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shepherd pie

Authentic English Shepherd’s Pie

There might be various ways to prepare shepherd’s pie in an English household but one thing is agreed – this dish is made with lamb rather than beef, hence the word ‘shepherd’ in its name. Another English dish is the cottage pie, but that one is made with beef instead of lamb, and that name came about in 1791 when potatoes were being introduced as an edible crop which the poor could afford (the term ‘cottage’ referred to a simple house for farm workers). Both are delicious, but here we are using lamb. We are also adding carrots and peas, which are optional but very popular, adding colour to the dish.

Some people like to add a can of baked beans (white beans in a tomato sauce) instead of some of the stock or bouillon, while others might add celery or even an anchovy for more flavour in their pie. Although there is no right or wrong way to make an English shepherd’s pie, the main idea of the dish is a seasoned lamb layer underneath and a fluffy mashed potato layer on top.

The pie filling is usually prepared on the stovetop first and then topped with the potatoes and finally the pie is baked in the oven. If you are using the peas and carrots you might not want to make a side dish. Some people like to use corn kernels (sweetcorn) instead of peas. We like to mash the onions into the potato layer but you may have them in the lamb layer if you prefer. Continue reading

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Christine Szalay-Kudra

Hi, my name is Christine and I would like to welcome you to TeaTime Recipes. Tea has always been a favourite of mine and I adore the tradition of serving this wonderful beverage with all kinds of little snacks both sweet and savoury. Read More