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Family Recipe Friday – Shepherd’s Pie

In my younger years I could always count on Sunday’s to be pretty familiar. We would get up and get dressed in our Sunday best. The family would head to church in the morning, upon returning we would have a brunch of  bacon and eggs. In the afternoon, my Mom would beginning preparing the Sunday dinner, roast Beef, mashed potatoes and corn.

Inevitably on Monday, the leftover roast beef would be put through the mincer, topped with the leftover corn and mashed potatoes, to create one of my favourite childhood dishes, Shepherd’s Pie. To be quite honest, I preferred Monday’s dinner over Sunday’s dinner.

Shepherd’s pie brings it history from England and Scotland when potatoes became a staple of the UK. Not to be mistaken with cottage Pie, Shepherd’s was initially made with leftover lamb, cottage pie was historically made with beef but any livestock found roaming outside the cottage walls was acceptable. In the UK, this distinction still stands, however, in North America, Shepherd’s Pie basically became a way to use up leftovers and create another meal, regardless of the type of meat.  

More recently Shepherd’s pie is made with ground beef rather then roast of beef minced. My daughter prefers the ground beef, however I am still partial to the leftover version of Shepherd’s Pie. Most recently I made Shepherd’s Pie with mashed sweet potatoes and grated cheese on top, a real winner.

Shepherd’s Pie
  • 2 cups of leftover roast beef, minced or 1 lb of ground beef cooked. My Mom always added a little of the leftover gravy to add a little more flavour and moisture to the meat.
  • Leftover corn, spread on top of beef
  • Mashed potatoes approximately, 3 cups, my mom always topped the potatoes with a couple of dabs of butter on top.
  • Bake at 375F for about 45 minutes.
My Mom always served the Shepherd’s Pie with gravy on the side.

4 comments:

  1. My husband and kids also love shepherds pie - in fact I just made this last week and can't wait to try your recipe!

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  2. We love shepherd's pie, but I've never made it. -- always had it at our local Irish restaurant. My younger son, who is adopted, has the stamp of Ireland all over him--gorgeous new- copper-penny red hair, freckles, and even a great red beard now that he's 21. He drink Guiness beer (never had any desire for beer before he discovered his "homeland's" drink and will love this!
    Thanks.

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  3. Oops, never finished my comment. I note that the history of Shepherd's pie is England and Scotland, but being so close to Ireland -- those countries undoubtedly shared culinary cultures. it's now a staple in virtually every Irish restaurant/pub I've visited in the Chicago Area.

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  4. We love Shepherd's Pie in our house too - but only with ground beef and I use a can of cream of mushroom soup with 1/2 can of water instead of gravy. Haven;t tried sweet potatoes but will do that - wonder how it would all taste with turkey, sweet potatoes and cranberries in place of corn? hmmmm....

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