Wednesday, October 14, 2009

(Food) Word Wednesday: Shepherd's Pie

(photo via
It is cold. It is wet. I am hungry.
I always get more hungry this time of year.
That is why the Word Wednesday post for today

is about food.

Shepherd's Pie:

: a meat pie with a mashed potato crust

When I was a meat eater, I LOVED Shepherd's pie. Since I have never been to the U.K., I only know it in the context of our stateside interpretations. One of my FAVORITE places to eat Shepherd's Pie was in Monterey, California at The London Bridge Pub. MMMMMM...the best Guiness gravy you could ever wish to taste.

Cottage Pie:

I have also had a version called Cottage Pie at a place called The Black Sheep British Pub. What is the difference? Cottage Pie is also a meat pie with mashed potato crust, but according to the Recipe Zaar and, there is a difference.

Shepherds tend flocks of sheep, so a proper Shepherd's pie contains lamb or mutton as the meat ingredient. If it contains beef, it is Cottage Pie. Mystery solved. See? We can even learn interesting things when defining food terms.

But, alas, I no longer eat meat, as a general rule. So, enter the new term that is apparently made up in the vegetarian world, and does not exist in a dictionary:

Shepherdess Pie:

a vegetable pie with a mashed potato crust.

There are many recipes for this dish, and I had a new one the other night from Tasty Kitchen (follow this link for the recipe). This site calls it Shepherd's Pie, but all other vegetarian cookbooks generally refer to it as Shepherdess Pie. In case you are wondering, there is no crust in any of these versions. I guess we will have to explore the definition of Pie in another post.

Here are my changes to the above recipe:
  • Red potatoes instead of white (cubed, boiled, hand mashed)
  • 2 cloves minced fresh garlic instead of 1 tsp
  • Vegetable broth instead of chicken broth (chicken broth has no place in a vegetarian recipe anyway)
  • sea salt instead of table salt
  • I omitted carrots, but would have used fresh if I had them...never canned!
(unless we are Mad Max and have no access to anything else while we are in survival mode)
  • Fresh frozen corn from my freezer (I put up 14 pounds this summer) instead of canned corn
  • I omitted the cheese because I don't have any parmesan. I didn't miss it.
  • I added 2 sprigs of thyme because I recently discovered I love thyme in anything baked
So, there you have it.
Everything you always wanted to know
about Shepherd's Pie.
The End.

(for today's Change The World Wednesday post, visit my sister blog, Sharing Our Gifts)



redkathy said...

Shepherd's pie is one of the most versatile meals ever! Great information, thanks for sharing.

Deb G said...

Yum. Although I'm not vegetarian I've done a vegetable type shepherd's pie with a potato crust and a mix of veggies.

Splendid Little Stars said...

I want to make Shepherdess Pie! mmmm!
The thyme sounds perfect!