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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Cottage Pie

Saint Patrick's Day is Saturday.  I have always enjoyed celebrating it, even though I don't like Guinness! :)  When I was in elementary school, we delighted in finding some poor soul who didn't wear green on the Irish holiday, and giving them a good pinch!  I am of Irish descent, however..and I think that is a very good thing!  The term Cottage Pie and Shepard's Pie are used interchangeably...but my Grandmother...who knew everything....told me Cottage Pie was made with beef, and Shepard's Pie with lamb....so, I'll go with that!  It is a dish that is common in Ireland, England, Wales and Scotland as well, and on most Pub menus.  It is a good way to fill a lot of hungry stomachs, but it is like meatloaf...either good or not so much!!  This recipe was given to me by an English friend, so I think it is pretty authentic.  My friends out there from Ireland and the UK will have to make that call.  Happy Saint Patty's Day!

3 TBS vegetable oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 1/2 # ground beef (or lamb for Shepard's Pie)
1 6oz can tomato paste
2 bullion cubes
1 heaping tsp. flour
1 C white wine
1/2 C water
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp. tarragon

1/2 C canned whole whole kernel, if desired
2 TBS Parmesan or Cheddar Cheese, to sprinkle on top

Potato Topping: 
3-4 large potatoes
1/2 stick butter
1 C half and half (adjust to make mashed potatoes soft and spreadable, not too thick or runny.)

Heat oil in large fry pan, over low heat.  Add onion and garlic; cook until soft.  Turn up heat a bit, and add meat, stirring until it is done.  Drain off fat; add tomato paste, bullion and flour.  Cook for a minute before adding the wine and water.  Season with Salt and pepper; add tarragon.  Simmer gently for 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, cook, drain and mash the potatoes.  Add butter, half and half, and season with salt and pepper.  Put beef  mixture in a large, well-greased baking dish. Spread drained corn over meat, if adding it, then cover all with the mashed potatoes.  Sprinkle cheese over the top, and bake in 350F oven, uncovered, for about 35 minutes.  Place under broiler for a few minutes to brown potatoes, if desired. but be careful not to burn them!  The corn is not traditionally used, but it does add a nice flavor.


  1. It sure sounds delicious to me, Patsy! I love Shepard's/Cottage Pie and I don't make it often enough. Now, after seeing yours, I'm having a wee craving for it. I think I'll have to get in the kitchen this weekend and give your recipe a try. (Now that I've said that, I don't think I'll be able to wait that long. LOL)

    Thanks for coming by to say hello and for your lovely comment. Hope your St. Paddy's Day is just grand!

  2. I've not made this in a while, and I like your version. I will try it! My English husband will love it,of course.

  3. Thanks for this, I have not made it in ages...I think I'll do just that this weekend!

  4. Hi Patsy,
    We must be related, my Irish Grandmother told the same story about the beef and lamb. Your Cottage Pie looks so warm and comforting. Thanks for sharing and hope you have a great day!
    Miz Helen

  5. This sounds just delightful...
    I am over from the CRAWL and am following. Come over to see me when you can.
    Happy SP Day...

  6. oops...I already was a follower. :)

  7. Patsy- That is just wonderful looking-My Mother used to make Cottage pie all the time...and our neighbor Dell would always find his way to our house about the time she served it up!;>) xo Diana

  8. I need to try your cottage pie as it sounds so delicious. I'm not a fan of lamb, but I love beef.

  9. I do not like lamb, so I think I'd like this version with beef. Although I can't remember having it, each time I see a recipe of cottage or Shepard's pie, I always think it looks so good. Patsy, thanks for taking the time to drop by my party this week!

  10. We love cottage pie! I have a "cheaters version" where I used leftover homemade sloppy joe's. And your Grandma was so right I am constantly reminding people hat Shepherds Pie and Cottage Pie are NOT the same thing.


    P.S New Follower and I love the name of your blog!

  11. I love shepherd's pie. I have made it with veggie crumbles for my vegetarian guests. Not bad, but not as good as the real thing. Yours looks delish!

  12. This looks wonderful! cottage and shepherds pie are two of my favourites :)

  13. Patty, thanks for this wonderful recipe, and taking part in the annual blog crawl!

  14. This looks wonderful! A real stick-to-your-ribs meal. I just love it... don't grandmothers know everything!!
    Happy St. Patrick's Day to you on Saturday,
    Ladybug Creek

  15. Thanks Patty, the recipe looks wonderful. Also thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a message. I am your newest follower.

  16. I love a good cottage pie and yours sounds fabulous!
    Mary x

  17. This sounds great - I didn't realize the difference between the two! Happy St. Patty's Day!

  18. Looks good! Happy St. Patrick's Day! ~ Sarah

  19. I bet it was delicious! Just became your follower. Cute blog! Thanks for sharing!

  20. We did the same thing to kids that didn't wear green.LOL! I too am of Irish descent. Thus the red hair, fair skin and green eyes. Smilin' eyes at that! My hubs make a mean Sheppards Pie too. That is his job when ever I am hungry for it. :D

  21. Your picture makes me hungry! I'm glad you shared your recipe...perfect for St. Patty's Day! I blogged my Shepherd's pie not long ago. It's a great meal! Thanks for sharing at the Rock 'N Share!