home > article > Calling All Recipe Detectives — Shepherd’s Pie

Not to be Forgotten

Calling All Recipe Detectives — Shepherd’s Pie

“Shepherd’s pie
1 pound of cold mutton
1 pint of cold boiled potatoes
1 tablespoon of butter
1/2 cup of stock or water
Salt and pepper to taste
The crust
4 good-sized potatoes
1/4 cup cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Cut the mutton and boiled potatoes into pieces about one inch square; put them in a deep pie or baking dish, add the stock or water, salt, pepper, and half the butter cut into small bits. The make the crust as follows: Pare and boil the potatoes, then mash them, add the cream, the remainder of the butter, salt and pepper, beat until light. Now add flour enough to make a soft dough--about one cupful. Roll it out into a sheet, make a hole in the centre of the crust, to allow the escape of steam. Bake in a moderate oven one hour, serve in the same dish.”
---Mrs. Rorer’s Philadelphia Cook Book, Mrs. Sarah Tyson Rorer Philadephia: 1886 (p. 117)



image

Aelbert Cuyp, Seated Shepherd with Cows and Sheep in a Meadow, 1644
It’s the deep, dark of winter, and I crave a shepherd’s pie. Not any potato-topped casserole of stew, but the very one that steamed up the kitchen of my childhood, made by the Scottish nanny I wrote about in my last recipe detectives post. Her’s as I’ve mentioned, was a deep brown mix of meat and vegetables covered with a blanket of mashed potatoes three inches thick. 

Some of the shepherd’s pie recipes I’ve seen have potatoes on the bottom as well as the top, like a sweet pie with a filling, but the one I loved only had the potatoes on top. Cutting through the mashed potatoes was like slicing through perfect meringue. That was the trick of it; the mashed were light and rich but held their shape. The meat mixture beneath was somewhere between the reddish brown of burnt sienna and the cool darkness of burnt umber with dabs of orange carrots and green peas and celery mixed throughout. If you’ve got a lead, please use the comments link above to send it to me. In the meantime, you can find me trying to warm up by painting pictures lit with what I can capture of the elusive sun or wrapped up in a quilt looking up the history of this wonderful dish.

Want to see my favorite final recipe for Shepherd’s Pie right now? Click here.







Tell a friend about this article:






Jellypress is about Nancy and Laura having fun with what they love: old recipes, art, and ideas--as we find them in our modern lives.  We met...read more »

Quince
Yes, all the artwork on Jellypress was done by Nancy. Go to the Jellypress Art page

The Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken: A Search for Food and FamilyTo find out about Laura's search for a long lost family recipe, click [ What's a Jellypress?

Comments on this post

Discuss this post.
Tell a Friend...


The make the crust as follows: Pare and boil the potatoes, then mash them, add the cream, the remainder of the butter, salt and pepper, beat until light. Now add flour enough to make a soft dough--about one cupful.

    – currency trading software (March 06 2010 at 6:50)


Page 1 of 1 pages of comments

Commenting is not available in this section entry.







Links




© 2007 Nancy Gail Ring. All fine art images appearing on jellypress.com are protected under United States Copyright Law. No art from this web site may be downloaded, frame-grabbed or printed without written consent.