Cottage pie, shepherd’s pie, pasties, pot pie.. the list is endless. Earlier, I shared a recipe for chicken pot pie. Pot pie is a mixture of vegetables and meat baked in a casserole with a pie crust topping.
While many people are looking for royalty among their ancestors, I have had to content myself with peasants and yeomen. It is from peasants in the British Isles that we get the name Cottage Pie–a dish meant to combine a bunch of leftovers in an easy-to-make comfort food.
Our innovative great- great- great grandmothers found many ways to serve up the meat and veggies baked in a crust of some sort. One favorite in the British isles particularly is Shepherd’s pie, which has become a catch all for casseroles topped with mashed potatoes. However if it is not made with lamb, it is not a shepherd’s pie. Cows don’t have shepherds. Put beef in with the vegetables and you get COTTAGE PIE. And add bread crumbs on top of the mashed potatoes and you have Cornwall pie.
Cottage Pie or Shepherd’s Pie are great ways to use up leftovers, including leftover mashed potatoes. But if you want some Cottage Pie and don’t have leftover mashed potatoes, this recipes includes instructions for starting with raw potatoes.
As I so often do, I scanned the Internet and then came back to my old, ragged, falling apart Joy of Cooking cookbook.
As far as I can see, the only MUSTS in this recipe are mashed potatoes, some kind of meat, some kinds of vegetables, ad seasonings that include nutmeg. It is one of those recipes that is very open to interpretation. For instance, I include cheese in the mashed potatoes. Some recipes line the entire dish with mashed potatoes.
Note: The picture you see of my several pans of cottage pie reflect the fact that I made 1 12 recipe because I wanted to freeze some small containers to give to someone who had recently come out of the hospital. In the spirit of Cottage Pie, I used what I had on hand, which resulted in a thinner coating of both filling and mashed potatoes than I normally would have.
Also, this emphasizes the point that not only is Cottage Pie a supreme comfort food, it is easily freezable for future days when the cook needs the comfort of having a meal ready to eat with some warming up.