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Saturday, 2 April 2011

Shepherds Pie

I have just 'Googled' 'Sheperds Pie' and discovered it was first mentioned in the 1870s.  I grew up eating Shepherds Pie and Cottage Pie, made by my Grandmother and Mother.  At School I was taught to make it at least three times.  Over my life time I have probably consumed my own body weight several times over in 'Shepherds Pie'!  It is very popular food and many families have their own twist to the recipe.  When I was a student I went on an exchange trip to the USA and when the students came to the UK they were interested to try Shepherds pie.  In my family I found it quite confusing as 'Cottage Pie' was Lamb and 'Shepherds Pie' was Beef.  I made this Shepherds Pie using my slow pot for the filling as it was very low maintainance. 

500g of Minced beef
3 sticks of celery
Four medium carrots
2 large Onions
Mixed Herbs
3 Beef Oxo cubes
A splash of Worcestershire Sauce
250ml of water
and cornflour to thicken at the end of the cooking time.

I broke up the meat to separate it as it can clump together in the slow/crock pot.  I sliced and diced the vegetables and added those together with the other ingredients then cooked on a medium heat for about four of five hours.  I mixed about three teaspoons of corflour with cold water to add to the meat mixture as a thickener.  

When the meat is cooked, put it in an ovenproof dish.  Cover it with a thick layer of Mashed Potato.

I always create a fork pattern and dot it with butter before putting it in a hot oven for about 45 minutes.  There is usually competition for the 'Crunchy bits'

I served this with some steamed Curly Kale from the Garden
 You can't have Shepherds Pie without Worcestershire Sauce - I am Worcestershire Born and bred!  I don't think Worcestershire Sauce is made in Worcestershire any longer.

I can't make a Shepherds Pie without OXO cubes either.
 I will share a secret here... I am quite partial to a Shepherds Pie Sandwich!  It's not a pretty sight but it does taste great!


  1. we call it shepherds pie whatever the meat in it is.
    I don't like beef mice, so we sometimes make it with pork, but recently have been doing it with turkey. And we add thickly grated carrot too - mainly because we adjusted it one time when my nephews were here and we were trying to sneak in vegetables!

    A bay leaf and some carrot is really nice in beef too.

  2. Cottage or Shepherd's, Mom's standby when we were kids not sure if it was you or Mom who added baked beans to the meat as an extra.

  3. Hannonle, 'Shepherds Pie' for whatever meat avoids confusion, I am sure the shepherd would have eaten it! (Vegetables and all) :)

    Muman, we also had 'Gardeners' Pie without meat a few times too. I wonder what it's like with eggs? :)

  4. Looks utterly mouth watering, not so sure about the sandwich idea though :)

    Green and purple Kale with lemon makes THE most beautiful natural dyes as well as being delicious :)

  5. Ever tried "sty pie" (pork)

  6. I call mine Shepherd's Pie and it always has beef in it. I hadn't thought to do the meat etc in my slow cooker - I will do now!
    Love your Oxo tin, is it a recent purchase?
    Carol xx

  7. Carol, the tin is a good few years old now, I bought an old OXO tin a few years back as my dad used to take a cube everyday to work for a beef drink. I think these tins can be quite collectable We used to have an OXO drink every friday after swimming with a good glug of Worcestershire Sauce in as children, my dad also said he used to nibble an OXO cube on his way to school when he was little. These old brands can be quite nostalgic.

  8. My daughter is travelling for a year--- as they do! And I miss her so much and she misses Cottage Pie. I will so enjoy making her one on her return x

  9. Seeings I noticed in a lot of your posts that you mention that "this is healthy", I figured that you must be trying to eat healthy... right? Well, a really good way to have shepherds pie, really healthy, is trade the meat with lentils. We had this all the time growing up, and we loved it. Also some meat-eating friends tried it, and actually thought they were eating meat! So give it a go, and I'm going to keep checking to see what you thought of it! (And what your boys thought of it too.) :)

    Also, a good idea is the soak the lenils over night before you cook them. You can cook them in the crock-pot too. (Another good lentils meal is lentils and rice cooked together in the crock-pot over night) Happy cooking!!


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