I never liked Shepherd’s Pie growing up.
I don’t know that we had it very often, but for some reason, it just didn’t appeal to me at all.
But in our early years of marriage, Bart kept mentioning how much he liked Shepherd’s Pie and one time, in a fit of insanity, I decided to make it after seeing a recipe for it in one of my beloved Everyday Food magazines.
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, ten years later, Shepherd’s Pie is one of the things I most look forward to making in the fall and winter.
I don’t recognize myself either.
The traditional meat for a Shepherd’s Pie is ground lamb (hence the “shepherd” part of the title) but I usually use ground beef or, depending on what I have on hand, a combination of ground beef or ground pork.
Both ways are delicious.
And feel free to use whatever vegetables you have or like. Carrots and peas are my favorite, but you can do green beans or corn or celery or anything else that appeals to your family.
You can even do a cauliflower puree over the top instead of a mashed potato one if you want.
Basically the options are endless.
Shepherd’s Pie Recipe
- 1 lb ground beef
- 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 6x11).
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.
(adapted from Everyday Food)
If you liked this Shepherd’s Pie recipe, you might also like these recipes:
- Crockpot Pork with Dried Plums and Mashed Potatoes
- Creamy Green Enchilada Crockpot Soup
- Fettuccine Alfredo with Chicken and Spinach
Photos by Heather Mildenstein