History of the Dish
The history of shepherds pie is a local dish made with lamb meat especially the left over on the tail which is docked with boned, minced to form a ragout. Ragout makes a good pie when combined with
Mashed potatoes and vegetable made from the meat of the lamb and the sheep are herded by shepherds. You may wonder how it tastes and what is the history of shepherd’s pie? Why is it called a pie yet it is meat. Yes you’re not alone to marvel about the history of the dock
According the research done, shepherd’s pie is a British dish made with lamb, this dish originated in the Scottish countryside which is a lamb country and the traditional way to use the leftovers this kind of culture goes back to 1870s, though some changes were made today by adding in Vegetables the original dish comprised of only meat, gravy and mashed potatoes.
If you what to prepare comfort food with the lambs meat add in onions, carrots, curry powder and celery then you can add in mashed potato with heavy cream. According to Paul Merrett’s a History of shepherds pie is prepared by adding in garlic, fresh rosemary, peas, parsnip and chopped tomatoes but this looks more of a modern dish pie than a traditional one.
The history of shepherds Pie, also called Cottage Pie dates back to the seventeen hundreds when the poor lived in cottages. According to the British who introduced shepherd’s pie to the world, this was mainly food for the poor who used left over Irish potatoes and roast meat to make a crusty pie with a soft inside. The use of the term Shepherd’s Pie did not become common until about 1877 when it was used along with cottage pie. It was because the term cottage is used to describe small humble dwellings for the poor, that the name Shepherd’s pie became common with even the rich taking a liking to this pie.
It is not clear whether the British or the Scottish were the originators of Shepherd’s Pie so some historians will credit Northern Scotland for creating the Shepherd’s Pie since they kept sheep and others will say Northern England created the Shepherd’s pie. Well whoever created it, one thing is clear, it was most common in Britain in the 18th century.
Research reveals that lamb or mutton has to be used in the pie to qualify it as shepherd’s pie even though originally any meet would do. Renowned British Chef Paul Merrett says to make Shepherd’s Pie, you also need to add; garlic, fresh rosemary, peas, parsnip and chopped tomatoes to make a tasty Shepherd’s Pie. But the history of Shepherd Pie reveals a number of variations in the ingredients to a tasty shepherd’s pie with some even leaving out the main ingredient, mutton and substituting it with soya, mushroom or any other vegetarian meat substitute, creating what is humorously referred to as a “Shepherdless Pie”.
If you decide to make your own Shepherd’s Pie, just bear in mind that it is a great way to turn leftovers into a tasty dish so doesn’t hold back, throw in whatever else you think will taste good and let your creativity guide you. Though if you would like to have an expert recipe then you could borrow one of Paul Merrett’s and for this you will need: 350 grams of old potatoes, 450 grams of minced lamb (preferably precooked leftover), Onions, butter, milk (no not left over), salt and other spices.
Once you are all set, fry the minced lamb with onions making sure you do not get them dried and crispy rather you want them to be moist. Meanwhile chop up the potatoes and boil till they get soft and easy to mash. Mash the potatoes with milk and butter, at this point an American may want to add cheese. Spread the potatoes over the meat and onions to create about an inch thick layer. Use a fork to create patterns of your choosing on the top which will also form the crispy brown. Place your master peace in the oven and turn the heat up to 180 degrees centigrade. In about 30 minutes you will have Shepherd’s pie ready to serve.
According to the history of Shepherd’s pie, you can serve this with any other left over in the fridge. Over the years, as chefs have traveled and carried the recipes around, modern shepherd’s pie has seen a number of variations in ingredients and its name has been changed to suit the different countries. For example in France it is called the Hachis Paramentier, in Russia, you may bite your tongue trying to pronounce Karto fel’ naya zapekanka (which really just means Potato baked pudding), in Brazil it is Escondidinho and in Finland, pork or beef is used instead of lamb to make Lihaperunasoselaatikko.
With the concept of the global village brought about by social media, a number of groups have been
created in honor of the history of shepherd’s pie and in these groups recipes can be shared turning the making of shepherd’s pie into a fun activity as group members share their experiences and give photographic evidence of what they ended up with after following the recipes. This will obviously be a far cry from an 18th century house wife preparing cottage pie for her starving family. However whatever century you prepare shepherd’s pie, whatever ingredients used, which ever recipe followed, the pie will prove to be very good for desert, evening tea or even a quick dinner. The British, the Scottish and the Irish will attest to this with their love for this dish.
In Britain it is very easy to find a restaurant that boasts of having the best Shepherd’s pie passed on through generations from as far back as the history of Shepherd’s pie. It may be hard to make a choice but the best recipe for cottage pie made from scratch that includes a bit from history and a bit from the modern recipe would be:
These are the required contents.
inced lamb – 450g (1 lb)
Potatoes – 700g
Mushrooms – 50g (2 oz)
Plain flour – 25g (1 oz)
Tomato puree – 1 tbsp
Butter – 25g (1 oz)
Milk – 4 tbsp
Lamb or beef stock – 300ml
Cheese – 50g (2 oz)
Bake for fifteen to twenty five minutes at least in a good oven. Serve hot with cabbage, lettuce, spinach or any other green vegetables of your taste. While you seat back with your friends sipping wine and being complemented by friends for the wonderful Shepherd’s Pie, feel free to share this short story about the history of Shepherd’s Pie. There was once an old woman with left over lamp and potatoes but she wanted bread, she mixed the left over’s together and put them in the oven and there Shepherd’s pie was born.