Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sheperd's Pie / Cottage Pie

Recently, I’ve been privileged to write not one but two articles about Shepherd’s Pie. Rarely, do I track the location of ghosted articles, so I decided to stick with the theme and write the true story about real Shepherd's Pie, as it appears and is eaten, in our house.

The history of Shepherd’s Pie begins in Ireland with sheep herders and potato farmers teaming up to make Meat Pie. This protein rich pie was filling and as history records: Potatoes were definitely in the daily diet of most Irish people. This dish dates to the pre-famine era.

The British enjoyed the Meat Pie but renamed it Cottage Pie.

In the 1870s, Shepherd’s Pie was printed in an American cookbook. As with all things American the pie not only grew in size but also in the number of ingredients. Today, cooks can find any number of regional “Traditional” Shepherd’s Pie with few calling for the original ingredient, Lamb.

In my vegetarian kosher kitchen, you’ll find neither meat, nor gluten in this incredibly yummy and filling dish. So what do I put in my Cottage Pie?


8 - Potatoes
2-slices of Butter
Dash of Kosher Salt
Splash of Milk
Cook 'em. Mash ’em. Set them aside.

In the skillet over medium heat:
Olive Oil
Large Onion
5-6 cloves of minced garlic
12 oz Bag of Meatless Sausage or Meatless Balls

Turn the heat to low and add the veggies:
10 oz Bag of Organic Peas & Carrots
10 oz Bag of Organic french beans/spinach
4- Diced Tomatoes
½ cup Vegetable Broth
½ cup Tomato Sauce

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

My Cottage Pie bakes in a Quiche dish because it’s larger than a regular pie pan.

First, coat the bottom of the pan with butter or non-stick spray. Then place a thin layer of potatoes on the bottom of the pan and bake it for 5 minutes or so, until it seems firm. If I don’t do this the bottom of the pie can be squishy when served.

Pulling the pie pan from the oven, I pour everything form the skillet into the pie shell, and then cover with the mashed potatoes. I like to sprinkle cheese and wheat germ on top.

Bake 45 minutes. If you prefer you may bake @ 375 F for 30 minutes.

Cottage Pie is incredibly filling. Don’t let the kiddos eat it too fast because it expands.

Warning: Cottage Pie uses many pans and the baking dish in the preparation which in my house is a determining factor in menu selection. But everyone loves it so much I do serve it as a winter savory.

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