Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Shepherd's Pie

"Steak - blé d'Inde - patate" as a Quebecer would say when describing the main ingredients of a Pâté Chinois, a French Canadian Shepherd's pie, basically ground beef, canned creamed corns and mashed potatoes. When you translate word for word Pâté Chinois, it literally translates to Chinese pie. Here we call Shepherd's pie.

The origin of the name of Pâté Chinois still remains a mystery up to this day, but one thing for sure, this is definitely not a Chinese recipe. Some might say that it was introduced by the Chinese workers who worked on the construction of the CN railway in the late 19th century. Other would say that this dish was established in an American village named China and had been a favourite destination for the Quebecers. 

The traditional Pâté Chinois is easy to prepare and inexpensive, only requires 4 ingredients, no herbs nor broth are added. The Shepherd's pie presented here is from Gordon Ramsay show, a more sophisticated pie with red wine, herbs and aromas infused in the ground meat filling. Some Parmesan cheese are sprinkled on top of the mashed potatoes. Another comforting dish before the cold winter ends.

Gordon Ramsay's Shepherd Pie
Serves 8
Preparation Time: 20 mins
Cooking Time: 40 mins


1 1/2 lbs ground lamb (or ground beef)
1 large carrot, grated
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh rosemary (or 1/2 tsp dried rosemary)
1 tbsp fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp dried thyme)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp Worcestshire sauce
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
Salt and pepper
about 1 cup red wine
1 cup beef broth

Potato Topping
3 large russet or Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
3 1/2 tbsps butter
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated


1. Preheat oven to 400F.

2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook beef until brown.

3. Drain fat. Add in grated carrot and chopped onions and cook for a few mins until onions are translucent.

4. Stir in rosemary, thyme, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Pour in red wine and beef stock. Bring to a boil and simmer until the sauce has thickened, about 10-15 mins. Transfer mixture into a 13'' x 9'' baking pan.

6. In a medium pot, place potatoes, cover with salted water. Bring to a boil and cook potatoes until tender. Drain. 

7. Mash potatoes with butter and milk. Add salt to taste. Uniformly spread mashed potatoes on top of the meat. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and paprika.

8. Bake for 20-25 mins until bubbly and golden brown.


  1. Shepherd Pie looks dleicious. It makes awesome meal.

  2. It is funny to read "Shepherd pie" as Chinese pie! Yours look delicious with real stuff...the one in the packaging looks like it has been "photoshop"ed :D

  3. Its very nice n refreshing to see a classic recipe so wonderfully done- thanks for the great post!
    US Masala

  4. Looks fantastic! Saving this one, my husband absolutely loves Shepherd's pie!

  5. Now this is my idea of comfort food!

  6. the picture of the minced beef bubbling on the pan makes me drool. few more hours to lunch time...damn.

  7. I have heard so much of Shepard pie and I never ever had it. This is a perfect recipe and I am saving it in my wish list to give a try :)

  8. I love shepherd's pie!! I love the idea of putting creamed corn into the pie, though yours looks delicious enought with out it :D

  9. my hubby favorite Victor, in fact anything with potatoes will make all of us drool. I did make one but with mutton as beef is a not for religious purpose. Yummy yummy and thanks for making me hungry now, need to look for food.

  10. Well, I don't know what my mother called it, but she made something like Pâté Chinois all the time for my Dad. We were from Michigan...perhaps that's why. He loved creamed corn...would eat it every meal if given the chance.
    Ramsay's version is still comfort food, but much more elegant. Most often I think of it made with lamb, actually.
    Nice recipe, Victor!

  11. Oooh...comfort food. I love shepherd's pie. Yours has such a lovely layer of fluffy potato.

  12. I have never tried making Shepherd's pie. Looking at your pictures makes me want to go straight to the kitchen and make myself a casserole full of it!

  13. How wonderfully easy! Love the little stories (or rather theories) about the origin that came with it too ;)

  14. Looking good! Can't go wrong with these ingredients; wonder why red wine got in the mix though.

  15. This Shepherd's Pie looks wonderful. I know that my family would love this!

  16. @RitaI know what you mean, usually the classic shepherd's pie doesn't have wine, but it gives a good depth of flavour.

  17. I've been thinking about making shepherds pie lately... great recipe!

  18. wow you have me at some shepherd's pie! I haven't baked any this past winter...looks simply lipsmacking!

  19. hello victor, i just read your comments back at my blog reg your aunt. true, i was imagining rather to stay back to have warm ,hearty meals instead of freezing in snow. ha!
    you know, i never had shepherds pie before though i can find them here..due to the ground beef and i do not know that those are potatoes toppings. If i were to make these, i will substitute with chicken maybe, now that's really my version of 'chinese pie'!

  20. I love shepherd's pie with mash. I've had versions with pastry top, but for me I prefer mash. This looks so, so good and comforting. yum.

  21. filling meal looks good and flavourful

  22. Looks great--I love the flavor combination

  23. mmmm red wine in shepherd pie, why not? Vic, now you get me curious to find out how it taste.

  24. Looks simply delicious! I've only tried shepherd's pie once, with lamb, and it was really good! Got to try at making one someday! Thanks for sharing!

  25. So delicious and comforting!

    Did you know that this dish is called Cottage pie when it's made with beef and Shepherd's Pie when it's made with lamb. ;-P



  26. @Rosa's Yummy Yums

    Thanks for the info. I just learn something new today. I definitely didn't know that, that's the first time I hear about "cottage pie". Here in Quebec, the Paté Chinois is made of ground beef, they still call it Shepherd's pie.

  27. I remember when my family first moved to Montreal, and I was served pâté chinois at the cafeteria. I thought: "There's nothing Chinese about this?!" I think there's a book in French entirely dedicated to the history of pâté chinois, though I haven't read it. At any rate, regardless of where it came from, it does hit the spot sometimes! I love the spices and herbs in this recipe!

  28. This really is one of those meals that such a comfort food, I can't help but look at it and feel good. I really like the flavors you have combined in this dish, it sounds great.

  29. INteresting how dishes come to be named! I have to make shepherd's pie at some point it is such a crowd pleaser; your version sounds terrific, very tasty. Did not know Gordon Ramsey had good recipes, besides his TV persona! :)

  30. looks yummy... delicious too.. great sharing recipe..

  31. Looks delicious. I'm going to give it a try. Thanks for sharing.

  32. My Shepherd Pie never comes out quite this nice. I love the fresh herbs and red wine in the recipe. Very nice!

  33. This takes shepherds pie to a whole new level with the red wine! It's full of flavor and so comforting looking!

  34. love this and email me for UK tips how exciting u will love my homeland

  35. Victor this is comfort food at its best. I love this recipe and you for sharing it with us. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  36. Yummy pie! It's funny how things get named isn't it? Like, kung pao chicken isn't even a real Chinese dish, it was invented by a chef in Chicago (or somewhere in America). Either way, I'd happily eat this shepards/Chinese pie or any kung pao chicken! :)

  37. Gordon Ramsay is one of my favourite chefs, and I also followed his tips closely for a shepherd's pie that I made a while ago. But because my "hands itchy", I also incorporated a masala kheema (curried beef) recipe so I can't say for sure it's a classic, but it was good anyway (:

    Interesting background info! I nv knew!



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