Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd’s pie, or “cottage pie” as it’s also known, is a meat pie with a mashed potato topping.  It can be made in numerous ways.  Traditionally, Shepherd’s pie is made with ground lamb or mutton, and Cottage pie is made with beef.  The vegetables used also vary.  Carrots and onions are the most common, but you will also see celery, corn, and peas variations.

Shepherd's pie

Cottage pie was first referenced in 1791 when potatoes were a new crop introduced to the working class in the United Kingdom. “Cottage” referred to a modest dwelling for local peasant workers. The name Shepard’s Pie evolved much later, around the early 1850s. Since that time, the two have been used interchangeably.

Shepherd’s pie is simple food that can be made out of leftovers; but despite its humble roots, it has become a bit of an iconic dish throughout the world.  Some of the finest restaurants in the world serve a variation of this savory pie.  Vegans even created a version made with lentils, which is delicious.

I love to make recipes like this with individual servings as seen in the photos, as it spruces up the presentation nicely and it is a great way to control portion sizes.  If you don’t have little crocks, I suggest using round or oval ramekins.  This is a great dish that can easily be made for large groups.  If you want to minimize the number of dishes, you can use a casserole or baking pan per the recipe instructions.  But if you serve this in individual pieces of crockery, another plus is that they will stay hot for a long time.

I am not typically a big fan of casseroles, but this dish is a true favorite. This hearty dish is classic Winter comfort food to me and despite what you think, does not take all that long to whip up.

Shepherd's pie

About the Author

Andrea Potischman

I am a professionally trained NYC chef turned CA mom and food blogger. I post about real food, with doable ingredient lists that are family friendly.

6 thoughts on "Shepherd’s Pie"

  1. Avatar photo Eric Muller says:

    Our entire family loves the shepherds pie, including our picky 13 year old daughter. We tripled the recipe last time and froze it – easy to reheat. We also add corn to the recipe

    1. This makes me so happy to hear Eric!!!! Love that a dad is making my recipes 🙂

  2. Avatar photo Sara Leslie says:

    I had to bring a dinner to a friend and this was perfect! Made a double recipe (really the same amount of work) and a couple substitutions: soy milk for cream, margarine for butter and reduced the carrots and added peas. I haven’t baked it yet but tasted the filling and it is excellent–and fun to make. Another awesome recipe, Andrea!

    1. Excellent. Love the substitutions you made, this is a very user friendly recipe which I love, anything can work.

  3. Avatar photo Sara Marricco says:

    This Shepherd’s pie is so delicious, and mine was a gluten free/dairy free version because my husband and I have allergies. I will definitely make this again and again for my family!

    1. Love hearing things like this. Thanks Sara 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Comment Policy

Simmer + Sauce reserves the right to remove or restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the topic conversation, contain profanity or offensive language, personal attacks, or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Any post found to be in violation of any of these guidelines will be modified or removed without warning. When making a comment on my blog, you grant Simmer + Sauce permission to reproduce your content to our discretion, an example being for a possible endorsement or media kit purposes. If you don’t want your comment to be used for such purposes, please explicitly state this within the body of your comment. If you find evidence of copyright infringement in the comments of, contact me and I will remove that in question promptly.