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This Shepherd’s pie recipe is a comfort food classic for a reason. Rich ground beef simmered with milk, broth, and other flavorings, peas and carrots, and creamy mashed potatoes. What’s not to love?
I have a serious confession to make. I have never been a fan of shepherd’s pie. Like, ever. Whenever I tried it, I was just not impressed, and yet I would hear others rave about it being a major comfort food. I could not understand the discrepancy, so I set a goal to make the best shepherd’s pie recipe that I would actually enjoy.
I am happy to report that I met my goal! Yay! I’m now ready to rave about this yummy and easy to make shepherd’s pie recipe. I can now wholeheartedly agree with others that this dish is definitely a major comfort food.
While the shepherd’s pie is cooking in the oven, it smells exactly how I would expect comfort food to smell. And when it comes out of the oven and you break into the first layer of potatoes down into the meat and veggies, OH MY! It tastes heavenly, just how comfort food should taste!
Recipe Questions Answered:
How did shepherd’s pie originate?
When I first heard the phrase shepherd’s pie, I remember thinking to myself, ‘What on earth is it?” It first originated in the late 1700s in the United Kingdom. It was first created as a way to use up leftover meat. That’s a strategy I can relate to. Apparently, not much has changed in the kitchen over the years! We all need some recipes to go to, so we don’t waste food in the kitchen.
What goes with shepherd’s pie?
Does shepherds pie have pastry?
When you hear the word pie of course you naturally think of pastry being involved. However, pie is defined as being a baked dish that contains a filling and is covered and encased by a dough of some sort. In the case of Shepherd’s pie, the mashed potatoes count as the dough and the meat and veggies are the filling. Therefore, not all pie has pastry in it!
How do you store this shepherd’s pie recipe?
Shepherd’s pie can be stored in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Be sure to store it in an airtight container. This dish makes excellent leftovers! You can also freeze it in an airtight container for up to 3 months. It is great to store it in the freezer to pull out on one of those busy nights!
- If you’re feeling decadent, then use cream instead of milk in both the filling and potatoes.
- Sometimes my grocery store doesn’t have frozen peas and carrots. When this happens I use a frozen vegetable medley instead (peas, carrots, string beans, and corn).
- Leftovers will keep, covered in the refrigerator, for up to 5 days.
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- large skillet
- wooden spoon
- 9×13-inch baking dish
- large pot
- potato masher
- rubber scraper
- pastry brush
How to Make Shepherd’s Pie:
Classic Shepherd's Pie
- 4 russet potatoes peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 3 Tablespoons cream cheese
- ⅓ cup milk anything but skim
- 1 large egg beaten
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 large yellow onion chopped
- 2 pounds lean ground beef defrosted
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 5 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 ¾ cups low-sodium beef broth
- ¼ cup milk anything but skim
- 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 16 ounces frozen peas and carrots
PREHEAT OVEN AND PREP PAN:
- Move oven rack to upper-middle position and preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
- Add potatoes to large pot and enough water to cover them by 1 inch. Set the heat to high and bring potatoes to boil. When boiling, reduce heat to medium and cook until tender, about 12-18 minutes.
- While potatoes boil, make the filling. In a large skillet over medium-high heat melt butter. Add onion and saute until opaque and starting to turn light brown around the edges, about 4-5 minutes.
- Add ground beef, salt, and pepper and use a wooden spoon to break the meat up into small pieces. Cook, stirring often, until the beef is cooked through, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in flour and tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes.
- Stir in beef broth, milk, Worcestershire sauce, and thyme and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, reduce heat to medium and cook until thickened, about 5-7 minutes.
FINISH POTATO TOPPING:
- Drain in a colander and transfer potatoes back to pot. Add butter, cream cheese and milk. Mash until smooth, adding more milk (1 tablespoon at a time) until potatoes are thick but easily spreadable. Season potatoes with salt and pepper.
ASSEMBLE AND BAKE:
- Pour meat filling into prepared baking dish and shake into an even layer. Evenly distribute peas and carrots over meat.
- Using a rubber scraper, spread potatoes over peas and carrots. Use a for to make ridges over potatoes by dragging the fork lightly through the potatoes. Brush potatoes with beaten egg and bake until the meat filling is bubbly, about 15-20 minutes.
- Turn on the broiled and broil for 2-5 minutes, or until the top of the potatoes are golden brown.
- Cool on a wire rack for 5-10 minutes, and then serve!
This post first appeared on Food Folks and Fun on October 23, 2010. I have since updated the post and pictures.