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Shepherd’s Pie

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Laden with juicy ground beef, loaded with sautéed veggies, and layered with golden mashed potatoes, this Shepherd’s Pie will feed your soul and your appetite! This savory dish is warm and hearty, the perfect way to end a chilly fall day.

The only thing Shepherd’s Pie is missing is some brightness. Serve it with some seasonal greens dressed with Lemon Honey Vinaigrette or Apple Cider Vinegar Dressing and a Dinner Roll, and you have a full meal!

Shepherd's pie with toasted mashed potatoes on a plate.

Shepherd’s Pie

There is nothing but love in a bowlful of this delectable Shepherd’s Pie. Silken mashed potatoes top a filling of carrots, peas, onions, and (of course) ground beef.

While worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, red wine, and beef broth round out the umami, a medley of aromatic thyme, rosemary, garlic, and bay leaves finishes off the dish with a hint of herbaceousness. Gather ‘round and get ready to feast!

How To Make Mashed Shepherd’s Pie

For the Filling:

  1. Grease a 2.5 quart baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Heat a large pan over low-medium heat. Add the oil and carrots and cook until the carrots begin to soften, 4-5 minutes. Next, add the onions and continue to cook until the onions become translucent, 5-7 more minutes. Then, add the garlic and cook until the garlic becomes fragrant, about 30 additional seconds.
  3. Place the beef or lamb in the pan along with thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper. While the meat browns, break it apart with a spatula until completely and evenly cooked.
  4. Sprinkle flour over the beef, stir to combine, and cook for 5-6 minutes.
  5. Add the beef broth, red wine, tomato paste Worcestershire sauce, and bay leaves. Bring the mixture to a rapid simmer, then lower the heat to a slow simmer. Cook until the liquid reduces to a gravy, 25-30 minutes. 
  6. Add the frozen peas and additional salt and pepper if needed.
  7. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Allow the filling to cool in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes while preparing the mashed potato topping.
Collage showing how to make the filling for shepherd's pie.

For the Potatoes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the potatoes until tender. Then, drain them and transfer to a large bowl. 
  3. After adding the butter, use a potato masher to mash the potatoes until the butter melts.
  4. Pour in the milk and heavy cream and continue to mash until smooth and creamy. Then fold in the cheese.
  5. Spread the potatoes over the top of the meat filling, using a fork to scrape texture into the potatoes. Drizzle with melted butter.
  6. Place the dish on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake until the filling bubbles and the potatoes brown, 30-40 minutes.
  7. Serve hot.
Collage showing how to make mashed potatoes for shepherd's pie.

Tips and Variations

  • The mashed potatoes should be spreadable, but not too thin. If they are too thick, add more milk to reach the desired consistency.
  • DO NOT get carried away with the potato masher! Overworking the potatoes causes them to release too much starch. This is the culprit of a gluey mash.
  • Allowing the dairy products to warm to room temperature will make incorporating them into potatoes easier, requiring less mixing and resulting in creamier mashed potatoes.
  • To substitute the fresh herbs in this recipe for dried, reduce the quantities from 1 tablespoon to 1 teaspoon.
Serving of shepherd's pie on a white plate.

Storage and Reheating

Refrigerator: Store your Shepherd’s Pie tightly covered in the fridge for 3-4 days at most.

Reheating: Reheat in the oven at 250°F for 30 minutes for the best leftover Shepherd’s Pie.

Freezer: Bake the shepherd’s pie as written, and allow it to cool completely. Wrap it tightly in aluminum foil. The pie will stay good for about 2 months.

To reheat, thaw in the refrigerator over and bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes or until warmed through. Another option is to heat it from frozen (make sure the baking dish is ok to place in the oven straight from the freezer). Leave the foil on, and bake at 350°F for about an hour or until warmed through.

Mashed potatoes on meat filling on a white plate.

Shepherd's Pie

Yield: About 8 Cups
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes

Laden with juicy ground beef, loaded with sautéed veggies, and layered with golden mashed potatoes, this Shepherd’s Pie will feed your soul and your appetite! This savory dish is warm and hearty, the perfect way to end a chilly fall day.

Ingredients

Filling

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup carrots, peeled and chopped into ¼ inch pieces
  • 1 cup white onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced or pressed
  • 1 pound ground beef or ground lamb
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup frozen peas

Mashed Potatoes

  • 2 - 2 ½ pounds russet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ⅓ cup whole milk
  • ⅓ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup Gruyere or Parmesan cheese, grated off the block
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Instructions

For the Filling:

  1. Grease a 2.5 quart baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Heat a large pan over low-medium heat. Add the oil and carrots, and cook until the carrots begin to soften, about 4-5 minutes. Add the onions, and continue to cook until the onions become translucent, another 5-7 minutes. Next add the garlic, and cook for an additional 30 seconds.
  3. Place the beef or lamb in the pan along with thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Break apart the beef as it cooks. Continue cooking until the beef is browned and cooked through.
  4. Sprinkle flour over the beef, and stir to combine. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes then add the beef broth, red wine, tomato paste Worcestershire sauce, and bay leaves. 
  5. Bring the mixture to a rapid simmer, then lower the heat to a slow simmer. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes until the liquid reduces to a gravy. Add the frozen peas and additional salt and pepper if needed.
  6. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Allow the filling to cool for 30 minutes to an hour in the refrigerator before topping with mashed potatoes.

For the Potatoes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Cook the potatoes in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. 
  3. Add the butter, and use a potato masher to mash until the butter melts. Pour in the milk and heavy cream. Continue to mash until smooth and creamy, then fold in the cheese. The potatoes should be spreadable and not too thin. Use additional milk if necessary to reach the desired consistency.
  4. Spread the potatoes over the top of the meat filling. Use a fork to scrape texture into the potatoes. Drizzle with melted butter.
  5. Place the dish on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the filling is bubbly and the potatoes are browned.
  6. Serve hot. See post for storage options.

Notes

*The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients in the recipe card and a serving size of 1 cup of shepherd's pie. Actual calories will vary.

*For more information, tips, and answers to frequently asked questions, please refer to the post.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 523Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 93mgSodium: 574mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 5gSugar: 6gProtein: 26g

*The calories are an estimate and are based on the ingredients and serving size listed. The calories can vary depending on the brand of product purchased.

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