Shepherd’s pie! Ever wondered where it came from? Well, I did some rummaging around the net and was surprised at how much history this dish had. But I wouldn’t go too much into it, since you could get it here and here. It’s really amazing though, how this dish was invented. As you would have read ( if you checked out the links) it came about probably because of “frugal peasant housewives looking for creative ways to serve leftover meat to their families.“*
Shepherd’s Pie: A Dish Born Out of Necessity
Now isn’t that something I thought to myself. Here we have a famous dish that came about from necessity. ……Then a train of thought hit me relating to Shepherd’s Pie that I never thought of…
Shepherd’s pie is of English origin…….. The English brought this pie recipe to Trinidad and Tobago during the colonial times …. The house slaves may have probably seen how to make it or made it because I’m sure some of them may have been cooks or kitchen assistants. The recipe, handed down in this manner, could have been a possible influence to our local pies like fig pie, dasheen pie, yam pie and eddoes pie for example. Hmmm!
Coming to think of it, these pies may have been made out of necessity too, because potatoes may not have been available to slaves. They would have used whatever was available to them, like ground provision. Even though it’s a thought, that is some real Trinidad and Tobago “pie history” to ponder on don’t you think?
Anyhow, however the history goes we have been making shepherd’s pie in Trinidad and Tobago for ages. The variations like the fig pie tastes just as well and have become a regular on the menu, especially the Sunday menu, in most homes. Personally, I like the fig pie but then “man does not live on fig pie alone” so Shepherd’s pie is welcomed from time to time. Of course, the extra cheese on top is also a plus 🙂
Shepherd’s Pie Recipe
This recipe is really intensive and I would advise that you make it together with someone or as a family to save time; while they’re cooking the minced meat you could work on the mashed potato. If you’re doing it as a family the children could work on the mashed potato while the spouse work on the meat and …..you direct everything. Like that eh! 🙂
Here’s Shepherd’s Pie. Enjoy!
5 medium-sized potatoes
water to boil the potatoes
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic
1 /2 cup mushrooms, chopped
1/2 lb minced meat
2 tbsp. oil
4 tbsp. chive, chopped (divided)
2 tbsp. celery, chopped
2 tsp. parsley
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. paprika
1 pimento, finely chopped
1/4 cup tomato sauce (or 3 tbsp tomato paste)
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup milk
1 cup grated cheese (divided)
In a deep pot boil the water and add the potatoes. Cook until the potatoes are soft enough to be mashed.
Tip: To test the potato pierce with a knife and make sure it goes through easily.
Tip: The frozen minced meat was added directly to the pot, no oil added,
and allowed to cook in its own juices and the water from the melted ice.
Now on to the potatoes:
Mix well – mix until the potato forms a smooth paste.
and place in the oven to bake for about 30 minutes at 250 degrees F or until golden brown.
Note:More cheese could be added to the top if desired.