Chinese Pie the dish from around the world

by Pete Fitzgetald August. 04, 2020 770 views

A Dish make by the Chinese railway workers in Canada and The United States for the French Canadians with the help from the British building the North American railway system.

I have decided I need some inspiration and since I like to cook and make a mess, plus I wanted to get reacquainted with taking photos. I have decided to try cooking dishes from around the world. You will notice I said “Around” the world that is because despite what a friend of mine believes the world is not flat, because if it was I would have pushed them over the edge for spite!

I thought it was funny and the history of the dish was informative and amusing.

The History:

It may simply be an adaptation of "Shepherd's Pie", but one possible explanation for the Chinese reference is that it was introduced to Canadian railway workers by Chinese cooks during the building of the North American railroads in the late 19th century.

So where else did this dish end up? Well fun seekers let’s take a gander at this…

The French Canadian railway workers became fond of it and brought the recipe back with them to their home communities. From there, it was brought to the textile mill communities of Maine (Lewiston and Biddeford), New Hampshire (Manchester), Massachusetts (e.g., Lowell and Lawrence) and Rhode Island (Woonsocket) where many French Canadians immigrated to work in the mills during the early 20th century.

There are many different ways to make this dish with many variations for ingredients. I however am taking a bit of a short cut and doing a crockpot version of this recipe and using canned Items as apposed to tradition… why? Because I’m Lazy and have a 10 and half hour shift and didn’t have time to fit that all in…. so yes Lazy would be the answer…HA.

The Stuff:

  • 1 pound lean ground beef (about 85 to 90 percent)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper (green, red, or a combination)
  • 1 (0.87 oz.) packet gravy mix (brown, onion, or mushroom)
  • 2 (15 oz.) cans sliced potatoes, drained, or about 3 cups thinly sliced peeled potatoes (2 cans=30 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (or to taste)
  • 1 (14.75 oz.) can cream-style corn
  • 1 (12 oz.) can whole kernel corn (drained)

Tale of the tape:

This dish connects to Chinese, American’s, British, Canadian’s and French Canadian’s Nationalities.

Fun Comfort food brought from England to Canada and The United States. (I have also found versions of this dish in Scotland, Ireland, South America, France, Mexico and Germany).

Was it easy to make? . . . Yes.

How did it taste? . . . Good.

Was it what I expected? . . . Yes

Did I clean up the mess I made? . . . Nope… not until she told me I had to, she is mean and beats me! I am a complete angel ya know!

So As Julia Child would say “Bon Appetit”. As My Dad would say “This is not a restaurant so eat what’s on your plate”, and as I say, “don’t throw up in front of me you ungrateful bastard”.

Join the conversation
There are 10 comments , add yours!
Gethin Thomas 11 months, 1 week ago

If it came from England back in the day then the sweetcorn and bell peppers must be later additions because I never saw those in England until the mid 70's and then they were considered exotic. Take those out and you have shepherd's pie (lamb) or cottage pie (beef) so as you say that could be how it originated.

11 months, 1 week ago Edited
Pete Fitzgetald Replied to Gethin Thomas 11 months, 1 week ago

Thank you it was yummy

11 months, 1 week ago Edited
Jay Boggess 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Love this!
Thanks for sharing w/us!
Always a pleasure, my friend!

11 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Thomas Thompson 11 months, 3 weeks ago

I love that post it looks good, and the step by step photos well done

11 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Pete Fitzgetald Replied to Thomas Thompson 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Thanks Tom and thanks for taking time to stop and look.

11 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Thomas Thompson Replied to Pete Fitzgetald 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Your welcome

11 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Russell Smith 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Hmmm thank you for the history lesson on this dish I learned something new. The food looks good and the commentary made me chcukle lol

11 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Pete Fitzgetald Replied to Russell Smith 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Thank you sir

11 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Camellia Staab 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Well look at you....not only cooking but actually taking pictures, and, and with a DSLR. Coming up in the world buddy and I for one am proud of you. The last photo does make me salivate.😁🤩

11 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Pete Fitzgetald Replied to Camellia Staab 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Why Thank you my lady. I was well worth it, was tasty

11 months, 3 weeks ago Edited