Quebec’s national dish

June 24, 2010

There exist many different explanations for the origin of Quebec’s national dish, the “China Pie” (the equivalent of “Shepherd’s Pie”). According to some people, it originated in the city named China in Maine, from where some Québécois workers imported it between 1850-1900.

According to others, this name derives from the fact that the typical meal for Chinese working on the Canadian Pacific Railway companies consisted of mashed potatoes, corn and ground beef. But one thing is for sure: the original recipe came from England, where it is called Shepherd’s Pie.

It was created in order to use up leftovers from the Sunday roast, by adding any easily available vegetable. Corn was included to the North American recipe of this dish. My version replaces potatoes with cauliflower, thereby meeting the requirements of the ‘Montignac’ low-carb diet.

Try our Beef and Cauliflower Pie

Beef and Cauliflower Pie

Beef and Cauliflower Pie


Originally published in the Journal de Montréal on September 30, 2006.


Cinzia Cuneo
Cinzia Cuneo, founder of, never wanted to neglect the quality of her food. She shares her special expertise to make good food quickly and without complications!

One comment to “Quebec’s national dish”

June 26, 2010 Beatrice Milne said:

Just for the record. In England this type of pie is called a “cottage pie”. Shepherd’s pie is made with lamb or mutton.

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