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.

Know More

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 are some uses for linseed oil?

    A:

    Linseed oil, also called flaxseed oil, serves a variety of purposes, including enhancing medicines to alleviate symptoms associated with various medical conditions, to soothe and soften skin, and to produce a range of manufactured products such as paints, linoleum, varnishes and soap. Linseed oil sees use in cooking as well, where it helps form margarine and several types of cooking oils. Linseed oil contains several essential fatty acids, including alpha-linolenic acid, that make it safe for human consumption and an important source of nutrients and minerals.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the scientific name for yeast?

    A:

    The scientific name for the species of yeast used in baker's or brewer's yeast is Saccharomyces cerevisiae. This species of yeast has been used for baking, winemaking and brewing for hundreds of years.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is another name for coconut meat?

    A:

    Coconuts are drupes, rather than nuts, and the coconut meat is also known as the fruit, mesocarp or simply the coconut. Coconuts have three layers, which include the exocarp, mesocarp and endocarp.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the scientific name for vinegar?

    A:

    Vinegar is known by the scientific name dilute acetic acid. Acetic acid typically composes between 4 and 18 percent of vinegar. Other names for acetic acid are ethanoic acid, hydrogen acetate and methanecarboxylic acid. It may be abbreviated as AcOH.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore