A Brief History
So before we get into the food tutorial, let’s have a history lesson.
What Americans refer today as “Shepherds’ Pie” is actually called “Cottage Pie”.
Both dishes have meat, mashed potatoes, and vegetables. So what’s the big deal?
Cottage Pie originated in Britain/ Ireland around 1791. During this time, the people were experiencing financial hardships. Then came the discovery of the tuber. Yes, they realized the many different uses of the potato. A poor family could eat potatoes mashed, boiled, scalloped, baked, etc. As an added bonus, they were relatively inexpensive to grow or buy at the market. Potatoes changed the diet of every low income family during this time. So mothers and wives started to get creative, and they invented this wonderful thing called Cottage Pie. They could take the meat and other vegetables they prepared during the week and have a new meal with what was leftover.
So why isn’t it just called Shepherds’ Pie?
Shepherds’ Pie was not actually created until 1877. Shepherds pie has mutton or lamb not beef.
Cottage Pie = Poor Man’s Pie (poor people lived in cottages)= beef
Shepherds’ Pie= Sheep Pie (shepherds herd sheep)= lamb or mutton
That’s about the only difference…
Okay. So we are done with the history lesson. Let’s get Cookin’!
Ingredients for Cottage Pie:
2 pints(1 quart or 32oz) of ground beef browned with onion
1 quart (32oz) of cooked/ skinned tomatoes
3c. instant potato pearls + enough Hot water to reconstitute potatoes
4c. mix of corn and halved green beans
about 1/2 c. dried Carrots
about 1/2 c. dried Celery
1/2c. dried onion
salt and pepper for preferred flavor
brown rice flour
Oh…and if you are curious, yes this is all food storage…
(shhh it’s a secret)
Okay so now what?
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit or 192 degrees Celsius.
In a skillet, add tomatoes and cut to bite-sized pieces.
Add celery, carrots, parsley, salt and pepper to smell.
Let tomatoes cook down slightly then add meat and onion to taste.
Let cook down further. Salt and pepper to taste
If the meat and tomatoes are too runny for your taste, put about a half cup of fluid in a bowl and thicken slightly with flour. Add the impromptu gravy back into the skillet and mix with the rest of the dish. We used about two table spoons of brown rice flour to keep the recipe gluten free. Because wheat flour has gluten and brown rice flour doesn’t, you will use less wheat flour than rice flour when thickening your meal.
Next, grease a casserole dish and add the meat and tomatoes from the skillet to the pan. There should be plenty to get a good layer on the bottom. On top of the meat, layer the corn and beans.
Cover the entire dish with the mashed potatoes. Spread it out evenly across the top (it’s similar to frosting a cake).
Bake at 350 F for 30min. or until the crust barely browned.
If you want fluffy potatoes, guard the top with tin foil…either entirely covered, or as you would with a traditional pie.
If you notice the upper right hand corner or the picture, the juice from the meat and tomatoes boiled a slightly to the top. When the potatoes are barely golden and it is boiling, that means it’s done.
It’s easy, it’s cheap, and it tastes good.
We hope that you enjoy your Cottage Pie!