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Shepherd's pie
An example of shepherd's pie
TypeMeat pie
Place of originUnited Kingdom
Main ingredientsBeef
mashed potatoes
VariationsCumberland pie, Shepherdess pie

Shepherd's pie (made with minced lamb) or cottage pie (made with minced beef) is a meat pie with a crust of mashed potato.[1][2][3][4][5]


The term cottage pie was in use by 1791,[2][6] when the potato was being introduced as an edible crop affordable for the poor (cf. "cottage" meaning a modest dwelling for rural workers).


In early cookery books, the dish was a means of using leftover roasted meat of any kind, and the pie dish was lined with mashed potato as well as having a mashed potato crust on top.[7][8]

The term "shepherd's pie" did not appear until 1877,[2] and since then it is sometimes used synonymously with "cottage pie", regardless of whether the principal ingredient is beef or mutton.[1][4][9][7][8][10][11] In the United Kingdom, the term "shepherd's pie" is typically used when the meat is lamb.[12][13][14]


  • The Shepherdess pie is a variation made without meat (vegetarian) and sometimes without dairy (vegan).
  • The Cumberland pie is a version with a layer of breadcrumbs on top.[15]
  • A St. Stephen's Day pie is made using turkey and ham.[16]
  • A similar English dish made with fish is a fish pie.

See also[]

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  • Antoine-Augustin Parmentier
  • Pâté chinois
  • Irish cuisine
  • List of Irish dishes
  • List of pies, tarts and flans


  1. 1.0 1.1 The Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition, Oxford University Press, 1933
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Merriam-Webster Online
  3. "The Chambers Dictionary", Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, 1999
  4. 4.0 4.1 Concise Oxford English Dictionary, Eleventh Edition (Revised), Oxford University Press, 2006
  5. "Jewish Cookery by Florence Greenberg", Penguin Books Ltd, 1947–1963
  6. "Home : Oxford English Dictionary". Retrieved 7 December 2015.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management by Isabella Beeton, 1861.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Cassell's New Universal Cookery Book by Lizzie Heritage published by Cassell and Company, 1894
  9. The Glutton's Glossary: A Dictionary of Food and Drink Terms. Routledge. 1990. Retrieved 20 January 2009.
  10. The Constance Spry Cookery Book by Constance Spry and Rosemary Hume, J M Dent & Sons, 1956
  11. Chambers Dictionary, Ninth Edition, published by Chambers Harrap Publishing Ltd, 2003
  12. "Delia Smith: Shepherds Pie with Crusted Leeks". Retrieved 24 January 2009.
  13. "BBC Food Recipes: Shepherd's Pie". Retrieved 1 October 2011.
  14. "Shepherds' Pie and Cottage Pie". Retrieved 24 January 2009.
  15. "What is Cumberland Pie?". Retrieved 6 December 2010.
  16. "BBC - Food - Recipes : Turkey and ham pie". Retrieved 7 December 2015.

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