It was just over a decade ago, when I lived in Ireland – the homeland of the savory pie, that I learned the difference between shepherd’s pie and cottage pie. It is actually where I first learned that such a thing as cottage pie actually existed, and that all the years prior to that moment, I was incorrect in my labeling of shepherd’s pie and that there WAS an actual difference.
You see, the key difference is all in the meat used. The rest is fairly similar. To be a true shepherd’s pie, it should only be named as such if it contains lamb. If it is made with beef, it should be referred to as cottage pie. Both dishes came to be because people would use Sunday roast leftovers to make these dishes to avoid wasting any food.
As the season’s change and the leaves fall, it’s always nice to have something delicious cooking in the oven that fills the house with a familiar smell. This can also be made in advance and either frozen for later, or popped in the oven after a busy day. It’s homey, it’s savory, and with around 15 minutes of prep time, it’s quick and easy to whip up!
- 1 lb extra lean ground beef
- 4 medium sized potatoes
- 1 small yellow onion
- 1 cup mixed carrots/peas (I find frozen actually works best in this recipe)
- Beef stock – make sure this is actually GF, many aren’t
- 2 tablespoons BBQ sauce
- Salt & pepper
- Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
- Boil potatoes in a medium sized pot, drain
- Prior to mashing potatoes, add in a tablespoon of butter and a splash of beef stock. Do not over mash or they will take on a gummy texture. Ideally, they should end up fluffy/whipped. Set aside
- Gently boil carrots/peas in a small pot
- Finely chop onion
- Sauté onion and ground beef in a large pan until meat is brown
- Add in ¼ cup of beef stock, and BBQ sauce
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer
- Add cooked vegetables to ground beef
- Spread the meat mixture into a glass pie plate
- Top with whipped potatoes
- Bake in the oven for 20 minutes
- After baking time, brush on a thin layer of melted butter
- Broil the pie on high for 3-5 minutes, or until top is golden brown
- Let pie sit for a few minutes before serving
Makes 4-6 servings and can be frozen for later, but freeze prior to baking so that the pie is fresh out of the oven when you make it. Serve with a glass of merlot, or for your non celiac friends, with a pint of Guinness! Enjoy!