People often get it confused with the Cottage Pie. So what I wanted to know, and I am sure you all want to know is - What’s the difference?
Now the difference between Shepherd’s Pie and Cottage pie is that
1. SP is made with Lamb or Mutton, While CP is preferably made with Beef.
2. While the term Cottage Pie came long before Shepherd's, 1791 vs. 1870.
3. SP uses mashed potato spread on top, while CP has a layer of sliced potatoes on the top.
In the original recipes, found in very old cookbooks, the mashed potatoes also lined the bottom of the dish for a crust they called a - "Coffyn".
For the Recipe - Shepherd's Pie
Now I have given the traditional no fuss recipe, but there are certain Variations one can always add.
1. Beer or Stout can be used with, or instead of, stock.
2. A can of baked beans can be added for those who dislike tomatoes.
3. Mushrooms, Parsnips or Turnips and other diced root vegetables can be added if available.
4. Stir in a tablespoon of horseradish or wholegrain mustard to the mash to further develop flavour.
5. One can always decorate the top of the pie with sliced tomatoes as well as cheese.