Shepherd’s Pie

I’ve said before how it’s funny where the inspiration for recipes comes from. A week or two ago I was surfing channels and saw someone on one of the cooking channels making a Shepherd’s Pie. I probably hadn’t thought about Shepherd’s Pie in ten years and that one looked so good. Delicious, really. All that browned ground beef and vegetables topped with creamy mashed potatoes and cheese. Who wouldn’t like that?

I watched the rest of the show and the following show but that Shepherd’s Pie was just stuck in my mind. After a full week with that dish still in my head, I knew I had to make one. I didn’t have a recipe so I started browsing the internet and found one that looked really good on Simply Recipes. That’s the blog of Elise Bauer, one of the first food bloggers on the internet. Any time you need a recipe, chances are you can find a great one on her site.

Cooking potatoes for Shepherd's Pie

To get started with this Shepherd’s Pie, the first thing you need to do is make some mashed potatoes. Just cut your potatoes up into large chunks, put them in salty water, bring them to a boil and let them cook for about 20 minutes while you make the rest of the recipe.

Sauteeing onions for Shepherd's Pie

Chop a medium sized onion and saute it in a little butter. Remove that from the pan and set it aside while you cook the ground beef.

Browning ground beef for Shepherd's Pie

Add the ground beef to the same pan in which you cooked the onion. Cook the beef, breaking it up as you go, until there is no visible pink color remaining.  Cook’s note: Shepherd’s Pie is also good using a mixture of half ground beef and half ground lamb. For economy, I used only ground beef as lamb is quite expensive right now.

Shepherd's Pie

Drain the excess fat from the ground beef and return it to the pan. Add the onions back along with corn, peas, salt, pepper, thyme, and Worcestershire sauce. Mix all that together well and add the beef broth.

Reduce the heat and cook, uncovered, for about 10 minutes adding a small amount more beef broth if necessary to just keep the mixture moist. 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Preparing mashed potatoes for Shepherd's Pie

While the beef mixture is simmering, drain the potatoes and mash them with the remaining butter, salt and pepper. Add the milk or half-and-half if desired. I prefer to add the milk since I like creamier mashed potatoes. 

Place the beef mixture in a baking dish or leave it in the cast iron skillet if you used one. Spread the mashed potatoes on top. Place the skillet or baking dish in the preheated oven and cook for 15-20 minutes.

Adding cheese to top of Shepherd's Pie

Remove the baking dish or skillet from the oven and distribute the grated cheese evenly over the mashed potatoes. Return the pan to the oven and cook for an additional 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and beginning to bubble.

Enjoy!

Shepherd’s Pie
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Classic Shepherd's, or Cottage, Pie with ground beef and vegetables topped with creamy mashed potatoes and cheese.
Serves: 6-8 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs. potatoes
  • 6 tblsp. butter, divided
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 ¼ lbs. ground beef
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen green peas
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tsp. thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup beef broth
  • ¼ cup milk or half-and-half (optional)
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. Peel the potatoes and cut them into chunks. Boil in salted water until tender (about 20 minutes).
  2. While the potatoes are cooking, melt 2 tblsp. butter in a large frying pan or cast iron skillet. Over medium high heat, saute the onions in the butter until tender and beginning to take on a little brown color. Remove the onions to a plate and hold until later.
  3. Add the ground beef to the pan and cook until no pink color remains. Drain the excess fat and return the ground beef to the pan.
  4. Add the onions back to the pan along with the corn, peas, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, salt and pepper. Stir together and add the beef broth. Reduce the heat and cook, uncovered, for about 10 minutes adding more beef broth if necessary to keep the mixture just moist.
  5. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  6. While the beef mixture is simmering, drain the potatoes and mash with the remaining 4 tblsp. butter, salt and pepper. Add the milk or half-and-half if desired.
  7. Place the beef mixture in a baking dish or leave it in the cast iron skillet if you used one.
  8. Spread the mashed potatoes on top.
  9. Place the skillet or baking dish in the preheated oven and cook for 15-20 minutes.
  10. Remove from the oven and distribute the grated cheese over the mashed potatoes.
  11. Return the pan to the oven and cook for an additional 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and beginning to bubble.
Notes
All text and photographs on Never Enough Thyme are copyright protected. Please do not use any material from this site without obtaining prior permission. If you'd like to post this recipe on your site, please create your own original photographs and either re-write the recipe in your own words or link to this post.

–Recipe adapted from Simply Recipes’ Easy Shepherd’s Pie (http://www.simplyrecipes.com)

Other Shepherd’s Pie recipes you might enjoy from around the internet:

Comments

  1. Happier Than A Pig in Mud says

    Love Shepard’s Pie and add dill to mine! Now this will be in MY head until I make it:@)

  2. Jessica says

    This sounds great! I recently got some Himalayan pink salt and organic peppercorns and I’ll have to try them out in this recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  3. says

    Shepherds pie is one of my favorite comfort meals, thanks to my grandmother. She always made a large dish of it, using ground lamb, whenever we would visit. This looks wonderful, Lana!

    • says

      It is so good with lamb, but it’s just so expensive right now. I think that may be because of the problems they’ve had in New Zealand over the last few months.

  4. says

    Oh, I adore shepherd’s pie, and this is such a wonderful take on the traditional dish, Lana. Summer seems to have arrived way too early where I live, and I’m already missing precisely this sort of fall/winter/spring casserole.

    • says

      I think you’re absolutely right, Alison. I really enjoy making childhood classics that remind people of the food they grew up with. Makes both me and them happy.

  5. says

    I haven’t had Shepards Pie in years either but this looks like a great meal. I really must make one again sometime soon!

  6. says

    nice version of the pie, always like the humble appearance of this type of casserole… there are so many similar versions, from railroad or hobo pie to ones from other countries (remembering from research on it earlier)…. hey, bought my second 10# bag of vidalias yesterday, this one from Toombs county…

  7. says

    That looks amazing, Lana! I think I might just make this tonight. It’s chilly and – surprise! – rainy here in Seattle. This sounds like the antidote to drizzly weather.

  8. Kate says

    Actually it isn’t “classic” sheppard’s pie, as noted on food gawker. Shepard’s pie is made with lamb, this is cottage pie.

  9. says

    Classic or not, as a kid it was simply hamburger pie! You have now done to me what that TV show did to you…will be hunting for my recipe soon. I don’t recall including veggies in our, it was hamburger, onion, garlic and tomato soup covered with mashed potatoes and cheese. Something I could always count on my kids eating but I loved it too. Yum.

  10. says

    Beautiful shepard’s pie Lana! Isn’t Elise’s site great? I had the opportunity to meet her and hear her speak earlier this year. Such an awesome lady!

  11. says

    Ok…I just finished dinner and my stomach is now growling and my mouth watering over this dish! Right up my alley…especially in the cast iron! Even thought it is hot here in CA I think I need to make this pronto!

  12. says

    Thanks to everyone who has so kindly, and some not so kindly, pointed out that in the U.K. this is called cottage pie rather than shepherd’s pie. I understand the difference in the two recipes. However, in the time and place where I grew up we always called this recipe “shepherd’s pie.” So, I’m going to continue using that title. You can stop sending in your corrections now :-)

  13. says

    I think it’s cool that you have so many readers in the UK.

    I get my English pie terminology from my own expert – Hungry Jenny (based in the UK – Google her). I noticed that she’s okay with putting beef in her Shepherd’s pie.

    And considering what chicken fingers and fish sticks are made of, I tend not to want to think about what goes into things like lady fingers and shepherd’s pie anyway.

    Cheers!

    • says

      Thanks, Dan! I did google Hungry Jenny and can’t wait to spend some time looking through her recipes. Everything sounds so delicious. Just FYI – I didn’t allow all of the corrective comments to go through onto the blog as some just weren’t constructive. I’m as fallible as anyone but, geez…give me a break y’all. Different regions use different terminology. Let’s just all agree to disagree on this one, ‘kay?

  14. Penny Wolf says

    You poor woman and all of this correction! I wish I had seen this in January just so I could add to the mix as I plan on using VENISON for the meat. Love the site and your recipes.

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