The equivalent of the English cottage or shepherd’s pie, hachis parmentier is prepared much the same, but instead of using minced beef or lamb, chunks of boneless beef are boiled with aromatics, drained, chopped, then combined with a saute of spicy or sweet sausage and tomato paste. This moist filling is placed in a casserole dish with a top layer of mashed potatoes, Gruyere and Parmesan cheeses. The casserole comes out of the oven golden brown and bubbling.
On my visits to England, I always order the cottage pie if it is on the menu. Most often, the flavor varies along with the choice of meat. Just recently, I had a cottage pie made with lamb and minced beef-do you call that a Shepherd’s Cottage Pie? It seems the pie can be whatever you want it to be. Instead of boiling the beef, I cooked mine in the slow cooker with less water than the recipe called for. By the way, if you would like the recipe, I suggest you buy the book, “Around My French Table” by Dorie Greenspan. Exciting French recipes gathered over the years by Dorie, not haute cuisine, but delicious comfort food you would serve your family and friends.
An easier version of the pie made with ground or minced beef is posted on the sidebar. I imagine it’s just as good and less work. If you are interested in joining the French Fridays with Dorie group, you can find more information here. It’s a fairly loose group with no requirements for joining except buying the book.