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?

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