A traditional family dinner that is part of every French Canadian table is the famous ‘paté chinois.’ A three-layered pie of ground meat followed by corn and topped with mashed potatoes. This version has a Spanish flair with extra paprika, garlic, and thyme. 

Paté Chinois / French Canadian Shepherd’s pie is a typically French Canadian meal… Created by British railroad workers, in the 19th century, as an imitation of the famous “cottage pie” (beef, lamb and mashed potatoes). The dish was an imminent “hit,” at least, for the “on-site” railroad workers, including many French Canadians and Chinese workers. The French brought it back home and called it: Chinese paté… which has nothing to do with China…

Paté Chinois / French Canadian Shepherd's pie

The “paté chinois” differs from the cottage pie or shepherd’s pie mainly because the corn layer in the middle was a cheap and easy ingredient. For the majority, this is the meal every household does once a month. It’s equivalent to pasta Pomodoro for an Italian, quiche for a French, and ceviche for a Peruvian. It’s “the” meal every French Canadian family does every other week. The kids love it, and usually, it’s served with extra mustard or ketchup.

A Spanish Touch

Since living in Spain, I couldn’t resist a bit of Spanish flair, so instead of doing the typical butter in the mashed potatoes, I’ve used a lovely olive oil. Plus, I’ve added garlic, onions, tomato paste and carrots to the meat. Last but not least, fresh thyme! Surprisingly, this meal already has a layer of sweet paprika on top. I’ve used smoked paprika called “Pimenton de la Vera,” the caviar of spices in Spain, to make it extra Spanish. 

Variations

Some people like to add an aged cheddar or parmesan topping to the mashed potatoes. This recipe typically uses ground beef, but mixed pork and beef could be used.

Other French Canadian Dishes

So let’s make some French Canadian meal with a touch of sunny Spain!

Paté Chinois / French Canadian Shepherd pie

5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 people
Calories 791
A traditional French Canadian family dinner, 'Paté chinois' is a three-layered pie of ground beef followed by corn and mashed potatoes. This version got a Spanish flair to it.

Equipment

  • Pyrex or Casserole of 30cm

Ingredients

Potato Layer

  • 6 potato (medium sized)
  • 200 ml warm milk
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika (or sweet paprika)
  • salt and pepper

Meat Layer

  • 400 g ground beef
  • 200 g tomato paste
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
  • 1 onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 carrot (finely chopped)
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper

Corn Layer

  • 400 g corn kernels (canned (mix half/half with creamed corn can if possible))

Instructions 

  • Cook peeled potatoes for about 20 minutes in a pot of boiling water.
  • Mash them with warm milk, olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Add the meat, onion and carrot with olive oil to a large pan, and cook at medium-high heat until the meat isn't pink anymore.
  • Add the garlic, thyme and tomato paste.
  • Add the meat to the bottom of an oven-proof container Pyrex or casserole (about 20cm diameter x 5cm high).
  • Add the corn layer.
  • Add the mashed potato layer with the help of a spatula.
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Cook for 30-35 minutes at 200°C (375F°) until golden on top.
  • Sprinkle the paprika and let it cool 5 minutes before serving.

Notes

Serve with Ketchup if needed.
Author: Marie Breton
Calories: 791kcal
Course: Plato principal
Cuisine: French Canadian
Keyword: french canadian, meat, pate chinois, shepherd s pie, sweet potato

Nutrition

Calories: 791kcal | Carbohydrates: 88g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 20g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 719mg | Potassium: 2478mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 4404IU | Vitamin C: 82mg | Calcium: 166mg | Iron: 7mg
Nutrition Facts
Paté Chinois / French Canadian Shepherd pie
Amount per Serving
Calories
791
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
38
g
58
%
Saturated Fat
 
11
g
69
%
Trans Fat
 
1
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
3
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
20
g
Cholesterol
 
77
mg
26
%
Sodium
 
719
mg
31
%
Potassium
 
2478
mg
71
%
Carbohydrates
 
88
g
29
%
Fiber
 
13
g
54
%
Sugar
 
18
g
20
%
Protein
 
31
g
62
%
Vitamin A
 
4404
IU
88
%
Vitamin C
 
82
mg
99
%
Calcium
 
166
mg
17
%
Iron
 
7
mg
39
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Enjoy a cold day with some nicely spiced Bloody Mary!

5 from 4 votes (4 ratings without comment)

Write A Comment

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.