Beef Pie, Mashed Potato Topping; local flooding

Mashed potato topped pies are a popular part of British cooking. They are almost always made with leftovers from the ‘Sunday Joint’ which is a strange term referring to a roast beast of some sort served at the main meal on Sunday. I would call it a Sunday Roast, but, as I’m American, I don’t know any better.

I do know that there is a strict naming procedure for the pies.

A Shepherds’ Pie is made with lamb.

A Cottage Pie is made with beef.

A Fish Pie (obviously not made with leftover roast beast) is made with fish or seafood.

A St. Stephen’s Pie is made with turkey and ham – St. Stephen’s Day being the day after Christmas.

Now, according to Google, there is also a Shepherdess Pie which is vegetarian.

In France it’s called a Hachis Parmentier and is made with ground beef. This is not to be confused with the Hachis Flamand à la Moutarde which I have made and is probably the most decadent dish in this entire blog.

So as not to misname my dish and incur the wrath of the food police I am calling it a Beef Pie.

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Beef Pie, Mashed Potato Topping

My potatoes didn’t quite make it to the edge, but that’s not important. My goal was to keep it to 2 reasonable servings….. We did have a bit left.

  • Author: Katie Zeller
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Category: Gratins & Pies


  • Topping:
  • 2 medium potatoes (12oz, 360gr)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • Filling:
  • 12oz (360gr) ground beef
  • 10oz (300gr) butternut squash, cut into small pieces 
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 4oz (120gr) mushrooms, trimmed, chopped
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp parsley 
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs horseradish sauce
  • 1 tbs whole grain mustard
  • 1 cup (8oz, 240ml) beef broth
  • 1 tbs maizena (cornstarch, corn flour) dissolved in 1 tbs water 
  • 1/4 cup (2oz, 60gr) yogurt
  • 1/2 cup (2oz, 60gr) shredded cheese


  • Topping: 
  • Peel the potatoes and cut into chunks.
  • Cook in boiling, salted water until tender, 10 – 15 minutes. 
  • Drain well. Add butter and milk. Mash well. 
  • They should not be stiff but should hold their shape. Add a bit more milk if needed. 
  • Filling:
  • Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. 
  • Add onions, celery, butternut squash, and sauté 5 minutes.
  • Add beef, mushrooms, and sauté, 7 – 8 minutes longer, until beef is cooked through. 
  • Add paprika, thyme, parsley, horseradish, mustard, and beef broth.
  • Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. 
  • Add cornstartch mixture, stirring until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in yogurt.
  • Spoon contents of skillet into a baking dish large enough to hold everything. 
  • Top with potatoes, covering as well as you can.
  • Sprinkle evenly with cheese.
  • Bake, 400F (200C) for 15 minutes or until the top starts to brown. 
  • Remove and serve.


Start the potatoes first, then chop the veggies. Mash the potatoes while everything in the skillet is simmering.

Keywords: beef pie, butternut squash, mashed potatoes

Mashed Potato Topped Beef Pie

I may have mentioned once or twice that we have been having miserable weather.

Starting last Thursday the weather graduated to truly awful.

The winds were fierce and the rain heavy.

Over 100,000 houses in our area, including us, were without power from early Thursday morning until evening.

Thankfully we have a wood stove and a fireplace so at least we had some heat.

We had standing water in all of the fields around.

This morning I found out that the town I do most of my shopping in was having serious flooding.

You can see pictures here of the local flooding. I recognize a lot of the roads and buildings.

Today, for the first time in weeks, it was sunny and warm. I finally got to rake some leaves.

At least we don’t have snow….

12 thoughts on “Beef Pie, Mashed Potato Topping; local flooding”

  1. It’s been snowing off and on all day here. Mostly in squalls that have caused a few whiteout conditions. One of our main N/S roads, US23, had a bunch of spinouts this morning.

    Since hubs doesn’t like lamp, my shepherd’s pie is made with leftover pork and the drippings from the pan. It’s pretty yummy 🙂

    • That is too bad… Still, pork pie is pretty tasty. I never had lamb until I met my hubs. My family would never eat it. Deer, squirrel, duck, pheasant, rabbit…. all okay, but not lamb lol

  2. When we set off yesterday, the Dronne had flooded so the road to the north was closed, the roads to the east, one was flooded, the other one is closed because of road works and the remaining roads out are narrow, winding ones through Le Foret de Double – we saw one car neatly parked across a ditch! At least our power was only off briefly last week.

  3. We went up to Tours yesterday and discovered that the next valley to us is one big shallow lake! Everyone is more or less happy though, because it will eventually seep down and refill the aquifers. A lot of people here have wells which were getting very low.

    I’ve never heard of a St Stephen’s pie, nor the Sheperdhess pie (but I like the idea). The insistance on the shepherd/cottage distinction I think is a nitpicking mid-20C thing that really gained steam in the 80s or 90s. I don’t remember anyone caring when I was a kid (in the 60s and 70s).

    • All the wells and farm ponds are full to overflowing here. I have no idea where the spring rains will go. More flooding I would guess. The aquifers were a bit low here, but not any longer lol
      I blame the pie distinction on the self-appointed food police

  4. I did not know about all those name rules! And here I have been incorrectly calling any meat casserole dish topped with mashed potatoes “shepherd’s pie”! (I confess that I have a horror of the dish being made with Sunday’s leftover roast – Mum used to roast beef until there wasn’t even a hint of pink in the center. Her shepherd’s, errrm, sorry… cottage pie was dry dry dry dry. It makes me cough just thinking of it. (Otherwise, Mum’s cooking was quite decent.)

    So sorry to hear about all the flooding! That can’t be fun.

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