Pastel de Papa is also known as Cottage Pie, Sheperd’s Pie
It was in Peru where I enjoyed a Pastel de Papa that was earthy, flavorful, no pretensions. A potato (papa) and meat dish that you want to eat all day long! La papa (not the Catholic pope) was first cultivated up in the Andes about 6,000 to 10,000 years ago, in the region of Lake Titicaca. So Peru is the country that can lay claim to the potato (Rodriguez, 2010).
However, some Chileans lay claim to the potato’s origins as do some Bolivians. Well my personal conviction is that I’ll say whatever I need to in order to get served this delicious pie.
Pastel de Papa is a blending of European, Asian and Native American ingredients. In Europe the dish is known as Cotttage Pie when it includes beef and Shepherd’s Pie when it includes lamb. But they all share the potato as the topping and sometimes also as the crust.
I know it’s summer but since I had to do something with leftover roast and since I’m craving potatoes, Cottage Pie, Pastel de Papa, had my name on it.
In this recipe I use a crockpot to minimize heat inside the house and I disregard baking. Improvise! You can put the meat in the crockpot when you leave for work and it’ll be cooked when you get home after work. I plug it outside on the porch. Cooking the vegetables separately on the stove top keeps their individual flavors sharp and distinct.
Recipe (serves 8)
-2 lb Round Roast
-2 teaspoons salt
-1/2 teaspoon black pepper
-1 Bay Leaf
-2 tspn fresh thyme, minced or 1/2 tspn dried
-1 tspn fresh sage, minced or 1/4 tspn dried
-1 Tbsp fresh Parsley, minced
Vegetables: You can see from this list how easy it’d be to leave out the beef and have a vegetarian feast.
-10 oz pearl onions, peeled and the root tip sliced off (If you drop them into boiling water for 30 seconds, then immerse in an ice bath to stop the cooking, the skin will easily slide off. But you may prefer to just lop off the end and peel.)
-3 medium leeks. washed well, cut in 1/2″ slices. Use only the white and pale green parts
-1 Parsnip, peeled, cut diagonally into 1″slices
-6 oz Cremini mushrooms, sliced
-2 Carrots, peeled, cut diagonally into 1/2″slices
-1 medium Turnip, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch squares
-2 Tbsp Canola oil
-3/4 cup water
-4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
-3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
-1 cup beef broth
-1 cup water
-2 lb russet potatoes, peeled, cut into fourths. These are the large baking potatoes that are fluffy, not waxy.
-1 cup milk
-3 tablespoons unsalted butter
-1 teaspoon salt
-1/4 teaspoon black pepper
-2 quarts water with 1 Tbsp salt
Rodriguez, L. E. (2010). Origen y evolución de la papa cultivada. una revisión. Agronomía Colombiana,