Cumberland Pie RecipeJanette Fuschi | Culinary Ginger
Cumberland Pie is a wonderfully comforting dish. Similar to shepherd’s pie, it’s a dish you’ll be craving when the weather cools.
Cumberland pie is a wonderfully comforting casserole of ground beef and vegetables topped with mashed potato, bread crumbs and melted cheese. Is this not shepherd’s pie? No, it is not, please read on…
There are 3 British pies that are very similar with subtle differences and I’m here to explain them all. Shepherd’s pie is made with lamb; cottage pie is made with beef and Cumberland pie can be made with either.
The topping is slightly different on the Cumberland pie than the others, which are traditionally just plain mashed potato, this pie comes topped with cheese and bread crumbs. This would explain why you see shepherd’s pie these days’ in various ways as it is seemingly a combination of all 3.
Cumberland pie is rarely seen unless you’re in the county of Cumbria situated in North West of Britain which lies in the most beautiful area of the Lake District. It is one of the top tourist destinations and this is where you will see the traditional recipe served by locals and eaten by tourists.
Stemming from Medieval times, the pie used to be made with a pastry crust, but has evolved over the year into the use of mashed potato, which does make it easier and faster to make.
For this recipe, I’m making this pie with cubed beef. The choice of vessel is entirely up to the cook, but it does need to be oven-proof. My preferred method (and which aides in an easy cleanup) is using the same pan to cook the beef and vegetables for the finished dish. This time around I used my cast iron Dutch oven for a unique presentation, but any 1-quart baking/casserole dish will work as well.
If you’re in the mood for some lamb, you can make the traditional shepherd’s pie I posted earlier this year.
Planning a dinner party and need some inspiration?
How about looking for a new slow cooker dinner idea?
We’ve got you covered in our ever-growing Facebook group! If you’re not a member yet, why not?!
We’re chatting cooking techniques, dessert ideas, and everything in between. If you’re already a member, invite your friends to join us too!
Cumberland Pie Recipe
IngredientsFor the Topping:
- 3 pounds Russet Potato, peeled and cut into large chunks
- 4 tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted
- 1/4 cup Milk, warmed
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt, or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
- 1 tablespoon Breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- 1 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
- 2 pounds Beef Chuck, or round roast, cut into cubes
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
- 1 medium Onion, chopped
- 8 ounces Carrot, sliced
- 2 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Fresh Thyme, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons Tomato Paste
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 teaspoon Flour
- 1 cup Beef Stock
For the topping:
- To a large pan add the potatoes, add cold water until the potatoes are covered and bring to a boil.
- Turn down to a low boil and cook for 20 minutes until tender.
- Drain the potatoes a colander, and add back to the pan. Mash until smooth and add the butter, milk, salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
For the filling:
- Add vegetable oil to a heavy skillet over medium-high heat and add 1/2 of the beef. If the pan is too crowded, the meat will not brown, it will boil. Season with half of the salt and pepper, sauté until browned. Remove and set aside, repeat with the other half of the beef.
- To the drippings (add more oil if needed) add the onion, cook until softened. Stir in the carrots, garlic and thyme, cook for 1 minute.
- Add the tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce, mix well. Sprinkle the flour and mix in well, cook for 1 minute.
- Add the beef stock and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes until some of the liquid has reduced.
- Stir in the beef and turn off the heat.
- Transfer the beef to your preferred dish and top with the mashed potato, grated cheese and breadcrumbs. Bake for 30 minutes until the top is golden.
- Janette Fuschi
- British, Potatoes, Beef, Cheese, Dinners, Family Meals and Snacks
- Related Recipes:
- British Recipes, Potato Recipes, Beef Recipes, Cheese Recipes, Dinner Recipes, Family Meals and Snack Recipes
- Recipe Yields:
- 4 servings
- Prep Time:
- Cook Time:
- Total Time:
- Related Post:
Author: Janette Fuschi
Recipe Yields: 4 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 65 minutes
Amount Per Serving