How To Prepare Shepherd’s Pie

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What Is Shepards Pie

Shepherd’s Pie Recipe | How to Make Perfect Shepherd’s Pie

If youre new to Shepherds Pie , let me be the first to welcome you to your new favourite comfort food. Essentially, its lamb and veggies smothered in a gravy and who doesnt love an excuse for tons and tons of gravy?

All those times you were limited to just a small drizzle on a few slices of roast lamb because there wasnt enough to go around Bah! This is how you get your gravy fix!!

What Is The Difference Between Shepherds Pie And Cottage Pie

Oh the terminology of Shepherds Pie vs. Cottage Pie. There are some strong opinions out there. Cottage pie has been in use since 1791, when the potato was introduced as an edible crop affordable for the poor. The term shepherds pie has been used synonymously with cottage pie since 1877, regardless of the type of meat used, mutton or beef. More recently, the term shepherds pie has been used when the meat is lamb, and cottage pie when the meat is beef. We like to refer to it as a Shepherds Pie, no matter what meat goes inside of it.

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  • Texture: The cookies are soft in the middle and chewy around the edges.
  • Flavor: They have a sweet, buttery, toffy-like cookie flavor, loaded with chocolate chips.
  • Quick & Easy to make: No bringing the ingredients to room temperature. No chilling the dough. The recipe can easily be whisked together, instead of using a mixer. And, its a ONE BOWL recipe.

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How To Make Shepherds Pie

  • Sauté some chopped onions in olive oil.
  • Add ground beef or ground lamb.
  • Add dried parsley, dried thyme, dried rosemary, salt, and pepper.
  • Stir and cook the meat mixture until the meat is browned.
  • Add minced garlic and Worcestershire sauce.
  • Cook the garlic for a minute.
  • Add flour and tomato paste.
  • Add beef broth, frozen mixed peas and carrots, and frozen corn kernels.
  • Simmer the meat gravy until it is thick.
  • Boil some peeled and chopped potatoes until they are soft.
  • Drain the potatoes
  • Add butter, half & half, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  • Mash the potatoes until smooth.
  • Pour the meat mixture into a casserole dish.
  • Top it with the cheesy mashed potatoes.
  • Bake until the meat is bubbling and the potatoes are golden.

Putting The Shepherd’s Pie Together

Quick &  Easy Shepherds Pie

Place the meat and its seasonings from the fry pan into the baking dish.

Add the whole kernel corn and spread it around.

Add the creamed corn, and spread it around, too.

Top with the mashed potatoes.

Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, uncovered.

Individual servings to eat on the spot or to freeze for later.

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How To Freeze Healthy Shepherds Pie

Once the shepherds pie is baked, cool completely and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Place it in the freezer until fairly firm, about two hours. Then, cover tightly with plastic wrap, followed by aluminum foil. Mark the date on the outside and store in the freezer for up to two months.

When ready to serve, remove the foil and plastic wrap. Use the foil you just removed to loosely cover the pie. Make sure that your casserole dish can go straight from freezer to oven if not, set the casserole in the oven while the oven preheats so that the dish warms slowly.

Bake the casserole for an hour, or until the pie is hot all the way through. Remove the foil for the last 15 minutes to allow the top to brown.

How This Pie Is Different From Traditional Shepherds Pie

The shepherds pie of my upbringing features a hefty portion of meat, with vegetables playing a supporting role, and a thick topping of buttery mashed potatoes. My updated version bumps up the ratio of vegetables to meat and calls for extra-lean ground beef, which is the leanest option in the butcher case.

For the mashed potatoes, the recipe swaps in olive oil for butter, which means more heart-healthy fats in every bite. The sum total of these swaps is a lighter dish with no shortcuts on flavor.

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Traditional Shepherds Pie With Lamb

Traditionally, Shepherds pie is made with lamb chops. However, lamb may be hard to find in your local store If you dont live in Britain, I believe! So I used mainly more common beef and a small amount of lamb mixed mince.

Moreover, lamb has a stronger, meatier flavor and its quite fatty. Tender and juicy lamb is a delightful dish, however not all like its flavor. Of course the flavor of lamb depends on how the animal was raised, fed and how old it was.

But to my mind it is totally worth making the dish with beef. This will be classic cottage pie. Any way, this meat pie is a great dinner idea, if you have leftover mince!

Read The Labels On Your Worcestershire Sauce

The Best Homemade Shepherd’s Pie: Easy Simple Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

Diving into the meat filling, youll see that Worcestershire is a key ingredient. This is a vinegar based sauce made from fermented onions and garlic, along with molasses, tamarind, anchovies, spices and more. Yep, you can say this sauce has an intense depth of flavor, making it perfect to add to meats.

But if youre gluten-free, youll need to be mindful of the brands you buy. Worcestershire often includes a wheat-based soy sauce to get that deep dark brown color. So, I recommend purchasing one of the below brands that are gluten-free .

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How Do You Make Shepherds Pie From Scratch

To make this recipe for Shepherds pie with ground beef, you start out by making the meat filling. Combine all the ingredients for that and simmer together. Once its ready, you can get the oven pre-heated. Then youll make your mashed potatoes. After you have them ready, you can assemble this casserole in a baking dish with the meat mixture on the bottom and the mashed potatoes on top. Bake it uncovered for 30 minutes, let it cool for about 15 minutes, and then serve.

How To Make It

We start by boiling up some potatoes for the mash.

Whilst that’s cooking, we fry up onion, carrot and celery in a little oil until softened. Add the minced lamb and brown, then add in Worcestershire sauce and stock and let it simmer. Stir in a little cornstarch slurry to thicken.

PRO TIP – I add in a lot more stock then you think you might need this is so you have enough liquid for gravy later)

Then we use a slotted spoon to spoon the minced lamb mixture into the baking dish.This will ensure there’s still some sauce with the minced lamb, but will also leave plenty of sauce behind in the pan – which we’ll reheat for gravy afterwards.

When the potatoes are tender you want to mash them.

PRO TIP – for the perfect creamy mashed potato. Mash using a potato ricer for extra smooth mash, and stir in plenty of cream, butter, salt and pepper .

Top the minced lamb with scoops of mashed potato and then ruffle up the topping with a fork. The more ruffles = the more crispy bits.

Place in the preheated oven at 200C/400F for about 20 minutes until golden.

Does anyone else purposely leave a heap of mashed potato in the pan after dishing the rest up, then hover over the bowl, ‘testing’ it by eating it straight off the oversized wooden spoon you mixed the mash with? Ahh I love the chef’s treats.

When it comes out of the oven it should be lovely and crisp on top with sauce bubbling up at the edges .

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Shepherd’s Pie Or Cottage Pie

The dish is called shepherd’s pie when it is made with lamb or mutton, and cottage pie when made with beef. Both pies include vegetables and are topped with mashed potatoes.

Traditionally, cooks minced the meat left over from the an evening’s meal to make the pies. With the advent of commercial food processing, making the dish starting with raw, ground meat became popular.

Tips For Making Shepherds Pie

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There are a few stages to making Shepherds Pie, but its a straightforward recipe. Theres just two little things that you dont see in most recipes, little things that bugged me:

  • Cool the filling before topping with potato: It thickens and makes it easier to spread the potato across the top and it stops the potato weeping into the filling

  • Creamier mashed potato = easier to spread and just an all round better eating experience. I just dont like dry, very firm mash. When I break through the mash, I want it to be borderline collapsing, rather than being able to cut cleanly through it like cake.

  • I stress again these are little things that bug me, so feel free to by-pass them! Nagi x

    PS One last time Cottage Pie is made with beef. Shepherds Pie is made with lamb!

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    Expert Tips And Tricks For The Perfect Shepherds Pie Every Time

    • Yes, you can use leftover mashed potatoes. If you have a bounty of mashed potatoes from last nights dinner, you can totally turn that into your topper for traditional shepherds pie. If you dont have the time for proper mashed potatoes, you can always make shepherds pie with instant potatoes.
    • You can also use sweet potatoes if youd prefer. This gives it a sweet and savory contrast.
    • Dry seasonings are best in homemade Shepherds pie. Because you need to cook them into the meat filling, you should turn to your spice rack for your herbs.
    • You can make it meatless. Just substitute the stock for a veggie one and choose mushrooms rather than meat.

    Whats The Difference Between Shepherds Pie And Cottage Pie

    Its all in the meat. Shepherds pie contains minced lamb .

    Whereas Cottage Pie contains mince beef .

    Whilst we are getting our pie names sorted out Cumberland Pie refers to any type of meat pie topped with mashed potatoes and then a layer of bread crumbs. Whilst not strictly traditional a sprinkling of grated cheese over your mashed potato on both a Shepherds and Cottage Pie is delicious.

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    Meat Pie As One Of Easy Dinner Ideas

    What I love about Shepherds pie, it was a lot much easier to prepare, comparing with other comfort dishes like lasagna or moussaka. Mainly because it is tasty even without Bechamel sauce, and you will need to make only two layers! And believe me, it has nothing complicated during the cooking process, if you follow my step-by-step instructions.

    So this Shepherds pie will turn amazing every time you make it! Oh, and cheese is the must, dont miss this step!

    Easy Vegetarian Shepherds Pie

    SHEPHERD’S PIE RECIPE | how to make shepherd’s pie easy healthy

    A shepherds pie is often a catch-all for leftovers, topped with mashed potatoes and baked in a casserole. This vegetarian version omits the ground lamb or beef and replaces it with an array of mushrooms, carrots, celery, pearl onions, green beans, and peas, all baked in a creamy sauce and topped with cheesy mashed potatoes.

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    Baking And Serving Shepherds Pie

    Once the filling is mixed up and the potatoes are mashed, youll just need to top the beef with the potatoes and bake until theyre browned and the filling is bubbling, about 30 minutes. Be sure to let the finished Shepherds pie cool for about 10 minutes before serving, which lets the gravy thicken a little more so its easier to scoop.

    How To Make Shepherds Pie:

    To make this Irish shepherds pie recipe, simply:

  • Cook the mashed potatoes. Cook the large potatoes in a large stockpot until tender. Then drain, mash, and stir in the remaining mashed potato ingredients until combined. Set aside for later.
  • Brown the meat. Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan, cook the ground beef or lamb in a bit of oil until browned, crumbling it with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Then transfer it to a separate plate with a wooden spoon, reserving any grease that it has left behind.
  • Sauté the veggies. Cook the onion, carrots, celery, mushrooms and garlic in the leftover grease until they are softened as well.
  • Add in the flour and wine. Stir in the flour to help thicken the sauce. Then add the wine, and scrape the bottom of the pan with your wooden spoon to loosen any of those tasty brown bits.
  • Add the remaining sauce ingredients. Stock, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaf, herbs and frozen peas. Then give everything a good stir, and cook the mixture until it reaches a simmer. Reduce the heat to let it simmer for a few more minutes, so that those herbs can really season the sauce. Then remove the herbs , stir in the cooked meat, give the mixture a taste, and season with salt and pepper as needed.
  • Layer it all up. Transfer the filling mixture to a 9 x 13-inch baking dish, and spread it out in an even layer. Then spoon the mashed potatoes on top and carefully spread them out in an even layer as well.
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    How To Freeze Shepherd’s Pie

    Cool and cover the baked shepherd’s pie loosely with plastic wrap. Place it in the freezer for two to three hours, or until its fairly firm. Remove the frozen pie and cover it firmly with plastic wrap. Place a large piece of aluminum foil on the counter. Set the baking dish on top. Bring the sides of the foil up and over the pie. Crimp or fold the edges all around to firmly seal the pie in the foil.

    When ready to serve the shepherd’s pie, take the casserole from the freezer and remove the foil and the plastic wrap. Use the foil you just removed to loosely cover the pie. Make sure that your casserole dish can go straight from freezer to oven if not, set the casserole in the oven while the oven preheats so that the dish warms slowly.

    Bake the casserole for an hour, or until the pie is hot all the way through. Remove the foil for the last 15 minutes to allow the top to brown. To shorten the baking time to 40 to 45 minutes, defrost it in the refrigerator one day before you plan to bake it.

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    How To Make Shepherd
  • Sally Vargas
  • Finish the potatoes:

    Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and the pepper. Stir in 2 cups of the cheese, scallions, and parsley. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if you like.

    Sally Vargas

  • Top and bake the pie:

    Spoon the potatoes over the vegetables in the baking dish. Use a fork to make swirls in the potatoes to create peaks and valleys. Sprinkle the top with the remaining 1/3 cup grated cheese.

    Sally Vargas

  • Bake:

    Bake for 30 minutes, or until the filling bubbles and the potatoes are golden. Let rest for 10 minutes and serve.

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