Q:

Why is shepherd's pie called "shepherd's pie"?

A:

Quick Answer

Shepherd's pie derives its name from its primary meat content, which is traditionally either lamb or mutton. Similar dishes with beef or other meat as a featured ingredient are more correctly called cottage pie. Both dishes likely date back to the 1700s, although the earliest recorded use of the name dates to the 1870s, states CooksInfo.com.

Continue Reading

Full Answer

While it is often assumed that the name derives from the fact that shepherds tend the sheep that feature in the pie's filling, this may be purely descriptive or it may be adaptive folk etymology. It also is widely speculated that meat pies of various kinds were called cottage pies until the 1870s, when the name "shepherd's pie" emerged and the term became common.

Neither cottage pie nor shepherd's pie could have originated before potatoes became generally accepted in the United Kingdom, which wasn't until the end of the 1700s, CooksInfo.com speculates. Before that, a similar dish was made in Scotland, but this was topped with a pastry crust instead of mashed potato.

The simple, hearty peasant dish now commonly defined as shepherd's pie likely originated in Scotland and the North of England. It may well have come from the Lake District, where some of the best free-range Herdwick lamb and mutton is raised and the locals are very proud of their shepherding heritage, according to Fellwalker.

Learn more about Food Facts

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What foods contain zinc?

    A:

    Foods that contain zinc include grass-fed beef, lamb, oysters, scallops, sesame and pumpkin seeds, lentils, garbanzo beans, spinach, asparagus and cashews. Other foods rich in zinc are turkey; quinoa, which is a type of grain; crimini and shiitake mushrooms; and shrimp.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are some examples of a food that starts with "L"?

    A:

    Examples of a food that starts with the letter "L" include lasagna, lamington, lamb, lettuce, lemon meringue pie, lentils, lollipop and lobster. Two well-known beverages that begin with the letter "L" are lemonade and limeade.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are some common foods that are rich in iron?

    A:

    Meats rich in iron include beef and chicken livers, chuck roast, ground beef, turkey leg, and leg of lamb. Seafood containing lots of iron include shell fish such as oysters, clams and shrimps, and tuna in the fish category. Non-meat iron-rich foods include spinach and tofu.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are some foods that are high in zinc?

    A:

    Oysters have a high amount of zinc, which is also found in abundance in foods such as beef, lamb, chicken, beans, nuts, whole grains, and pumpkin and sunflower seeds. Although a person should get zinc through the foods he eats, dietary supplements serve as an alternative source.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore