Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Shepherd's (Cottage) Pie

More English Comfort Food – Shepherd’s Pie

Of course all this cold, wet weather called for more comfort food. This is my recipe for Shepherd’s Pie. Strictly speaking, it should be called Cottage Pie as it’s made with ground beef, and Shepherd’s Pie is made with ground lamb, but I think I’ve already mentioned that lamb in Oklahoma is as rare as rocking horse poop.

Cottage Pie

(For Shepherd’s Pie substitute ground lamb for beef)


1lb ground sirloin
2 lbs mashed potatoes
2 cups beef stock
1 onion, chopped.
3 carrots, sliced
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water
1/2 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
A generous dash of fresh ground black pepper
1 bay leaf


1. Pre-heat oven to 400°F
2. In a large skillet melt butter over medium high heat and brown meat.
3. Add the onion and sauté for two minutes.
4. Add carrots and beef stock. Bring to the boil, add Worcestershire sauce, black pepper, and bay leaf, and simmer for 20 minutes.
5. Drain liquid from mixture and reserve.
6. Transfer the mixture to an 11-inch x 7-inch ovenproof dish. Cover with mashed potato, and form grooves in the surface with a fork.
7. Bake for 50 – 60 minutes, or until potatoes are golden brown.
8. Skim any fat from surface of reserved stock. Mix cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water and add to stock. Cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly, until gravy thickens, add more seasoning if required.

Serve pie with seasonal vegetables and gravy.

Note: Personally I add Bisto powder (a British gravy mix) to the stock because it makes
lurvly gravy. An American friend of ours (when we lived in the San Francisco Bay Area), always called it Jan’s Groovy Gravy. And the good news, Bisto can be bought in the US from

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