Shepherd's Pie History, Origins & Traditional Recipes



If you're like the majority of Americans who want to feast like the Irish during the coming Saint Patrick’s Day, you're definitely wondering where you can get a few corned beef and cabbage. The truth is, you would probably love to think about something else. Corned beef, after all, isn't necessarily Irish, according to many.


In addition, there are a number of meals from the Emerald Isle that are deserving of your attention. Shepherd's pie is one such meal. Let's have a look at the history of the pie in advance of your possible participation.

Shepherd's pie has a long history. By 1791, the word "cottage pie" had become popular. Shepherd's pie was not coined until 1854, and it was first used interchangeably with cottage pie, depending on if the meat was real beef or mutton. Nevertheless, during the twenty-first century, the phrase "shepherd's pie" has become increasingly popular in the United Kingdom when the meat is mutton. 

The French word hachis Parmentier was first recorded in French in 1900 and in English in 1898, and it is often considered to be identical with shepherd's pie. Anything neatly cut is referred to as a hachis, and the English term 'hash' is derived from it. Many potato meals are named after Antoine-Augustin Parmentier, who was crucial in the development of potatoes in southern France during the 18th century.

History of Shepherd Pie 

A meal known as "cottage pie" appeared somewhere in the 18th century somewhere in the enormous United Kingdom and Ireland. It appears to have started as a technique for people to make use of remnants in order to reduce waste, both culinary and financial. Simply stated, leftover meat from a weekend roast was recycled into a pie with a low-cost potato crust. 

This inexpensive, albeit ingenious, dinner implies that the term "cottage pie" refers to the dish's intended audience—poor Irish farmers (note, they all used to live in cottages). Because the Irish could not acquire beef during that era, historians believe the first versions of cottage pie featured mutton, which was a cheaper and more savory substitute to either mutton, beef or lamb. Shepherd's pie, which was invented in the mid-nineteenth century, was inspired by this cottage pie. 

For a long time, it was confused with cottage pie. But, over time, a differentiation was established: shepherd's pie related to a meal cooked with lamb (since shepherds look after sheep! ), whereas cottage pie related to a dish prepared with beef. Because Ireland and the United Kingdom had such a longstanding and rocky relationship, both of the British and Irish people have a fondness for shepherd's pie and identify it as their own. If pressed, we would argue that shepherd's pie, a lamb-based dish, is the more classic Irish supper, while cottage pie, a beef-based dish, is the British variant. 

Why? Because the Irish were not traditionally huge beef consumers, but the British were. Furthermore, this began as a means for people to make use of limited and/or affordable resources. Given the socio-political background of the United Kingdom and Ireland around that period, it appears probable that the Irish were one (if not the majority) of those interested in making use of the food leftovers and remnants in such a creative fashion.

Traditional Shepherd's Pie Recipes

Classic British Shepherd's Pie Recipe By Gordon Ramsay
From Gordon Ramsay: Gordon claims the secret to a classic traditional Shepherd's pie is all in flavoring the mince.. A great and simple Shepherd's pie dish using ground lamb.


The Perfect Old Fashion Shepherd's Pie
From The Cooking Foodie: Follow easy instructions on how to make an irresistible Shepherd's pie.. Ingredients used in this recipe are most commonly used through out Britain and United States.


30 Minute Cottage Pie By Rachael Ray
From Food Network: In this recipe Rachael uses ground beef.. The pie is easy to make and delicious.


Russian Version Of A Shepherd's Pie
The potato Zapekanka is basically a potato casserole with minced meat (beef or lamb) in between 2 layers of mashed potatoes or round sliced potatoes..


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