Main Dish Recipes

Dinner is Served: Shepherd’s Pie

I never liked shepherd’s pie growing up. But Bart kept mentioning how much he liked it and one time, in a fit of insanity, I decided to make it.

And then, to my shock, I liked it (peas are one of those things I don’t much care for, and yet, in this dish, I did not hate them). Now it’s one of the things I most look forward to making in the fall and winter. I know. I don’t recognize myself either.

Shepherd's Pie // Everyday Reading

Shepherd’s Pie
(adapted from Everyday Food)

Serves 6

1 lb ground meat (I usually do ground beef, but last time I did a combo of beef and pork; lamb is the traditional choice)
1 onion, finely chopped
4-5 carrots, chopped
2 TB tomato paste
2 Tb flour
2 Tb Worcestershire sauce
2 cups water
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
10 ounces frozen peas

2 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled and quartered
(about four good-sized potatoes)
1/2 cup milk
3 tablespoons butter
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large skillet, cook meat, onion and carrots together, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened and meat is cooked through, 5-8 minutes.

Add the tomato paste, stirring to combine, then sprinkle the flour on top. Cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes.

Add Worcestershire sauce, water, salt and pepper. Simmer, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes, until mixture is thickened.

Stir in peas; cook 1 minute longer. Pour into a good-size casserole dish (mine is about 6×11).

In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook over medium-low heat until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain.

Return potatoes to pan, add milk and butter, mash to combine and until potatoes are reasonably smooth. Season with salt and pepper, adding more if needed. Spread over the meat mixture; use a fork to make little peaks.

Bake on a baking sheet until the top is golden-brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool slightly and serve warm.

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  • Reply kristen October 17, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    I don't know if this would help or sounds even worse… But we put green beans in ours instead of peas and everyone loves it!

  • Reply Jenny October 17, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    Yay for Shepherds Pie (a childhood favourite of mine), if you use beef its generally called Cottage Pie instead here in the UK. We occasionally add cheese to the topping…

  • Reply Ash October 17, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    Sweet… I am totally making this! I've been looking for a good Shepherd's pie recipe and I can't wait to try it out! Thanks!

  • Reply preethi October 17, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    Dan would always talk about Shepherd's Pie and I'd never had it (obviously). I tried making a vegetarian version (with sweet potatoes) and…could not get behind it. Probably one of those things that shouldn't be fiddled with much.

  • Reply RA October 17, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    My favorite part of this post is that Bart kept mentioning that he loved shepherd's pie. HAHA. Hint, hint, Wife! Good on you, Janssen.

    I do love shepherd's pie, but I can't bring myself (meaning, ask JG to) mash potatoes solely for this purpose. And then we never have mashed potatoes anyway, so it's not like we have them leftover. And so we never have it. Alas.

  • Reply heidikins October 17, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    Ha! J-Mo LOVES Shepherd's Pie, but he absolutely cannot have carrots in it. The carrots are my favorite part. Clearly, we are at an impassable impass and will only make Shepherd's Pie for ourselves, with or without the awesome/offending carrots. 🙂


  • Reply Kim October 17, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    With a husband from England, this is a Monday recipe for our family during Fall and Winter. I make enough potatoes on Sunday, then set aside enough for this recipe on Monday. We don't use peas, but instead green beans. And to entice my kids, I also put grated cheese on top. This is one of our favorite fall meals.

  • Reply Deanna October 17, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    Shepherd's Pie was a childhood favorite of mine. I didn't have it for many years, but now I make it every couple of months again. We put grated cheese on the top too–just another delicious layer! : )

    Also, I have often used spaghetti sauce (jarred, frozen, whatever I have handy) with the meat mixture when I'm in a hurry, and it works great.

  • Reply Meridith October 17, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    Yum. Thank you for this; I think it might be perfect for tonight. (Hopefully Ben looks past the peas too. ;))

  • Reply Lexilooo October 17, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    I never liked this dish either! Lately though, I've thought I might like to try making it though…

  • Reply BJ Blinston September 20, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    We use corn instead of peas for ours. We like it better that way.

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