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Shepherd's Pie with Beef??

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Most of the times I've seen this dish on a restaurant menu it's invariably made with beef. WHAT??? This is wrong!!~ This is a misnomer!!!

Shepherd's Pie, like the name implies, is a dish prepared with lamb. Then it's topped with mashed potatoes and baked to make a crust.

Where did this beef variation come from? This should be "Cattle Rancher Pie", not Shepherd's Pie! And the kicker is, I've even seen this dish made with beef in Irish Pubs!!

Of course, in Ireland, you'll only get lamb in a Shepherd's Pie. That's where the dish came from, anyway.

  1. With beef it is actually a "cottage pie". It has become Americanized in the US just like most goulash here would be a mystery to somebody in Hungary. My Mom always made the beef version but we didn't call it Shepherd's pie- just hamburger, mashed potato casserole.

    1. I see shepherd's pie with beef more often than I see it with lamb. I think there are two factors that contribute to this - beef is a lot cheaper than lamb in the US, and a lot of Americans dislike the flavor or lamb (or at least prefer beef to lamb).

      1 Reply
      1. re: mpjmph

        In my experience, most Americans truly don't care for lamb. I certainly despise it in anything other than spicy dishes such as vindaloo. I've been told that it's mutton I don't like, but I've had spring lamb that induced nausea. So, I like "shepherd's pie" made with beef, wrongly named or not.

      2. I think of it more as the preparation method rather than the choice of meat. At least here in the US, like mpjmph said, it's more likely to be beef.

        3 Replies
        1. re: escondido123

          no it's not a preparation method, it is ENTIRELY the choice of meat. Shepherd's is lamb, cottage is beef. There is also Cumberland Pie which is when breadcrumbs are added to Cottage Pie (beef).

          1. re: smartie

            Well it can't be ENTIRELY the choice of meat or I could make a pasta sauce with lamb, put it over noodles and call it Shepherd's Pie. If someone tells me they're making 'Shepherd's Pie I can easily imagine what the dish will look like and most of the ingredients, but at least here in the US it is as likely to be beef as lamb. That may be the wrong thing to call it, but it's still what it will be called.

            1. re: escondido123

              I had a Boston cream pie last week for the first time. Presumably it always has a pastry cream in the middle and a chocolatey frosting on top. If I put a vanilla frosting on it it's essentially still a cake but it's not a Boston cream pie any more.

              Same as Shepherd's pie. If you order it in Britain it has lamb in it. Period. You maybe interchange the names in the US but that doesn't make it correct. It's about expectations and we Brits expect lamb in a Shepherd's Pie and beef in a Cottage Pie.

        2. One of my favorite childhood recipes made Shepherd's pie with Campbell's Vegetable soup and cream style corn with ground beef an onions. Not very chowish but there you go. I still find it tastier than most Irish pub versions here in Boston.

          1. I've indicated in the original post that it's invariably made with beef here. Already established that, no need to repeat this--

            My issue is that this is NOT Shepherd's Pie!!!! Call it something else!!!

            8 Replies
            1. re: menton1

              It's called Cottage Pie. Just call it that.

              1. re: menton1

                agree with you menton, shepherds are not out herding cattle. but i'm afraid you are fighting a loosing battle. if it's a ground meat pie with a mashed potato topping, people are going to automatically call it shepherd's pie regardless.

                1. re: menton1

                  When Brits stop using the term football to describe soccer, we will use lamb in shepherds pie.

                  Since it will never happen, I would just deal with this cultural difference.

                  1. re: menton1

                    We had a long thread on this topic not too long ago. What it came down to was: if you are British, or aspire to follow British pub usage, then shepherd's pie uses lamb/mutton, cottage pie uses beef.

                    But in the USA (and even Canada) the distinction either never appeared or was lost a long time ago. Using mashed potatoes as a meat pie topping appears in both British and American sources about the same time, the second half of the 19th c. The shepherd's pie recipe in the 1967 Joy of Cooking book was not a recent import; the one in the reworked 1997 edition was a pub remake.

                    By the way, if the shepherd's pie must be made with lamb because shepherd's only ate lamb, why the 'cottage pie' name? And what's the corresponding dish called in France or Quebec?

                    1. re: paulj

                      "By the way, if the shepherd's pie must be made with lamb because shepherd's only ate lamb, why the 'cottage pie' name? "

                      Because "Cow Pie" just doesn't sound too appetizing! Lol!

                      1. re: paulj

                        The Québécois version is called Pâté Chinois. It's beef, kernel or cream corn, and potatoes. It's a local version of New England Cottage Pie.

                        The French version is Hachis Parmentier. It's just beef topped with potatoes.

                        1. re: paulj

                          This again? .Yes, I remember that long and circular debate and I finally just got bored... Call it what you wish where ever you're from.... Just make it satisfying.

                          1. re: paulj

                            It's called hachis parmentier, in honor of M. Antoine-Augustin Parmentier, who battled to get the potato adopted as people food instead of just animal food. (He also found a commercially viable method with which to extract sugar from beets, by the way).

                            Here's the whole not-so-pretty thread, from just a few months ago.
                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/765389

                        2. As long you know you're right and everyone else is wrong, isn't that all that matters?

                          25 Replies
                          1. re: SnackHappy

                            The pedagogical impulse is always with us, and for some it burns more fiercely than for others. I for one have gotten into more trouble trying to straighten people out when they were clearly mistaken than for any other reason. This is why I've pretty much stopped doing it in person and moved to Chowhound …

                            Shepherd's pie is lamb. Shortcake is a kind of biscuit. Martinis are made only with gin, and vermouth must be an actual ingredient. So there.

                            1. re: Will Owen

                              ....there's no beans in chili,deep dish is not pizza,macarons and macaroons are not the same animal,it's garam masala not curry powder, and bergoo has squirrel.... so there there.

                              1. re: Will Owen

                                thankfully, over the years people havent stuck to recipes and have experimented. I can only imagine what chow houd would be like if we stuck to those original recipes. Who cares what they call it? Some people use ketchup to make pasta sauce....if thats what they want then thats fine.

                                Will - if you dont mine me asking, and I am not trying to be smart here, but what makes it ok to "correct people" on chowhound/internet that isnt ok to do in (live) person? I try my best to only say things on the internet that I would in real life.

                                1. re: joe777cool

                                  Some years ago I was listening to a neighbor woman arguing with her grown daughter. They're Samoan, and in the middle of a fierce (and losing) defense in that language, the daughter suddenly called out "Shepherd's Pie!" as if it was an insult.

                                  (I'm still trying to get my mind around the idea that this dish actually appears on menus somewhere in the world. It's better used as a doorstop)
                                  But it got me to thinking, "what would be a Samoan version of Shepherd's pie?" so I tried it.
                                  I bought Taro leaves and laid them down in a casserole dish, then added a thick layer of corned beef (in one version, I added cooked pork chunks instead: both worked) , then more taro leaves, then poured coconut cream or canned coconut milk over it, then covered the entire casserole with a layer of cooked and mashed big-root taro. (Don't use small taro, that stuff's nasty!)
                                  It was good, and my neighbors love it! And you can tell I've made it several times. (can be pricey: taro's more expensive than the meat)
                                  It's a version of a Samoan "taco" called Palusami.

                                  As for shepherd's pie, I'm surprised at the argument about the name. The original name was clearly "Moussaka" and it was made with eggplant and lamb.

                                  It's neither Irish nor English. It's Greek.

                                  1. re: PeteSeattle

                                    Nah. Greek Moussaka is with eggplant and a bechamel type sauce. Uses sliced potatoes, not mashed potatoes. Totally different animal, different dish.

                                    There's no "cultural difference", this is just plain ignorance rearing its head. Same mentality that names a restaurant ___ "Grille", which means a type of iron fence and has nothing to do with food. The proper spelling is "Grill." NOT acceptable, just as calling a beef pie "Shepherd's Pie" is also not acceptable.

                                    1. re: menton1

                                      What's the context, a Manhattan English-theme pub, a New Jersey dinner, a Los Angeles vegetarian cafe, or midwest church potluck?

                                      1. re: paulj

                                        The context is the english (small e) definition of the word "Shepherd". Please look it up.

                                        1. re: menton1

                                          In the context of the other thread I did look it up

                                          "A caserole consisting of cooked meat with gravy, topped by a layer or surrounded by a border of mashed potatoes."
                                          The American Heritage Dictionary 1976

                                          It does not have an entry for 'cottage pie'.

                                          The OED quite likely is different.

                                          1. re: paulj

                                            Oops, I was wrong. I looked up the Oxford Dictionary (via university library)

                                            Cottage pie
                                            British
                                            a dish of minced meat topped with browned mashed potato

                                            shepherd's pie
                                            a dish of ground meat under a layer of mashed potato

                                            1. re: paulj

                                              The Wikipedia entry for cottage pie is quite interesting.

                                              "The term "shepherd's pie" did not appear until the 1870s, and since then it has been used synonymously with "cottage pie", regardless of whether the principal ingredient was beef or mutton. There is now a popular tendency for "shepherd's pie" to be used when the meat is mutton or lamb, with the suggested origin being that shepherds are concerned with sheep and not cattle, This may, however, be an example of folk etymology."

                                              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cottage_pie

                                      2. re: menton1

                                        Not acceptable to you, but totally acceptable for myself and everyone I know. Mine is meatless. I'll call it what I want. You aren't the boss of me. Yes, that sounds childish, but no more childish than correcting people about what they choose to call a dish.

                                        1. re: sisterfunkhaus

                                          There must be as many versions of vegetarian shepherds pie as there are vegetarian chilies :) Here's one from 'Chucks day off' (a Montreal chef)
                                          http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/recip...

                                    2. re: joe777cool

                                      "Will - if you dont mine me asking, and I am not trying to be smart here, but what makes it ok to "correct people" on chowhound/internet that isnt ok to do in (live) person?" joe, I would never say anything on Chowhound I would not willingly say in person. Against my religion, and I hope yours as well. All of the things above are in fact assertions I've made in public and private on numerous occasions, enough so that Mrs. O just walks away when these subjects come up ...

                                      I'm not against substitutions or innovation or anything at all, but words must and do have certain meanings. "Shortcake", for instance has the precise meaning of a kind of high-fat dough leavened with a chemical, rather than with yeast or whipped egg white. The word connects the food with its history, and supplies part of the recipe. The same argument to a lesser degree applies to Shepherd's Pie. I have no quarrel with using beef instead, or pork for that matter, any more than I would object to making a drink with vodka if we're out of gin. Just please don't call it shepherd's pie, or a martini, at least not in my house.

                                      1. re: Will Owen

                                        well said

                                        I can see where you are coming from, I have at times ordered something at a restaurant only to get something completely different and thought "If you are going to call it "x" and serve me "y" can you at least note it on the menu?

                                        1. re: joe777cool

                                          Yup, except that there are pockets of this great land of ours wherein things mean something other than we might hope or expect. Strawberry shortcake is such an egregious example I always ask for a description before I order.

                                          As for variations, I have one peculiar to my own taste: I do not really like grilled rye bread, but I love grilled sourdough, so when I order a patty melt I ask, politely, if I could have it on sourdough. So far nobody has said, "But THAT'S not a patty melt!", but I expect to hear that some day, and will not hold it against whoever says it.

                                        2. re: Will Owen

                                          Are you sure that shortcake has to have that chemical leavening? That kind of leavening was an innovation in the 2nd half of the 19c.
                                          http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-...

                                          What is the precise meaning of 'short' in shortcake? Any connection to shortbread and shortening? Is there 'longcake'?

                                          1. re: paulj

                                            http://davidsonnews.net/foodanddining...

                                            The shortcake recipe here looks just like a sweet bp biscuit, or the American scone (plus or minus the egg). Maybe you should ask for strawberries and scones if you don't want the sponge cake version.

                                            Happy strawberry shortcake day!

                                            http://www.annarbor.com/entertainment...

                                            More on 16thc short cakes (about half way down
                                            )http://www.kitchendaily.com/encyclope...
                                            "Flat, pastry-type products, baked only once, were known in the 16th century as ‘short cakes’. They were made of rich shortcrust pastry with added eggs, leavened with a little yeast but kept thin"

                                            1. re: paulj

                                              And another Kitchendaily article
                                              http://www.kitchendaily.com/encyclope...

                                              1. re: paulj

                                                Where I'm from (Nova Scotia) strawberry shortcake almost always means tea biscuit, strawberries, whipped cream. I would say the default would be tea biscuit, and I would be surprised to be served something else.

                                                1. re: CanadaGirl

                                                  Though even with that description you have to watch definitions. The Google images for 'tea biscuit' show two distinct items, one similar to a scone or American baking powder biscuit, the other a cookie (in the American sense) or a digestive biscuit (British sense).

                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                    Interesting. Just another example of how the same name applies to different foods in different places. I have never seen anything other than a scone-like item called a tea biscuit, but I guess someone used to it meaning a cookie -like item would be confused by our version. Any wonder we disagree on these boards so much ;)

                                              2. re: paulj

                                                Before the invention of baking soda and baking powder, quick breads of any kind were leavened with ammonia compounds or even wood ash. As you might suppose, the new products were widely and happily embraced. The beaten biscuits popular in the South (popular among the plantation owners, maybe less among the slaves who had to do the laborious beating) were "leavened" by the air pounded into them with sticks! And Yes, "short" does refer to the fact that the principal ingredients are fat and flour; shortbread is basically nothing but flour and butter, with such things as sugar and vanilla added as they became available.

                                              3. re: Will Owen

                                                Will, I tend to err on the persnickety side as you do when it comes to food tradition and nomenclature, but allow me to play the Devil's advocate for a moment.

                                                There is truth to the notion that as recipes migrate, people change and adapt them to their local customs and ideas. Look at Spanish vs. Mexican tortilla, where tortilla essentially means "cake". One is a flour or corn cake, while the other is a potato and egg cake. Would you say that either one is named "incorrectly"? How is that concept different from European vs. American shortcake? Couldn't this be simply chalked up to where and how one grounds their perspective? For example, I can see a Spaniard being confused by Mexican tortilla, but someone with a grounding in Chinese food tradition, for example, would be likely to take either one at face value without question.

                                                Mr Taster

                                                1. re: Mr Taster

                                                  The American 1850 cookbook that is cited as the start of strawberry shortcake actually called it strawberry cake, and used the sweet crust. I suspect the sweet biscuit version that Will considers canonical developed in parallel with the American baking powder (or buttermilk) biscuit.

                                                  Don't forget that 'biscuit' comes from the same Italian root as 'biscotti', meaning 'twice baked', and that the British biscuit is the American cookie.

                                                  1. re: Mr Taster

                                                    Mr. T, I would give the Mexicans a pass on this, partly because the difference occurred well over 300 years ago, mostly because that's not so much a misassignment as a reassignment: tortilla simply means little cake, and if you were to bake flapjacks for a Mexican or Spaniard who had no prior knowledge of them he'd almost certainly call them tortillas. Our English word "pie" is similar, in that it has no fixed meaning on either side of the Atlantic; it originally referred to a mess of stuff thrown into a vessel and baked, then served as a single dish ("pie" simply meant mixture, with overtones of disorderliness). A visitor to President Jefferson's table wrote that he'd been fed "a kind of pie, call'd Macaroni," so the word's original meaning persisted long after apple pie had been invented!

                                          2. Yep, Menton, I've posted about this before, but I totally agree with you! I love real shepherd's pie (it's one of my specialties, in fact) so I never order it in American restaurants. I like beef, but when I want shepherd's pie, I want the real thing.

                                            8 Replies
                                            1. re: Isolda

                                              Well, I've thought of this thread since yesterday, and it explains why English people have a well-deserved reputation as terrible cooks.
                                              People are arguing and bickering over what a certain food is called, and whether use of lamb or beef makes it authentic, with not a care about how to make it good to eat.

                                              I put out two recipes for a type of shepherd's pie, got a reply about one that discussed technique (which is a good reply) and no one seems to mention what Austin Brown says in his video about shepherd's pie, which accidently I mimiced in Samoan Shepherd's pie:

                                              The mashed starch on top completely seals what's underneath, keeping it juicy, and providing a comforting base on which to demonstrate the delicious food that's held underneath.

                                              Face it folks: Shepherd's pie is usually swill. Why? What can we do about that? I tried. What about other ideas?

                                              1. re: PeteSeattle

                                                It's not swill when I make it, but it usually is leftovers, but good ones.

                                                1. re: escondido123

                                                  What do you use for vegetables? For Samoan I tried sweet potato, in small quantities, but that's a powerful flavor, very sweet. Eggplant works well, although I'm not a fan of the cinnamon in the bechamel sauce poured over moussaka.
                                                  One of the local Greek Restaurants here hires help from el Salvador, and you can tell if you order the moussaka, because what you get is incompletely microwaved shepherd's pie with lamb and I don't know what vegetable, I suppose it might be eggplant, but not only is the center a chunk of ice (YUCK!) but they put chocolate in it! (It's actually about as sensible as cinnamon, which means not sensible at all.

                                                  1. re: PeteSeattle

                                                    Mine is just shredded pot roast, carrots, onions and leftover gravy topped with extra creamy mashed potatoes and some Parmigiano to add flavor. Really nothing special but very tasty. Baked until well browned.

                                                    1. re: escondido123

                                                      THAT'S the ticket! No wonder you're shepherd's pie is good! First of all, you don't use ground beast at all! You use shredded pot roast, which means you're using real meat, not scrap from the butcher's floor soaked in ammonia or whatnot to remove the fat, dust, dish-soap and footprints, you're binding agent is gravy, you limit the amount of fat, and you add Parmagiano.
                                                      It's no surprise that your leftovers get eaten while the people arguing here use theirs for hockey pucks.

                                                      Thanks. You've given us ideas we can actually use to make a good dish.

                                                      1. re: PeteSeattle

                                                        I didn't even know people were making it with ground beef. That would be more of a problem for me than not using lamb.

                                                2. re: PeteSeattle

                                                  What has a name got to do with how well something is cooked?

                                                  1. re: smartie

                                                    So if I make a brilliant blueberry pie, I can call it shepherd's pie? Cool!

                                              2. Have we even begun to discuss "authentic" vs "traditional"? And how much time must pass before the new supplants the old?

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: escondido123

                                                  yeah, we talked that one to death a few months ago, too.

                                                2. Lamb costs a fortune in the US and a lot of people don't really like it. Ground beef (or ground turkey) is much easier to come by.

                                                  10 Replies
                                                  1. re: Kajikit

                                                    But that's no excuse for not following a trendy English pub terminology :) This is England's national dish, and we colonials have no business messing with a century old tradition. It's as unthinkable as steak and kidney pie without the the kidneys, toad in the hole without the bangers, squab pie without the bird.

                                                    Though Susan Harper managed to omit the toad

                                                    Michael: [poking his food] What is this?
                                                    Susan: Toad in the hole, but we don't have any sausages.
                                                    Janey: So it's just hole.
                                                    Susan: It's not just hole. It's French. It's toad en vacances.
                                                    http://www.imdb.com/character/ch00677...

                                                    1. re: Kajikit

                                                      so if lobster is expensive and I don't really like it, I can make lobster bisque with chicken and it'll be okay.

                                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                                        err no it would be a chicken bisque.

                                                        we are talking about dishes that have names that do not have an obvious ingredient or ingredients but nonetheless mostly everybody knows what you are talking about.

                                                        1. re: smartie

                                                          and in England, a shepherd's pie has lamb, and a cottage pie has beef.

                                                          1. re: sunshine842

                                                            I know I'm English!

                                                            1. re: smartie

                                                              Toad in the hole:
                                                              You know the recipe in MacBeth where the witches are making their brew with toads? "Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble, fire burn, and cauldron bubble"?
                                                              well the ingredients are eye of newt, toe of frog, nose of bat and polliwog. Except for the bat's nose, all the other ingredients of this brew contain adrenaline, and in enough quantities to cause a heart attack if a person ate the whole animal, so the witches took parts of the creatures that would lower the dosage.
                                                              Those biddies were running a Scottish Meth Lab!

                                                              And where did Shakespeare get the recipe for Meth?

                                                              (Does this explain Bannockburn?)

                                                      2. re: Kajikit

                                                        Boned lamb shoulder $6.99/lb at Whole Foods; not cheap but hardly "a fortune," and it's perfect for Shepherd's Pie. And all those people who don't like it have somehow avoided my company; I've known a few who couldn't stand mutton, but none who'd pass on a nice lamb chop.

                                                        As for ground anything, to each his own, but I think we've covered how wrong that is.

                                                        1. re: Will Owen

                                                          You know Whole Food's nickname? WHOLE PAYCHECK. For 6.99 I can buy fresh salmon steaks or never frozen T-bones from Saar's market in South Seattle. But I can also buy Halal lamb there for $2.99/lb (and you might have to bone it) and Halal goat for $2.50, which is probably a better meat for shepherd's pie than ground beast.
                                                          I like goat for Indian Roghan Josh because it has very little fat at all, and that fat is brown, not white.

                                                          1. re: PeteSeattle

                                                            Actually, Pete, WF's lamb shoulder is the cheapest around here (LA County). I had been buying frozen lamb shoulder at an Asian market, imported from China and $7.99/lb, and so the fresh stuff at Whole Foods is a relative bargain. And while I love a bone-in lamb shoulder roast, I canNOT find any here, and boning one of those things is akin to brain surgery, only dangerous only to the surgeon.

                                                          2. re: Will Owen

                                                            Must agree Will about that price being very reasonable.
                                                            I was raised with frequency of lamb probably because of grandparents from out
                                                            of the country. Duck/pheasant/goose/veal/boar/lamb as well as seafood proteins I can't even spell were often dinner faire at grandfather and grandmother's home on Sunday.
                                                            Husband raised opposite so typical for him was beef/chicken/ham/turkey. He'll
                                                            tolerate lamb but it's not a favorite.

                                                        2. love sheperds pie or cottage pie, whichever it´s called, it´s delicious
                                                          of course at home it´s made with beef, just because it´s cheaper than lamb, either way, though a favorite on a cold blustery winters night

                                                          1. OK, so shepherd's pie should have beef. But, for most Americans it doesn't. So what. It's just a name--and a lot of names are like that: Toad in the hole doesn't have toads (shepherd's pie has no shepherds), hamburgers have no ham...and aren't from Hamburg, tacos have nothing to do with high heels (taco means heel in Spanish), etc...
                                                            Maybe we should just call it "pastel de papa" as it is called in South America. Then they can charge a higher price for it at restaurants as it would be somehow exotic in the US.

                                                            6 Replies
                                                            1. re: Wawsanham

                                                              you are so missing the point.

                                                              1. re: smartie

                                                                Actually, he saw the Austin Brown (Good Eats) TV show or has the DVD, because the comment about not having "any shepherd" is directly from that video, which I've also seen. I'd recommend all commenters here to watch the video, because it's quite clear to me who among us has seen the video and who hasn't. The show is wonderful, by the way, and answers this question about which meat to use, and how important it is to select your critters.
                                                                It's a vague Sherlock Holmes-ish story where a murdering barber donates his victims to the pie-shop lady downstairs. You come out of the video knowing a lot more about Shepherd's Pie than you'd have thought the subject warranted!
                                                                One of the things it shows is this "Cottage Pie" business. It has a picture: A Cottage Pie to Austin Brown has a lower crust of pie pastry, and the upper layer above the stew is potato.

                                                                (Which means we're ALL wrong!)

                                                                It also goes into a discussion of Worcestershire Sauce, and goes on to show mince pie.

                                                                This is strange, now that I think of it, because modern minced meat pie doesn't have any meat in it anymore, but shepherd's pie does! In fact, the prime ingredients of a minced meat pie are raisins and alcohol.

                                                                1. re: PeteSeattle

                                                                  the murdering barber was Sweeney Todd - I can't figure out if it's fictional or real but the story was that he sent his victims downstairs to the pie shop (maybe his wife's store) via the barber's chair which could be tipped backwards through a hatch or manhole.

                                                                  1. re: PeteSeattle

                                                                    did Alton Brown change his name to Austin

                                                                    1. re: PeteSeattle

                                                                      http://www.goodeatsfanpage.com/season...
                                                                      Transcript for the meat pie show
                                                                      """
                                                                      ML: Well, what's that one there?
                                                                      GGG: Ahh, the standard cottage pie. Lovely, really. It's just a crust with a nice, thick stew, topped off with mashed potatoes and baked. Now when I was up in the North Country, I concocted a new version of this that I like to call "Shepherd's Pie".
                                                                      ML: Oh, not too many shepherds here in London.
                                                                      GGG: No, no, I shouldn't think so. But what I did is I converted it to mutton, which I thought a shepherd might like to eat.

                                                                      """

                                                                      1. re: PeteSeattle

                                                                        But mince meat still has beef suet in it. At least, Nonesuch jarred mincemeat does.

                                                                  2. My mother, who moved here to Canada with my father in 1979 from deepest hicksville southwestern England, makes what she calls Shepherd's Pie with beef and says it was always made this way in her house growing up. I have heard many times the contention that it is lamb only that makes it 'Shepherd's Pie' and am prepared to concede that, but I do know of at least 2 100% English people who call it that but make it with beef.

                                                                    And it's YUMMY.

                                                                    1. has someone already quoted the misquoted and misattributed
                                                                      "two countries divided by a common tongue" yet?

                                                                      it was churchill, or shaw, or wilde... or maybe...

                                                                      and it was either divided, or separated, or ...

                                                                      and it was either language, or tongue, or speech...

                                                                      and on it goes.

                                                                      Aluminum/Aluminium Color/Colour Grey/Gray
                                                                      Lorry/Truck Lift/Elevator Torch/Flashlight Hood/Bonnet

                                                                      in the UK cottage pie almost invariably refers to lamb filling. In the despicable, barbaric colonies it most assuredly does not. I'm terribly sorry some people are so deeply offended, but aren't there more chow worthy things to discuss? We aren't going to change common usage in this thread.

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                        Perhaps there's a misunderstanding of usage of the product that's not been mentioned. (And I'm surprised!)
                                                                        Americans are astounded that English restauranters would DARE to offer Shepherd's pie in a restaurant as a menu item, and the problem is that in the US shepherd's pie is made in institutions like school cafeterias, where most of us learn to hate it.
                                                                        Of course, since English people serve "Steak and Kidney" pie, we may have a real reason to be suspicious of English tastes!

                                                                        Because you can never get rid of the taste of the product that the kidneys are meant to filter out of the body.
                                                                        It's the same problem with shark meat and shark's fin soup in China: due to an anatomical freakishness, sharks do not even have kidneys, and simply store all the urea in their bodies and never get rid of it in any way whatsoever..
                                                                        So Steak and Kidney pie and shark's fin soup both taste like urine.
                                                                        It doesn't recommend their cuisines to other, more enlightened parts of the world that those people would eat those things.

                                                                        1. re: PeteSeattle

                                                                          Americans have a different understanding of what can be served in a restaurant and what is home cooking. Good for the British if they serve shepherds/cottage pie in restaurants, why not? It is also served in restaurants in South America, and probably other places, I'd imagine.
                                                                          Besides, kidneys if cooked or prepared the right way can be really delicious! It's a matter of preparation. Kidneys in sherry are great!

                                                                      2. I recently saw another version that was called "Shepherd's Pie" that I plan to make soon. It looks delicious and is easy to make. Recipe calls for pulled pork, Andouille sausage, corn niblets, mashed potato and topped with cheddar.

                                                                        1. I find that I can be pretty much categoric here.

                                                                          Both cottage pie and shepherd's pie originate from the British Isles. They are traditional and different dishes. We make the former with beef and the latter with lamb. Always.

                                                                          I care not a jot how foreigners make them or what they choose to call them in their own countries.

                                                                          8 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Harters

                                                                            Is it a USA vs UK snoot-off? My money's on the UK, no one snoots like them!

                                                                            I also remember my mother joking about having to catch a shepherd before shepherd's pie was made. Maybe that's the main ingredient? Maybe that apostrophe is not necessary?

                                                                            1. re: montrealeater

                                                                              "My money's on the UK, no one snoots like them!"

                                                                              We have centuries of experience. It's one of our national traits of which I'm most proud.

                                                                              1. re: Harters

                                                                                I'm not sure that American's can't be snootier than the British, at least as far as food is concerned. The Americans have a whole holiday devoted to the drop-kicking of the entire English cuisine (Thanksgiving)
                                                                                True, Thanksgiving was NOT invented by the Pilgrims who were to the right of Oliver Cromwell (and the Americans don't understand what that means, but they used to hang women for being Quakers in Massachusetts)
                                                                                The actual holiday is a fiction invented by Abraham Lincoln during the American Civil War (1861-1865) and refers to the Pilgrims' first harvest.
                                                                                But all the foods, with the exception of wheaten flour for rolls and milk from cows for the occasional dish, are of American origin. Those foods are:
                                                                                Turkey with cornmeal dressing and sometimes oysters included
                                                                                Mashed Potatoes
                                                                                Beans
                                                                                Cranberry sauce
                                                                                Sweet potatoes
                                                                                Minced meat pies made from meat and fruit preserved in high-grade drinking alcohol, usually rum.
                                                                                None of which originate in the Old world at all, and except for the potatoes, which come from South America, all the foods are of North American origin. (Even the Sweet potatoes and rum)

                                                                                And those recipes used to prepare the sacred meal are not English ones. You can search for an English food item in the traditional Thanksgiving meal, but I don't think you're going to find one!

                                                                                The moral of the story is that the American Indians are better ccoks than the English are.

                                                                                The secondary moral is American wealth. What does the United States have in abundance that no other country on earth has? FOOD.

                                                                                Due to an accident of climate and geography, the United States produces more food per acre, and more food in general, than any other single country on earth.

                                                                                Alexis de Tocqueville visited the US in the early 19th century, and remarked that while in England to ask for food meant to ask for bread, and it could be quite an imposition to ask for it, in the United States to ask for food meant to ask for salt pork. That item was so rare in England that when Campbell's first sold canned beans in England, they advertized that each can was guaranteed to contain a piece of pork! (The Americans would ask; Only one? Why do you bother saying that!? It's just a chunk of fat!)

                                                                                1. re: PeteSeattle

                                                                                  Turkey with cornmeal dressing and sometimes oysters included
                                                                                  - while there are wild turkeys throughout the USA, all of our domestic breeds derive from European breeds which in turn came from Mexican birds. Cornbread (though without the baking powder) was common in the American colonies, in part because corn grew some much better than wheat.

                                                                                  Mashed Potatoes
                                                                                  - As noted these are South American in origin, but became popular in the USA about the same time as in France and England, that is around 1800. Cottage/sheperd's pie cannot date from before that time.

                                                                                  Beans
                                                                                  - these are the young pods of both old and new world beans. While the 'common bean' was cultivated by Indians in the USA, I don't know if they ate the young pods. I wouldn't be surprised if the French were responsible for that practice.

                                                                                  Cranberry sauce
                                                                                  - yes, cranberries are new world. But the sugar?
                                                                                  Sweet potatoes
                                                                                  - these originate in Middle America, and spread to the Pacific and Asia before western exploration. In the USA they are mainly grown in the SE, and except for Thanksgiving, more likely to be eaten there than in New England (think sweet potato pie). I wonder when they become part of the Thanksgiving tradition.

                                                                                  Minced meat pies made from meat and fruit preserved in high-grade drinking alcohol, usually rum.
                                                                                  - minced meat pies are old English, spiced with exotic middle eastern spices. Cromwell and the American Puritans banned Christmas pie as being too popish. Yes, rum was produced in the Americas - from West Indies sugar cane. But sugar cane is old world in origin, and most of the labor was African.

                                                                                  In the 1950s and 60s the iconic versions of at least 3 of these dishes were based on canned products - the green bean casserole, the candied sweet potatoes, and the cranberry sauce. Those aren't exactly testaments to American culinary excellence. :)

                                                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                                                    This kind of discussion is fun! Thanks, Paulj. I suppose that the Sweet potatoes are a Southern Tradition, and in the South there exist different recipes.
                                                                                    The turkey and venison indeed MAY come from wild turkeys and deer.
                                                                                    You'll not get too many Americans or English people saying that the Puritans were simply too much for everyone, even Cromwell! (That part the American history books leave out, out of humiliation, but the reason we have "Freedom of Religion" in the US is because our history for our first 150 years was so extreme)

                                                                                    I'll tell you a story: One Thanksgiving vacation, I was riding home from college on a motorcycle and stopped to help a couple driving a Cadillac who were in trouble. They had just hit a deer. I decided it would be a waste to let the fresh meat go bad, so I dressed the carcass out, and when a game warden drove by I held the carcass up for him to see. (He just waved and drove on)
                                                                                    I took what I could carry of the carcass home with me, which was mostly the back legs.
                                                                                    Grandmother took the legs and made SAUERBRATEN with them. They were delicious! She was less than happy because her sauerbraten upstaged her turkey that Thanksgiving!
                                                                                    Years later I made sauerbraten with a beef roast. Strange thing was, the marinade Grandmother used made venison taste beefy, but the marinade I used made beef taste venison'y!
                                                                                    Weird, huh?

                                                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                                                      and pumpkin pie was *based* on a custard recipe that *did* come from England --- they were doing what they could by combining the recipes they knew with the ingredients they had on hand.

                                                                                      (no nutmeg or allspice in those early pies, either, and likely sweetened with honey or *possibly* maple syrup/sugar)

                                                                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                        The Wiki article on pumpkin pie cites this NYT article
                                                                                        http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/24/opi...
                                                                                        which claims pumpkin came to Tudor England from France (having earlier come from North America), and returned to North America with the Pilgrims. It also claims pumpkin pie was popular in Tudor England, though it has largely disappear in that country.

                                                                                        As usual, Foodtimeline is a fount of information, with some early recipes
                                                                                        http://foodtimeline.org/foodpies.html...

                                                                                        1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                          YES nutmeg and alspice! Alspice is a Carribean native, and would have been available with the first rum and sugar exports. It was called the ""Grand Triangle" where manufactured good were exported from the UK to Africa, traded for slaves, who were sold for rum and sugar in the Islands, and then that was traded in the Northern Colonies for lumber and wood products.
                                                                                          In the meantime, there was a Spanish trade route that went from the West Coast of Mexico to the Philippines and back that made nutmeg available to the Carribean islands. (Hawaii was discovered by Captain Cook because the Spanish used two different latitudes to run their trade route, bypassing Hawaii)

                                                                              2. I don't think that shepherd's pie is JUST British--true it is eaten there, and maybe they consider it to be "theirs" but I seems like such a basic idea that would be common to many places. Other dishes that are not from anyone place are: meatloaf, meatballs, pies/empanadas (filled things), and more. None of these dishes should really be considered strictly endemic to one place.

                                                                                1. Shep pie or Cot pie is easy to make easy to assemble easy to adorn easy to lesson easy to smell while baking and lovely to enjoy plating up and devouring.
                                                                                  Love cutting/scooping the first piece out.

                                                                                  OAN, is a hot pot English in origin?

                                                                                  FYI^^^on another note

                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                    There is a specifically English dish called Lancashire hotpot
                                                                                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lancashi...

                                                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                                                      Lancashire Hotpot was ruined by our school dinner ladies but that's another subject! It was full of gristle.

                                                                                      1. re: smartie

                                                                                        I'm a Cestrian, not a Lancastrian, but the regional dish of our northern neighbours can be lovely when done well. It's from the same stable as Irish stew, scouse and lobscaws - long cooked lamb with onion and potatoes, simply done. Of course, my Mum's was the best ever but I had a damn good Michelin starred version a couple of years ago.

                                                                                        1. re: smartie

                                                                                          the list of foods ruined by the school dinner ladies is long and distinguished.

                                                                                        2. re: paulj

                                                                                          that's the right dish I was thinking of, thank you. couldn't and wouldn't have remembered what it was called. I like the simple ingredients of it and saw a lady chef maybe named Christine Cushing on a Canada food tv show where she made it with her guest of the day Debi Travis I think her name is. I know this whole thought is a repeat, sorry for that. anyway it looked great to me on a cold night, very heartwarming.

                                                                                      2. How about we just call the dish, when made with beef, American Shepherd's Pie?

                                                                                        8 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: escondido123

                                                                                          Good idea - there's previous for this. As in the things Americans call "pancakes" and we call "American pancakes". Or the game Americans call "football" and the rest of the world calls "American football".

                                                                                          1. re: Harters

                                                                                            Except the English already have a good name for beef with a potato topping - cottage pie.

                                                                                            And while the English may talk about American pancakes and American football, Americans use plain pancakes and football. By that analogy, Americans are justified in calling the beef pie shepherds pie.

                                                                                            There are, in effect, two types of sheperds pie in the USA. One is homegrown, with a tradition going back to 19th c. American cookbooks. The other is a conscious imitation of all-things-British.

                                                                                            1. re: paulj

                                                                                              As I said upthread, I couldnt care less what Americans call a dish in their own country. If they want to call a dish of minced beef and a potato topping a cottage pie, a shepherds pie, or even a pancake, who cares.

                                                                                              1. re: Harters

                                                                                                Is there much debate in the UK over these names? Obviously for some people the lamb v beef distinction is important. But there probably others who don't care.

                                                                                                Do people stage protests if the dinnerladies use the wrong meat or name? Or boycott a pub that does the same? Write letters to the editor if a newspaper makes the mistake? Throw a fit if Mom buys Birds Eye Sheperd's Pie instead of Tesco's own?

                                                                                                1. re: paulj

                                                                                                  There's absolutely no debate in the UK. Cottage pie is made with beef. Shepherd's pie with lamb. Everyone knows that - there's nothing to debate.

                                                                                                  1. re: Harters

                                                                                                    A somewhat humorous 'field guide' to the two pies
                                                                                                    http://www.fellwalk.co.uk/londonfood3...

                                                                                                    A Guardian article that tries to down play the difference. Surprisingly the comments don't dwell on the issue.

                                                                                                    http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyl...

                                                                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                                                                      I'm unsure why you are surprised that the reader comments don't dwell on the "issue". It's because there *is* no issue in British cooks' minds - one pie is beef, the other lamb. The discussion amongst the readers is how one enhances whichever pie one is making. Simples.

                                                                                                      But I seem to recollect you and I having this exact same discussion some time ago. The situation is unchanged from that time - in the UK, the position is entirely clear what is what - and, equally, it's completely irrelevent how foreigners might descibe a dish in their own country.

                                                                                                      That said, it's reassuring that the recipe on fellwalk.co.uk uses mat from Herdwick sheep - without question the best we have (almost all - if not all - are raised in the county of Cumbria

                                                                                                      1. re: paulj

                                                                                                        Sorry if this is out of place, PaulJ, but the thread is getting really unweildy.
                                                                                                        Moussaka: You gave me an idea with that bechamel sauce comment. I had made Indian tamarind eggplant this week, and I didn't like it. I wished I had made moussaka instead.
                                                                                                        Only instead of doing real Greek Moussaka, with potatoes, cinnamon, bechamel sauce, and ground lamb, most of which it's hard to afford and much of it I simply DON'T LIKE, why not make a Creole dish combining the best of Southern Green Bean Casserole with Greek Moussaka and Shepherd's pie?
                                                                                                        AND MAKE SOMETHING I WANT TO EAT MORE OF.
                                                                                                        So I'm thinking of replacing the Bechamel sauce, which is expensive because of the cream, with Campbell's cream of mushroom soup concentrate, like in the green-bean casserole, and some kind of ground beast, whatever's in my freezer, and some eggplant. And leave out the damn cinnamon and nutmeg, and perhaps replace it with Bulgarian feta cheese or something, and maybe lemon juice.
                                                                                                        I'll have to think more of this, and I'll try to keep you posted on the results.
                                                                                                        But this is what a food blog is for: to think about food and how to make it better.

                                                                                          2. Why is this the thread still active? It's a no-brainer with nothing to discuss. Authentic shepherd's pie is always made with lamb or mutton. If the identical recipe is made with beef, it should properly be called a cottage pie. End of story...there is nothing further to say re this issue!

                                                                                            19 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: josephnl

                                                                                              When did you learn about the distinction? When did you first hear about cottage pie? Was it something you grew up with, read about, or picked up while traveling in England.

                                                                                              I didn't know anyone cared about the difference before reading the previous thread. Before that I would have asked 'cottage pie? what's that?'. Shepherds pie was something I saw at potlucks (and more than likely made with ground beef) , and the only recipe I paid attention to was the informal one in Joy of Cooking (pre 1997). The mashed potatoes were the distinctive part, not the choice of meat. The closest equivalent that my mom regularly made had sliced hotdogs in a tomato sauce as the base, and cornbread as the topping.

                                                                                              1. re: paulj

                                                                                                Paulj, as I mentioned previously, these UK-based posters who are categorically stating that this is 100% black and white in the UK are wrong. There *are* English people who call it Shepherd's Pie when its made with beef. I mentioned my mother, she calls it that because her grandmother did/does, and my grandmother hasn't been 'polluted' like my poor parents forced to live in the savage colonies (so the whole 'REAL English people would never..." simply isn't true). My mom says it was the dish they had on Monday, usually, made with the leftovers of the Sunday (beef) roast.

                                                                                                Technically, yes, Cottage Pie is with beef and Shepherd's Pie is with mutton, but the contentiousness is something I've only ever seen in foodies. I think to most non foodie types, the meat-topped-with-mash can pretty safely be called either one.

                                                                                                1. re: montrealeater

                                                                                                  "My mom says it was the dish they had on Monday"

                                                                                                  Absolutely. Mum would always make it with the Sunday leftovers - cottage pie if it had been beef, shepherds pie if lamb. I recall leftover pork used to go into a rissole sort of thing.

                                                                                                  As you point out, all the British posters on this and a similar, earlier, thread have taken a consistent view that in British cuisine there are two distinct, but similar, dishes with two distinct but similar names. There is a reason for that consistency :

                                                                                                  1. re: Harters

                                                                                                    No, Harters, I specifically said my (ENGLISH) relatives call the pie, with beef, Shepherd's Pie. I also conceded that it is entirely possible that they are the only people in the whole British Isles that do so, I was just pointing out that there are, in fact, actual English people (not stinky colonials like myself and the rest of the oiks here) who call the beef pie Shepherd's Pie.

                                                                                                    I will inform my granny that someone on the internet says she is wrong. :D

                                                                                                    1. re: montrealeater

                                                                                                      It's a bit like the folk who confuse Bakewell Tart and Bakewell Pudding and use the terms interchangeably. Just because they do, doesnt make them right.

                                                                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                                                                        Really hate when that happens.

                                                                                                        1. re: Harters

                                                                                                          Is Mrs Beeton using the Bakewell Pudding correctly?
                                                                                                          http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/b/beeto...

                                                                                                          1. re: paulj

                                                                                                            Yes - pudding is with puff pastry; tart with shortcrust.

                                                                                                            Unsurprisingly, there are a number of shops in Bakewell claiming some sort of originality. This place has the best claim:
                                                                                                            http://www.bakewellpuddingshop.co.uk/

                                                                                                            Now I happen not to like either the pudding or the tart - but the shop does make wonderful pork pies.

                                                                                                            1. re: Harters

                                                                                                              thanks for that, Harters -- I'll be in the Peak District next month! We'll try the Bakewell tarts (because that's what tourists do) -- but we'll make a point of the pork pies, too.

                                                                                                              1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                No, no, no!

                                                                                                                Puddings, not tarts. Puddings are the original and, indeed, the bakers in Bakewell are trying to get EU "protected designation" for it.

                                                                                                                If your trip co-incides with the last Saturday of the month, then there is a great farmers market at Bakewell (we go 2 or 3 times a year). For others in the National Park, this link may be helpful - http://www.derbyshireguide.co.uk/trav...

                                                                                                                1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                  Good to know -- and a great website -- thanks again!

                                                                                                                  (and sorry about the flip-flop on the terms...I've heard "tart" far more often than I've heard 'pudding'...so now I'll know which to ask for!)

                                                                                                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                    Lived near Bakewell for many years, wasn't overly keen on the puddings until a local advised eating it warm with custard, makes a huge difference. And when you've experienced a Derbyshire 'summer' that won't seem such a weird idea. Makes me all nostalgic - for the pudding that is not the Derbyshire summer.

                                                                                                                    1. re: andrewtree

                                                                                                                      Summer this year is, so far, a non-event. We even put the heating back on the last couple of nights. It's more a time for steak & kidney pudding than the BBQ.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                        here on the Continent, too -- after 3 months of drought and temps in the high 20s, I had to go up to the attic and dig out sweaters again.

                                                                                                                        We've been eating things like raclette and chili, for heaven's sake!

                                                                                                                  2. re: Harters

                                                                                                                    So if it's a 'pudding' it's the more ancient or traditional version?

                                                                                                                    Americans have to leave their idea of a pudding back a home. A pudding might not even be sweet.

                                                                                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                      black pudding, steak and kidney pudding and yorkshire pudding come to mind.

                                                                                                                      1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                        I've been traveling to the UK for far too many years to assume that "pudding" means a bowl of custard.

                                                                                                                      2. re: Harters

                                                                                                                        So are puddings an endangered species now? What happend about the anual April 1 haggis hunt on the moors of Scotland?
                                                                                                                        Puddings are an ancient attempt to cook two dishes in one pot at the same time. In your stew, you put a bag of another dish, like your dessert, and boiled it.
                                                                                                                        And you really REALLY think that style of cooking needs endangered species protection?
                                                                                                                        Are you worried about cheap Serbian imitations of English plum pudding made with Serbian prunes and slivovic? (That would be fun, by the way!)

                                                                                                      2. re: josephnl

                                                                                                        Amen

                                                                                                      3. A funny thing about this topic is that in the USA we don't have shepherds - except in churches. We have sheepherders, and the immigrant culture most associated with the occupation is Basque. Western states like Idaho still have pockets of Basque culture and food. A search on the web for 'basque shepherds pie' turns up multiple copies of a egg and potato dish, something along the line of a Spanish tortilla - probably not very authentic by an standard.

                                                                                                        Now, most sheepherders in the USA are recruited from South American, working with temporary visas. Articles like this don't paint a quaint picture of cottages and and left over Sunday roast topped with mashed potatoes.
                                                                                                        http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/22/us/...

                                                                                                        1. So I asked at the UK/Ireland site what they expected the meat in Shepherd's Pie to be (the post has since disappeared) and got two responses. the first said lamb and only lamb, the second said lamb was traditional but beef was now quite common because cost of lamb had gone up so much, so where does that leave us?

                                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: escondido123

                                                                                                            It leaves you with what was actually said on the UK board - which is that that the bottom end of supermarket and pub "catering" products tend to use beef because it is a cheaper ingredient.

                                                                                                            If I use cheaper pork instead of beef, will everyone still agree that it's a hamburger, if I say it i

                                                                                                            1. re: Harters

                                                                                                              'hamburger' illustrates an American flexibility with food names. The word comes from a German city. During WWI, 'hamburger steak' was renamed 'Salisbury steak', after an early low-carb diet promoter. Variations often replace the 'ham' with something else: cheeseburger (just adds cheese), bacon burger (adds bacon), chicken burger, turkey burger, lamb burger.

                                                                                                              For some reason I haven't heard of a pork burger. Ground pork is usually well seasoned, turning it into sausage or sausage patty, so tends to be served on a smaller bun. Or pork is sliced or shreadded and served on a bun with sauce (pulled pork).

                                                                                                              'BBQ' may be a better analogy to the shepherd/cottage debate. Some Americans are quite passionate about the correct use of the term, usually meaning slow roasted with smoke. There are strong regional (and personal) preferences regarding the details, including the choice of meat (pork, beef, chicken, etc). But others use the term interchangeably with grill (fast cooking over a fire). And as far as I know, British usage is that 'bastardized' version, as is the Australian 'barbie'.

                                                                                                              'chili' is another American example, with options ranging from the purist Texas bowl-of-red (just beef with dried red chiles) to vegetarian stews.

                                                                                                              With both BBQ and chili, the 'purist' position is promoted by competitions. May be that's what you need in the UK - shepherd's pie competitions with strict rules about what is allowed (e..g always held on Tuesdays using leftovers from Sunday's joint). :)

                                                                                                              1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                Thanks - but we'll stick with the pork burger analogy as it perfectly fits the discusssion. You havnt heard of a pork burger, so I assume you would think it an inappropriate term. Yet, a quick Google will show you that it's a common term in the UK.

                                                                                                                1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                  I the book "Sacred Cow, Abominable Pig" it mentions that it's difficult to grill a ground up pork burger until it's safe to eat without it becoming dry as a roofing shingle.

                                                                                                                  That's why pork burgers aren't popular. I've tried it, and they're right. Pork patties need some water, like a slow braise, or frying in a pan and finishing up in a microwave.

                                                                                                                  True, trichinosis isn't the danger it used to be. What's not mentioned in this is that unlike E. Coli infestations, there's no cure for trichinosis.

                                                                                                                2. re: Harters

                                                                                                                  I get the feeling you think I was trying to misquote the board...since I couldn't finding the post I was doing my best to write what I remembered. Thank you so much for setting me straight.

                                                                                                                  1. re: escondido123

                                                                                                                    Nope, I was trying to be helpful. I had read your post on the UK and the two replies before the thread disappeared.

                                                                                                                    1. re: escondido123

                                                                                                                      Looks like some moderator unhelpfullly moved your thread to General. Maybe the subject line should have specified that you wanted UK opinions.

                                                                                                                      I noticed that Tesco, a major retailer, has both shepherds and cottage versions in their frozen foods section, but Birdseye UK has a mislabeled beef shepherds pie.

                                                                                                                      Presidents Choice, an upscale Canadian house-brand, has 8 'shepherds pie' offerings - but they are all Pate Chinois style with beef and corn.

                                                                                                                3. Menton, give it up. I had an English stepfather so I know what a high tea is and have spent my life trying to convince Americans that high tea is more about fried eggs than fancy little sandwiches, but the term "High Tea" in the United States has been hijacked. I suspect that Shepherd's Pie falls into the same category. What do you suppose they will do with Spotted Dick? Probably, think it's a social disease.

                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                  1. re: Querencia

                                                                                                                    While playing the GHB (the pipes) in Louisiana an Anglophile was asking me in front of a Cajun what was the name of that English soup made of chicken and an onion relative? (In Cajun, it's chicken-and-sausage gumbo)
                                                                                                                    I replied in English, Cock-a-Leekie!
                                                                                                                    Which disgusted the Cajun, because that's one of his words for gonorrhea! (and many of them have it without knowing that it's a problem)

                                                                                                                  2. Folks, this discussion seems to have run its course. We're locking it now.