Chinese Pie


  • This makes four servings.
  • 1 lb. of ground beef
  • 1 Tablespoon of oil to the cover bottom of the frying pan
  • 3 cups mashed potatoes
  • one 15 oz. can whole kernel corn, drained
  • salt and pepper to taste

Image: A photo of an iron skillet. Click below to visit The Iron Skilet site.
The Iron Skillet


Preheat your oven to 375F. Lightly cook the ground beef until it's no longer pink, stirring to break it up. Drain off any excess fat. Salt and pepper to taste. You can bake the pie right in the frying pan, a cast iron one is best, or you can put the ground beef in a lightly oiled, two- or three-quart baking dish. Cover the ground beef with the corn. Spoon the mashed potatoes on top of the corn and spread gently to cover completely. Try to not disturb the layers of corn and beef. Bake for 25 or 30 minutes. The potatoes should start to brown.


This is really a lot like what the British call Shepherd's Pie. But in Wilton, Maine in 1951, the Grammar School cafeteria served this dish frequently and called it Chinese Pie. Everybody loved it. I told my mother about it and it became popular at home, too. There was no explanation for the name and nothing about it is Chinese at all. It is almost always served with green peas on the side. And plenty of ketchup.

VARIATIONS — It's even better with some or all of the following additions:

  • — Add some finely chopped garlic and/or onion to the pan and cook in the oil for a few minutes, then add the raw ground beef and cook it as mentioned above.
  • — When the beef is cooked add half a can of beef gravy or brown gravy. Then add the layers of corn and potatoes. Heat the rest of the gravy and pour it on the pie when it's ready to serve.
  • — Cover the top of the potatoes with some flavored bread crumbs and shredded cheese.

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