and Onion stuffing
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Mixed herbs
  • 1 Clove
  • 1 Bay leaf, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • A few drops Worcester Sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Bisto or other gravy thickener
  • Salt, to taste

Instructions for Cooking Shepherds Pie or Cottage Pie

  1. Fry the onion gently in a saucepan on a low heat in the olive oil, until golden brown. Then add the minced meat, breaking it up and squashing it with a wooden spoon. Keep turning the meat and squashing it down, so that it cooks and browns evenly. If the meat isn't broken up and squashed, it tends to form into chewy lumps.
  2. Add the garlic, spices and herbs and mix in so they are spread through the meat. Add the tomatoes and a dash of Worcestershire Sauce , stir well, and simmer for about twenty minutes, stirring occasionally to stop the mixture sticking to the pan. If it starts to dry out, add a little water.
  3. Whilst the meat is cooking, peel and cut the potatoes into fairly small pieces, cover them with water in a saucepan and boil until soft, adding a small amount of salt if desired. The potatoes should be done in about 15 minutes. Drain off most of the water, leaving about 1 tablespoon of of the water in the pan with the potatoes. Add the milk, and then mash the potatoes into the liquid, ending up with a fairly soft consistency.
  4. Wash the cabbage leaves and then boil for 5 - 10 minutes maximum. I usually cook them in with the potatoes, and then fish them out and save separately before the potatoes are mashed. This saves dirtying another pan. The cabbage does not need to cook for long, as it will be cooked further in the Shepherds pie.
  5. Add the Bisto or other gravy thickening to the minced meat and stir until the gravy has thickened. Then spoon the meat into a medium-sized oven-proof dish. Sprinkle the sage and onion stuffing mixture evenly over the meat. Then cover the meat evenly with the cabbage leaves. This will stop the gravy seeping into the mashed potatoes. Then spread the mashed potatoes evenly on top of the cabbage, using a fork. Use the fork to make a light pattern in the potato, and then put some small blobs of butter on the top. It will melt in the oven and run into the ridges formed by the fork.
  6. Cook on the top shelf in a medium hot oven until golden brown for about 30 minutes, depending on the oven and heat. Check whether it is done - it should be golden brown and slightly burnt like the photograph. If necessary, give it another 5 - 10 minutes..

The Various Stages of Making Shepherds Pie - All is Explained Below

Source

Take This Poll - Popular Misconception About Shepherds Pie

Has it ever occurred to you that shepherds pie is made out of minced shepherds?

See results

Questions & Answers

    Leave Your Comments Here - I Love toKnow What People Think

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • Diana Grant profile imageAUTHOR

        Diana Grant 

        5 years ago from London

        If you make two pies, you can even freeze one to eat later

      • Nell Rose profile image

        Nell Rose 

        5 years ago from England

        I love this! one of my all time favorites, its easy to cook and I always make a huge one to last me at least three days! lol! thanks!

      • GetitScene profile image

        Dale Anderson 

        5 years ago from The High Seas

        Cottage pie is my favorite and I used to make it a lot. Great recipe.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, delishably.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://delishably.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)