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Shepherd’s Pie

Classic Shepherd's, or Cottage, Pie with ground beef and vegetables topped with creamy mashed potatoes and cheese.
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Classic Shepherd's Pie, or Cottage Pie, with ground beef and vegetables topped with creamy mashed potatoes and cheese. https://www.lanascooking.com/shepherds-pie/

Classic Shepherd’s Pie, or Cottage Pie, with ground beef and vegetables topped with creamy mashed potatoes and cheese.

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?

Classic Shepherd's Pie, or Cottage Pie, with ground beef and vegetables topped with creamy mashed potatoes and cheese. https://www.lanascooking.com/shepherds-pie/

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.

How to Make Shepherd’s (or Cottage) Pie

Potatoes cooking in water in a large pot.

To get started, 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.

Onions sauteeing in butter.

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 in a frying pan.

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.

Multi-step photo showing the addition of the remaining ingredients.

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.

Photo collage illustrating making and applying the mashed potatoes.

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.

Cheese added to the top of the finished dish.

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.

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📖 Recipe

Classic Shepherd's Pie, or Cottage Pie, with ground beef and vegetables topped with creamy mashed potatoes and cheese. https://www.lanascooking.com/shepherds-pie/

Shepherd’s Pie

Classic Shepherd’s, or Cottage, Pie with ground beef and vegetables topped with creamy mashed potatoes and cheese.
5 from 6 votes
Print It Rate It Save
Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: Irish
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 590kcal
Author: Lana Stuart

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds potatoes
  • 6 tablespoons butter divided
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 ¼ pounds ground beef
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen green peas
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon 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

  • Peel the potatoes and cut them into chunks. Boil in salted water until tender (about 20 minutes).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Remove from the oven and distribute the grated cheese 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.

Notes

Nutrition Information

Serving 1 | Calories 590kcal | Carbohydrates 37g | Protein 27g | Fat 37g | Saturated Fat 19g | Polyunsaturated Fat 1g | Monounsaturated Fat 13g | Trans Fat 2g | Cholesterol 118mg | Sodium 431mg | Potassium 1070mg | Fiber 5g | Sugar 5g | Vitamin A 764IU | Vitamin C 42mg | Calcium 200mg | Iron 4mg

Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.

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51 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Hi Lana, I grew up in England and, yes, I was taught the difference between shepherds and cottage pies. As you noted things may be called one thing ‘Here’ it may be called another ‘There.’ To me the folks with remarks, should be thankful for your kindness in sharing your great recipes with us. So, I do appreciate you sharing so many great recipes with me. I learn with every recipe I try. Thank You. Pattie in Mississippi.

    1. Hi Pattie and thank you for your very kind comment. If we could all just be a little kinder and more tolerant of each other, it would make such a world of difference.

  2. Peas & Corn? Each to their own but try a finely diced carrot & sauté with the onion. It imbues a subtle sweetness.
    Best. Oaul

  3. It has been cold & rainy, so I craved comfort food. I made your Shepherd’s Pie…… AHHHHHHHHHH.

    Cozy warm comfort & just right.

    Miss P

  4. This recipe looks so yummy and simple. I will be making this for the hubby tomorrow! Thank you :)

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

    1. 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?

  7. 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 :-)