Say Cheerio to Shepherd’s Pie

This tasty series has everything you need to know to make the best Shepherd’s Pie EVER.

This tasty series has everything you need to know to make the best Shepherd's Pie EVER.

St. Patrick’s Day is coming up so we sat down to brainstorm about our favorite Irish dishes. Corned beef was top of the list of course. I mentioned colcannon, a true personal favorite. Then somebody said, “Shepherd’s Pie.” I said, “That’s not Irish. It’s English.” The response, “Who cares. It’s soooo good.” And so, somehow, we decided to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by featuring an English dish.

Oh well. At least it’s got lots of potatoes on it! That’s pretty Irish.

Just so you know, I looked into it further after that and shepherd’s pie is both English and Irish. So we’re good.

Another thing I learned about shepherd’s pie is from a British friend and self-declared expert. He says that Americans make shepherd’s pie wrong. That it’s supposed to have ground lamb in it, not ground beef (because shepherds herd sheep, not cows. Duh). He says that if you use ground beef then you have to call it cottage pie.

I dug into this a bit. It seems he’s kind of right and kind of wrong. It looks like the phrases shepherd’s pie and cottage pie have been used interchangeably for a long long time by many people even in the UK. However, many others, like my pal there, use the above distinction.

We’re not that particular over here at The Cookful so we decided to embrace it all. We’ve got a classic beef Shepherd’s Pie (erm…Cottage Pie) and we also did a classic lamb Shepherd’s Pie. To help you out, we have a tutorial on how to grind your own meat, in case you can’t find ground lamb at your grocery store. In addition to those articles we have amazing tips for making the best mashed potatoes, a step-by-step guide to making the best meat-and-gravy filling, a vegetarian/vegan shepherd’s pie and even a breakfast shepherd’s pie. I think you’re going to really love this topic. It’s definitely delicious no matter what you call it.

All that info will be rolling out to you over the next couple of weeks. If you can’t wait and want to know it all right now, you can get our Shepherd’s Pie Ebook. It has all the info from the series packaged up in one convenient place for you. To get it, subscribe in the yellow box below and then watch your email inbox for info on how to get the book.

O.K., let’s get Irishy (or Britishy). Oh heck. Let’s just eat!

Christine 😉

This post originally appeared in March of 2016 and was revised and republished in March 2018.

Christine Pittman

Christine is the Senior Editor and Owner of The Cookful, COOKtheSTORY and IsThisThatFood. Her sites reach over 1.5 million readers per month, which means that things can get a bit crazy. She's constantly writing, taking pictures, editing, managing contributors, and, oh yeah, cooking. To say that she wears many hats is an understatement - there are many hats, and also many shirts, shoes, pants, and even the odd cape!