Cottage Industry

The cottage pie ($7.95) at the Stag's Head Pub (2128 Portsmouth, 713-533-1199) comes in its own oval serving dish. Finely minced beef sautéed with onions, carrots and seasonings is layered at the bottom of the dish, followed by a smooth layer of mashed potatoes, and then the whole thing is browned under a grill. Afterward, the creamy mashed potato topping is indented with a ladle, creating a hole into which brown gravy is poured. The serving dish, along with the dark gravy surrounded by the white mashed potatoes, make the dish look just like an eye. Cottage pie is made with beef, whereas shepherd's pie is made with lamb; otherwise, the dishes are very similar. Here, English green peas are served on the side, although at other pubs, they're included inside the beef mixture itself.


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