Cottage Pie

AKA “Shepard’s Pie” is a favorite around here. I grew up with it and I consider it a childhood comfort food. But I also like to change it up sometimes depending on what I have around the house. Or maybe just to challenge myself into using what is on hand and not running out to the grocery store!

Today I happen to have some ground lamb in the freezer. Whenever I find ground lamb on sale I buyΒ  it – but you could use ground beef, ground turkey or ground pork. In fact, I am sure I have made it with all of these at one point.

Traditionally it is made with 3 things: ground meat, creamed corn and mashed potato on top. You can’t get more basic than that. Other than S&P and some paprika on top, it is a pretty plain Jane kind of dish. But embellishments are encouraged. I once knew a lady who used a packet of gravy mix on the beef layer to give extra flavor. I have seen folks add peas and carrots to it. On a TV show I saw someone do an upscale version with decorative “piped” mashed sweet potato.Β  Just adding some diced onions in with the browned ground beef is nice. The list of variations is endless.

But I was keeping it simple with only 7 ingredients. And I only had frozen corn kernels in the freezer and no “creamed corn.”

I didn’t want it to be dry – after all a little gravy is what makes it so yummy. So I turned to the pantry and opened a can of cream of mushroom soup – low sodium. Thinned with a little milk and I had myself some gravy.

A little minced garlic is lamb’s best friend! And don’t forget to make the mashed potatoes yummy with some butter and milk too!

Of course you should season everything to taste and if you want to sneak a little grated cheese on top during the last 20 mins or so of baking – I won’t tell!

P.S. The best thing about a dish like this? you can make it ahead and leave cooking instructions for whatever hungry husband might wander into the house!


9 comments on “Cottage Pie

  1. Looks great! I’m making cottage pie tonight. Just a point of interest, cottage pie and Shepard’s pie aren’t the same. Cottage uses beef, Shepard’s uses lamb πŸ˜€

  2. Karen says:

    Perfect for the cool, wet weather we are having.

  3. […] Now I thought they were delicious as is, but my traditional Irish-American husband who was reliving the turnips of his youth needed them mashed. Also very good. And if you bought a huge one like I did, you can freeze the extra cooked amount and heat up another time or use it for an interesting alternative to the mashed potato topping on Cottage or Shepard’s Pie! […]

  4. […] last (and final) round of mashed potato was used in a perfectly delicious Shepard’s Pie. But the un-peeled mashed potatoes didn’t go over so well. Or perhaps it was the carrots that […]

  5. […] and hearty dish. I make this casserole on a regular basis Β – in fact you can read about it here and here and […]

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