Interestingly as a Brit myself, there is always a debate over what contents makes up these pies. What is agreed is that they are made from the leftover meat from a Sunday Roast. Whether it be lamb or beef. In short it is a meat pie, with a crust of mashed potato.
The term cottage pie, was in use by 1791, once potatoes has been introduced as an edible crop. Whereas the shepherd’s pie was introduced until the 1870’s, which has more recently been synonymous with the cottage pie, regardless of whether the cook is using beef or mutton (lamb).
Adding a topping of cheese is a modern addition and many traditionalists say it should not be there. Kids love it! Throw also a Cumberland pie into the mix, which has a coating of breadcrumbs over the mashed potato topping with some added cheese to the top layer.
So, the consensus appears to be that a cottage pie utilises the roast beef and shepherd’s pie uses lamb. I also think the origin from Shepherd’s pie could be linked to shepherds looks after sheep. It seems that it is not that clear cut, sparking debate across the country.
At the end of the day, whatever meat you have leftover, it will create a great value favourite, which freezes beautifully and is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser!
This week I wrote down the recipe for making a cottage pie, as I had left over roast beef. Read on to find the recipe below.
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