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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Rustic Cottage Pie

What's in a name? While still a newlywed I made a casserole dish that had been handed through our family under the name of Shepherd's Pie. Imagine my shock when one of our guests told me it wasn't Shepherd's pie. She then went on to tell me what Shepherd's Pie was so I just had to try making it. The casserole was a huge hit the first time I served it! The casserole dish that was handed through our family has remained a family favourite but has since been renamed Hamburger Casserole or affectionately known as Mommy's Surprise.

In recent years I learned that Shepherd's Pie is traditionally made with lamb. The same dish made with game meat is called Hunter's Pie. I have not found an actual name for the dish made with beef as it is widely referred to as Shepherd's Pie. I also make similar casserole dishes using ground pork or ground chicken. I think these types of country casseroles using beef, pork or chicken are best described as Cottage Pies. They are simple, frugal, budget stretching meals that really is what down home cooking is all about!

rustic shepherd's pieRustic Cottage Pie

The beauty of country pies lies in their simplicity. They don't need to have fancy or expensive ingredients. Instead they should be kept simple but that doesn't mean they can't have a lot of flavour. I made the pictured country pie using lean ground beef. This yummy country pie had a rustic look because the top layer was on the chunkier side rather than the normal smooth mashed potato layer.

Rustic Cottage Pie

2 lb lean ground beef
½ medium onion
1½ c beef gravy*
1 c green beans (homecanned or canned)
1 c corn niblets
6 medium potatoes
3 carrots
½ c flavoured cream cheese
¼ c sour cream

Wash potatoes and carrots. Peel carrots. Do not peel potatoes. Cut both into chunks. Steam until tender. Pour into KitchenAid® stand mixer bowl (or similar). Add cream cheese and sour cream. Use the beater paddle to beat into a chunky mixture. Chop onion. Brown the ground beef and onion. Drain. Stir in gravy. Pour the meat mixture into a casserole pan. Drain green beans and pour over meat mixture. Pour corn niblet on top. Spoon the potato mixture over the vegetable layer, spreading evenly. Bake at 180ºC (350ºF) until about 30 minutes or until potato mixture is lightly golden brown.

*If you do not have left-over gravy on hand, use the same amount of canned or powdered brown gravy mixed with 1½ c of water.

6 food lovers commented:

Another Blogger said...

Read this article make me hungry :)

Woodwife said...

When it's made with ground beef it's called Cottage Pie

Garden Gnome said...

Thank-you Woodwife. I have corrected this in the post.

tahtimbo said...

We have made cottage pies before and they were fantastic. However, our recipe did not have the cream cheese, sour cream, or the beef gravy. I WILL be using your recipe the next time I make it. Thank you for sharing this:)

Kim said...

Certainly sounds like Sheppard's pie to me! Look up any recipe for sheppard's pie and most call for beef, either leftover roast or ground.

Garden Gnome said...

Hi Kim and thanks for visiting. I did a bit of research. According to those in the know a Shepherd's pie is made with lamb, a hunter's pie is made with wild game and all else regardless of the meat used which most often is beef is called cottage pie. So Woodwife was quite correct. Two things arise here. First different dishes can be called the same thing depending on the region. Second, names of dishes much like anything else evolve over time. Regardless of what this casserole is called it is still very tasty :)