The Shepherd's Pie basically consists of two layers; the lower one is made from minced meat , the upper one from pureed or very finely grated potatoes . The minced meat is usually lamb (hence the name "shepherd cake"), but this dish is also often made from leftover meat from the Sunday roast .
For the meat layer, the minced meat is usually fried in a pan with fine onion cubes, then simmered in the broth. Other ingredients are also welcome, such as garlic , chopped carrots , peas or other vegetables, as well as herbs such as rosemary or oregano . Often tomato paste is also used, less often wine .
The top layer consists of mashed potatoes to which butter and sometimes cheese is added. For decoration, this layer can also be applied to the meat layer with the piping bag. Sometimes a thin layer of cheese is sprinkled on top at the end. The “cake” is then baked in the oven until it is golden brown and slightly crispy on top.
- The same dish with fish instead of meat is called “Fisherman's Pie” or, when served in a cream sauce, “Admiral's Pie”.
- In Australia , an industrially prepared minced meat dough is often used, covered with mashed potatoes it is called "Potato Pie", in New Zealand it is called "Potato Top Pie".
- The North American variant is called "Chinese Pie" or "Cowboy Pie". Here, however , a layer of corn and ketchup is inserted between the meat and the potato . In French-speaking Canada, this variant is called “Pâté chinois” (English: Chinese pate). Often the corn is also replaced by peas and carrots . In the northeastern United States, green beans are often used as an intermediate layer instead of corn. The “Midwestern” version is prepared with an intermediate layer of mushroom sauce and green beans and left in the oven for longer.
- The vegetarian version of the "Shepherd's Pie" uses a layer of broad beans or other high- protein vegetables instead of the meat layer .
- “Hachis parmentier” (German: “Minced meat Parmentier”, named after the initiator and promoter of French potato cultivation Antoine Parmentier ) is a popular French food that is very similar to the Shepherd's Pie. It is usually prepared at home, but is rarely found in restaurants. Here too, leftovers are often recycled.
- The Turkish variant is called "Hasanpaşa Köfte" (Hasan Pascha meatballs). Here meatballs are formed into small bowls, filled with mashed potatoes and poured with tomato sauce. Often peas are also filled in as an intermediate layer.