Tuesday, June 12, 2012

shepherd's pie or cottage pie

I wasn't sure why this dish is called shepherd's pie, so I looked it up. It says I should call this dish 'cottage pie' since it's made of ground beef. It seems that I should use the term shepherd's pie when I'm using mutton or lamb (since shepherds take care of sheep). But anyhow, I call it shepherd's pie in our family.


Ground beef (or combination of ground beef/pork/chicken) - 1 and half lbs
Carrots - 2 med (chopped finely)
Onion - 1/2 (chopped finely)
Garlic - 2 cloves (minced)
Canned tomatoes - 1 (*see TIPS)
Tomato ketchup - 1/3 cup (*see TIPS)
Sugar or honey - 2-3 TBS
Salt & pepper - to taste 

Potatoes - 6-7 med
Butter - 2 TBS
Milk - 2 TBS
Salt & pepper - to taste

Egg yolk - 1 (beaten)
Panko (Japanese bread crumbs) - 1/3 cup


  1. Mince garlic. Chop carrots and onion. 
  2. Peel potatoes and cut into 2 inch cubes. 


  1. [Mushed potatoes] In a big pot, bring water to boil. Add pinch of salt and cook potatoes for 10-15 minutes (check after 10 minutes to see if it's done). Drain the water, mash the potatoes and add butter, milk and salt/pepper to taste. The consistency should be smooth (easy to spread).
  2. [Meat] In a wok or frying pan, heat 2 TBS of olive oil. Fry onion and garlic until fragrant. Add carrots. Fry for another 3-5 minutes. Stir occasionally. 
  3. Add ground meat and fry until nicely browned. Add salt & pepper to taste. 
  4. Add in canned tomatoes and ketchup. Stir and fry for 5 minutes. Add in sugar. Fry (lid open) on a medium heat until the liquid almost dry out (about 5-7 minutes). 
  5. While waiting for the meat to cook, preheat oven to 375 F.
  6. In a oven safe dish (9 by 13), layer meat mixture. Spread mashed potatoes on top of the meat with spatula or icing spatula.
  7. Beat egg yolk in a bowl. Brush over the mashed potatoes. Sprinkle with bread crumbs.
  8. Cook in a preheated oven for 10 minutes. Then change to broiler. Broil it for few minutes until bread crumbs and edges turn golden brown. Take it out of the oven and cool for 5-10 minutes.

Mash potatoes with butter, milk, and salt/pepper

Brush egg yolk on top of the potatoes
Sprinkle with bread crumbs
After baking


  1. Serve with salad. 


  • You can use simple canned tomatoes or you can use one with green chilies or herbs added - this will add more flavor to the dish!
  • Not a fan of ketchup? No worries! Just use tomato sauce/paste and add more salt/honey. 


  1. I didn't know that about shepherd's pie either. Good to know. We use shredded cheese on top of ours instead of panko. Extra cheesy! And my mom uses BBQ sauce in her meat.

  2. Great advice! I should try that out. Thanks! keep suggestions coming. :)