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Cottage pie

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Title: Cottage pie  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Bedfordshire clanger, Bakewell tart, Pork pie, Apple pie, Square Pie
Collection: British Cuisine, British Pies, Irish Cuisine, Potato Dishes, Savoury Pies
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Cottage pie

Cottage pie
An example of cottage pie, made with minced beef
Alternative names Shepherd's pie
Type Meat pie
Place of origin UK, Ireland
Main ingredients mashed potatoes
Variations Cumberland pie, Shepherdess pie

Cottage pie or shepherd's pie is a meat pie with a crust of mashed potato.[1][2][3][4][5]


  • Etymology 1
  • History 2
  • Variations 3
  • See also 4
  • References 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 has been used synonymously with "cottage pie", regardless of whether the principal ingredient was beef or mutton.[1][4][9][7][8][10][11] More recently, some people have used the term "shepherd's pie" when the meat is lamb,[12][13] the theory being that shepherds are concerned with sheep[14] and not cattle[15][16][17] (see folk etymology).


  • A St. Stephen's Day pie is made using turkey and ham.[18]
  • The Cumberland pie is a version with a layer of breadcrumb on top.[19]
  • A similar English dish made with fish is a fish pie.

See also


  1. ^ a b The Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition, Oxford University Press, 1933
  2. ^ a b c Merriam-Webster Online
  3. ^ "The Chambers Dictionary", Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, 1999
  4. ^ a b Concise Oxford English Dictionary, Eleventh Edition (Revised), Oxford University Press, 2006
  5. ^ "Jewish Cookery by Florence Greenberg", Penguin Books Ltd, 1947–1963
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management by Isabella Beeton, 1861.
  8. ^ a b 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 kind of lamb for Shepherd's Pie"Comments on . Retrieved 11 February 2009. 
  16. ^ recipe"Low Fat Shepherd's Pie"Comments on . Retrieved 11 February 2009. 
  17. ^ "BBC Food Recipes: Classic cottage pie". Retrieved 1 October 2011. 
  18. ^ St Stephen's Day pie
  19. ^ "What is Cumberland Pie?". Retrieved 6 December 2010. 
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