Tasty Tuesday: Is It A Cottage or A Shepherd?

Morning world and thanks for tuning in, today we debate the difference between Cottage and Shepherd’s Pie.

So what really is the difference? Well here’s a few things I found out…..

  1. Well upon investigation it turns out that a there is a difference between “cottage pie” and “shepherd’s pie”, and it’s in the meat. Shepherd’s pie should only be named as such if it contains lamb, and “cottage” usually applies to one made with beef.
  2. The name “cottage” was applied to this kind of meat pie around the time potatoes were being introduced in the UK, because they were an affordable for thing for peasants, many of whom would live in cottages, to eat.
  3. The term “cottage pie” predates “shepherd’s” by nearly a century, but each was used synonymously with the other for a long time.
  4. The same dish in France is named “hachis Parmentier”, after the Frenchman who convinced his country to eat potatoes. “Hachis”, which takes its root from the English word “hatchet”, means a dish containing chopped or minced ingredients.
  5. According to the Oxford Companion to Food, once upon a time, Scotland made its shepherd’s pies with pastry instead of mashed potatoes.
  6. Indian cooks once considered shepherd’s pie to be a perfect dish for tiffin (a word used to mean a light snack in British India).
  7. Topping the potato crust with breadcrumbs actually turns your dish into a “Cumberland pie”.
  8. Although variations of this dish crop up throughout history, no name for it came into use until the introduction of the mincing machine. Before that, the meat would have to be chopped by hand, or made from leftovers.

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