What’s the difference between cottage pie and shepherd’s pie?

cottage pieSo what’s the difference between the two classic dishes cottage pie and shepherd’s pie?

The answer is simple – the meat inside them is the decisive factor. Cottage pie (pictured – source: BBC Good Food) is made with minced beef and shepherd’s pie is made with minced lamb. Both pies – they’re actually not pies in the traditional sense as there’s no pastry – are typically topped with mashed potato and baked in the oven. Other ingredients can include onion, carrot, tomato, celery and garlic. You can top with cheese if you prefer or add a dash of curry powder, chillies or balsamic vinegar to spice things up a little. A spring of herbs on top of the mash can look and taste good too. We have cottage pie with gravy and it’s a fabulous dish!

Both are great, family-favourite dishes and freeze well. Ideal as a winter warmer meal …so with all this snowy weather you should be making one. Here’s a recipe for cottage pie from the BBC Good Food team.

Historically these dishes were made from the leftovers of a Sunday roast dinner. There’s also a suggestion that cottage pie was made from the slaughtered dairy cow that farmers kept for milk.

An easy way to remember which pie is made from which meat is to call it sheeperd’s pie!

What’s your favourite of the two?

Waitrose leaves Delia Smith on the shelf

Delia SmithUpmarket supermarket Waitrose announced this week that is it to end it’s marketing relationship with Delia Smith.

Known to millions of us as just Delia (pictured on the cover of one of her earliest cookery books), she has fronted several press and TV advertising campaigns for Waitrose since March 2010. While her contract with Waitrose ends next month, her celebrity chef sidekick in the adverts, Heston Blumenthal, is being retained.

Commenting upon the tie-up with Delia, Rupert Thomas, Waitrose Marketing Director said: “It has been such a fantastic experience working together and we have been really appreciative of the work Delia has done with Waitrose. We remain on very good terms and will be continuing to work closely with her until the end of February.”

I wonder if the marketing exec’s for Waitrose feel that Delia doesn’t relate to younger home cooks? While perhaps she doesn’t have the street cred of say┬áBlumenthal, the passion of Gordon Ramsay or the seemingly global appeal of Jamie Oliver, her no-nonsense and easy-to-follow recipes must still have a place in most kitchens.

We’ve got an update version of the book pictured, though it’s still about 15 or so years old, and we still use on a regular basis. The birthday cake that I made last month is based on Delia sponge recipe and it is really easy to do. On Christmas Day her book was in use again …the timings for cooking the turkey! I can’t see ditching Delia any time soon to be honest.

How about you …do you think Delia deserves to be left on the shelf? Have your say in the comments below.