Traditional Pate Chinois (Shepherd’s Pie)

This Classic Pate Chinois recipe is the French Canadian version of Shepherd’s Pie. Super easy to make using simple ingredients.

traditional pate chinois

This Traditional Paté Chinois recipe is the French-Canadian (Quebecois) version of the American Shepherd’s Pie. Loosely translated it means “Chinese Pie”.

This classic dish is made by layering ground beef on the bottom, corn for the middle layer, and mashed potatoes on top. Many variations exist for this recipe but these 3 layers are the foundation of the dish.

I am told the origins of pâté chinois date back to when the Canadian Pacific Railway was being built in the late 1800s.

traditional pate chinois

The railway workers (mainly of Asian origin) were apparently fed ground beef, potatoes and corn. Hence the name “Pâté Chinois” in their honor.

You can use canned corn, fresh corn or even cream corn instead of frozen corn. If you prefer, you can use ground turkey instead of ground beef if you don’t mind deviating from the traditional dish a bit.

traditional pate chinois

This classic Canadian dish is usually served with some ketchup but I realize that some of you out there don’t care for ketchup.

If that is the case, you can eat this Pate Chinois / Shepherd’s Pie without ketchup or eat it with your favorite condiment.

traditional pate chinois

You will need the following ingredients to make this Traditional Pate Chinois (Shepherd’s Pie) recipe (see recipe card for quantities): Ground Beef, Corn, Yellow Onion, Rosemary, Basil, Tomato Paste, Tomatoes, Russet Potatoes, Parmesan Cheese, Salt, Butter and Milk.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a skillet, cook the ground beef and onions. When the meat starts to brown, season with salt, pepper, rosemary and basil.
  3. Add the tomato paste and diced tomatoes. Mix until well combined. Continue to cook until the beef is completely cooked. Drain any fat. Set aside.
    meat mixture
  4. Cook the potatoes using your favorite method. When cooked, mash potatoes adding salt, butter and milk to taste. Fold in the parmesan cheese.
  5. Place the meat mixture in a baking dish. Top the meat with the corn completely covering the meat. Add the mashed potatoes, completely covering the corn.
    meat layer
    corn layer
    pate chinois in casserole dish
  6. Bake for 45 minutes until hot. If you are using frozen corn make sure that the corn is hot.
  7. Optionally, you can also put the casserole under the broiler for a few minutes to brown the mashed potatoes.

Printable Recipe Card

traditional pate chinois

Traditional Pate Chinois (Shepherd’s Pie)

This Classic Pate Chinois recipe is the French Canadian version of Shepherd's Pie. Super easy to make using simple ingredients.
4.67 from 6 votes
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine Canadian
Servings 8
Calories 428 kcal

Equipment

  • Baking Dish
  • Skillet

Ingredients
 

  • 1 lb Lean Ground Beef
  • ½ Cup Yellow Onion, diced
  • 1 Tsp Fresh Rosemary
  • 1 Tsp Basil
  • 1 Tbsp Tomato Paste, optional
  • 15 oz Diced Tomatoes, optional
  • 30 oz Frozen Corn
  • 4 Russet Potatoes
  • ½ Cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • ½ Tsp Salt
  • ½ Cup Butter
  • Cup Milk

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • In a skillet, cook the ground beef and onions. When the meat starts to brown, season with salt, pepper, rosemary and basil.
    1 lb Lean Ground Beef, 1/2 Cup Yellow Onion, 1 Tsp Fresh Rosemary, 1 Tsp Basil
  • Add the tomato paste and diced tomatoes. Mix until well combined. Continue to cook until the beef is completely cooked. Drain any fat. Set aside.
    1 Tbsp Tomato Paste, 15 oz Diced Tomatoes
  • Cook the potatoes using your favorite method. When cooked, mash potatoes adding salt, butter and milk to taste. Fold in the parmesan cheese.
    4 Russet Potatoes, 1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese, 1/2 Tsp Salt, 1/2 Cup Butter, 1/3 Cup Milk
  • Place the meat mixture in a baking dish. Top the meat with the corn completely covering the meat. Add the mashed potatoes, completely covering the corn.
    30 oz Frozen Corn
  • Bake for 45 minutes in the oven until hot. If you are using frozen corn make sure that the corn is hot.
  • You can also put the casserole under the boiler for a few minutes to brown the potatoes.

Nutrition

Calories: 428kcalCarbohydrates: 51gProtein: 21gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 398mgPotassium: 1109mgFiber: 5gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 165IUVitamin C: 20mgCalcium: 129mgIron: 4mg

Nutritional information provided for this recipe is based on 1 serving. This information is an estimate and may vary based on several factors. If nutritional information is important to you and your diet, please verify this recipe with a Registered Dietitian.

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3 Comments

  1. SteveO says:

    I’m surprised you think shepherd’s pie is an ‘American’ dish — it’s very much from the UK. As hinted at by the name, shepherd’s pie uses minced lamb, while ‘cottage pie’ uses minced beef. Pate chinois is really a French Canadian variant of cottage pie.

    1. Rodney says:

      Thanks for your history lesson!

  2. Natacha says:

    I can’t say enough about this recipe. It is just delicious. Very tasty especially with the tomatoes. My family just loved it and my son who never asks for second servings did so when I made it last night.

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