It was just brought to my attention that any mince pie may be called either Shepherd’s Pie or Cottage Pie and, that the two names were interchangeable until recently. Thanks much to Elise Bauer of Simply Recipes for pointing out this article.
Winter is finally rearing it’s chilly head here in Northern California. With temperatures finally dipping into the 30’s in the early mornings and the need for a jacket even in the afternoons the thought of a warm and comforting meal in the evening becomes less of a fond memory and more of an urgent desire. Baby, it’s cold outside! Time for some comfort food.
Please note that this is not a recipe for Shepherd’s Pie. Shepherd’s Pie, by definition uses minced lamb. Anything else is a cottage pie and cannot technically be called a shepherd’s pie. Regardless of that factoid (which you may or may not give a hoot about), this dish is full of all the love and goodness that you and your family will be craving throughout the oncoming chilly days and nights of winter. It’s a satisfying, warm and hearty dish that’s just perfect for cozying up around the table with family or friends and some good wine and conversation. (Or stout. Stout is good here, too!)
Have yourself some meat and mash love this winter. You deserve it. It’s comfort food season, so consider this a calorie-free meal for a Saturday night and enjoy! We surely did.
- 4 large potatoes, washed, peeled and cut in 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3 tbsp butter + 2 tbsp butter for finishing
- 1 lb. ground beef, pork or turkey
- 1 large onion, chopped fine
- 1 large carrot, chopped fine
- 2 celery stalks, chopped fine
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Place potatoes in a large pot of cold salted water over high heat. Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are fork tender, (about 15 minutes).
- Meanwhile crumble ground meat into a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and carrots and cook, stirring frequently, until meat is completely browned and onions are translucent. Drain well and return to skillet. Add celery, thyme, salt and pepper and stir to combine well. Reduce heat to low and stir occasionally while finishing dish.
- Drain potatoes and return to pot. Add milk and butter. Mash with a potato masher or with an electric hand mixer until creamy. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Place meat mixture into individual baking dishes or into a large casserole (for family style serving). Cover with potatoes and dot with remaining butter. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes, or until potatoes just begin to brown.
- Serve immediately.
- Share and enjoy!
What I would have done Differently had I thought of it at the time:
there are infinite variations of this dish and i can think of several different things I could have done. Let’s leave this as a basic example and just let your imagination run wild.
Links to other recipes like this: