How To Reheat Shepherd’s Pie Leftovers
If you prefer to avoid using the microwave, simply cover with aluminum foil and place in the oven for 10-15 minutes on 375°F. Heat until the internal temperature is at least 165°F internally.
For those who don’t mind using a microwave, simply portion and heat on medium power for 60-90 seconds then check the temperature. Continue in 30-second increments until heated through.
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.
What Is Shepherds Pie
Originating from the early 1800s, shepherds pie is a traditional Irish recipe. Its a hearty dish where women had to get creative with leftovers. Similar to how we create leftover casseroles today!
The basic structure is having a savory minced lamb filling topped with a layer of mashed potatoes. The filling is usually simmered with onions, carrots, celery, and peas.
Sounds like a cottage pie right? Except, cottage pie uses beef and shepherds pie uses lamb or mutton. So when you eat a Shepherds pie in the US that swaps ground beef for lamb, thats truly a cottage pie, not a Shepherds pie. Oh, semantics.
If you dont eat a lot of lamb, I say give this traditional version a try. I think youll love it! But no matter which type of meat you choose, this is true comfort food that will warm you from the inside out during the winter months.
The Best Authentic Shepherd’s Pie Recipe
One of the most iconic comfort food meals you’ll ever enjoy is this authentic shepherd’s pie recipe. A common casserole that originated in the UK, a shepherd’s pie is that all-in-one meal that includes richly seasoned beef, vegetables, and a lovely light mashed potato topping. Some have cheese, others include diced potatoes, and still, some have a variety of meats, but this is the one and only classic that my family begs me to make.
How To Make A Shepherd’s Pie
Pour the meat mixture into a 9″x9″ baking pan or deep-dish pie plate.
Spread the potato mixture over the top in an even layer.
Place the pie into the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until bubbling and the potatoes are nicely browned on top.
Sprinkle with parsley before serving.
Don’t miss more of my favorite comfort food meals. This simple old fashioned goulash recipe is one you’ll fall in love with making. Of course, the kids will love my southern-style baked mac and cheese. For the meat and potatoes guys, these skillet pork chops with pan gravy are a perfect choice.
When making this meal to serve to guests, go the extra mile and use a piping bag to add the mashed potatoes on top. A large drop flower or open star tip work great for this addition to the dish. I prefer using Wilton piping tips but you can use any brand that you have on hand.
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Tips For Making Shepherds Pie
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!
What To Serve With Shepherds Pie:
Youre welcome to serve this shepherds pie with extra gravy on the side, if you would like. Otherwise, we enjoyed ours with:
- A simple side salad: Such as my Everyday Salad recipe.
- A loaf of crusty bread: If youre interested in more carbs. )
- Corn on the cob: A simple and colorful side dish.
- A nice cold Guinness: Cheers!
Happy early St. Patricks Day, everyone! Hope you enjoy!
- 1/2 cup whole milk, or more as needed
- 2 ounces cream cheese
- sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper
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Can I Use Instant Potatoes Instead Of Fresh Mashed
The purist in me says, “please, no!”. That said, you can definitely use instant mashed potatoes in a pinch. I don’t personally like the flavor, even when “doctored up” as my husband would say. Instant potatoes are a hard no from me, but that doesn’t mean they are for others.
Freshly made mashed potatoes are so easy to whip up that I don’t see the need for a substitute, but again, do what works best for you and your family.
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.
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Roast The Vegetables For Deeper Flavor
This recipe calls for roasting the root vegetables before simmering in the soup. Why? Because roasting converts some of the starch in your root vegetables into sugars, bringing out more of the sweetness and umami. Also, a little char on the vegetables can add a bit of smokiness and an extra depth of flavor to your soup.
Shepherds Pie And Cottage Pie
Once upon a time Irish and Northern English peasants developed the dish after potatoes were introduced to the UK in the 16th century. Back then the pie was a hearty dish meant to feed a starving working class, which meant that beggars couldnt be choosers when it came to ingredients, and the choice of meat and vegetables to be added depended mostly on what was affordable and available. Through time the recipe grew in popularity and was further developed in kitchen chronicles and recipe books. The staples of a shepherds pie are that it consists of ground meat cooked in a gravy with onions, with the addition of carrots, peas, and sometimes celery, covered or encased in a mashed potato crust .
Today food historians and others debate the real origins of the dishbut no matter what, its a global comfort food loved by many, and still an ingenious and inexpensive, pantry-friendly dish. Some sources say shepherds pie is made with lamb, and cottage pie with beef. But others claim that the variations of name are related to socioeconomic changes and developments in Northern England and Ireland. Cottage pie seems to be the name associated with peasants and it literally was meant to be a way to use leftovers from a Sunday roast and have something filling and lasting for the next days .
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Tips For The Best Shepherds Pie
- Use lean ground beef or lamb so that everything holds together and does not fall apart from the excess grease.
- Use russet potatoes for the lightest and fluffiest potato topping.
- Let the shepherds pie rest for 10 minutes before serving. This will allow the juices to absorb back into the meat and help everything stay together.
- Broil the last couple of minutes to brown the potato topping.
Prep This Ahead Of Time
If you plan to make this ahead of time, I suggest keeping the mashed potatoes and filing separate at first. Store them away in the fridge in sealed containers. When youre ready to bake, let the potatoes and filling sit at room temperature to soften before assembling. Then, pop it right into the oven for baking.
When it comes time to freeze leftovers, just place them in freezer safe containers for up to 3 months. This could be a great option if you also plan to meal prep this on a Sunday night. Just bake it, divide it into 6 sections, and freeze it!
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Suggestions And Substitutions For Shepherds Pie
A true shepherds pie is actually done with lamb, not beef . Cottage pie is the term traditionally applied to one made with beef.
Regardless of what you call it, you can make this with basically any type of ground meat you like, knowing that they range widely in fat content. Ground lamb, turkey, bison, venison, and beefor half and half of any of the aboveare all fair game.
Nothing beats fresh vegetables and cheese youve grated on the spot to make this recipe, but if youre short on time, here are a few shortcuts:
- Swap in frozen mixed vegetables for the carrots, celery, and peas. Use two and a half cups and add them to the dish when it instructs you to add the peas.
- Use pre-shredded sharp cheddar. Take a gander at the ingredients, since some brands use additives to keep the cheese from clumping. Less is more, if you ask me.
- Buy screw-top wine. Every little bit counts when it comes to saving time. Plus, fussing with a bottle opener isnt my favorite pastime. You dont need fancy wine for this anyway, just something dry and drinkable.
The Best Shepherds Pie Recipe
I made shepherds pie FIVE times this week to perfect it and Id have to say I dont know that it could get any better! This has honestly got to be the coziest meal-in-one out there. And while it may not be the fastest easiest dinner its worth every minute of prep and patience!
Hearty ground beef is browned and seasoned with aromatics including fresh veggies and herbs, then red wine and beef broth are added and its simmered and reduced to a light gravy. And then comes my favorite part its topped and finished with the most heavenly mashed potatoes!
Could I Use Instant Potatoes For This Ground Beef Shepherds Pie Recipe
For the mashed potato topping, I recommend using homemade mashed potatoes, but if you are short on time, instant mashed potatoes work great .
If you are in a crazy time crunch, you can even throw frozen tater tots on top and then cover them in cheese its delicious.
Making this Ground Beef Shepherds Pie is simple.
Brown the ground beef, add vegetables and seasonings, place in the bottom of a 9×13 baking pan, top with potatoes, add lots of cheese, and bake until its hot and gooey.
This shepherds pie is truly comfort food at its finest.
What’s The Difference Between A Shepherd’s Pie And Cottage Pie
A true shepherd’s pie is made with lamb while a cottage pie is made with beef. In the US, I notice that it is often called a shepherd’s pie when it really is just a cottage pie.
Since the type of meat used is the only real difference in this dish, I find most have a version using beef that they call shepherd’s pie even if it technically isn’t. Our family often grabs beef for this since lamb isn’t as readily available in our grocery stores. That said, I much prefer the truly authentic version using lamb.
If you are watching your red meat intake, you can use ground turkey, ground chicken, or even ground pork in place of lamb or beef. While that will keep it from being truly authentic, the flavors can still be fantastic.
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Read The Labels On Your Worcestershire Sauce
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 .
Easy Shepherds Pie Variations:
Want to customize your shepherds pie recipe? Feel free to:
- Make it vegetarian. To make a vegetarian shepherds pie, just omit the meat and double the amount of mushrooms. And of course, use veggie stock instead of beef stock, and vegan Worcestershire sauce .
- Make it vegan. Do the above, plus use vegan butter, milk and cream cheese in your mashed potatoes.
- Make it gluten-free. Nix the flour and whisk 1.5 tablespoons cornstarch together with the stock before adding it to the sauce. Also be sure to double-check, as always, that all of your other ingredients are certified GF.
- Use sweet potatoes: For an amazing sweet+savory combo, feel free to use sweet potatoes instead of Russets or Yukon golds in your mashed potatoes. So good!!!
Can I Make Shepherds Pie In Advance
Yes it can be made in advance but keep in mind you wont want to store it in the cast iron pan as it will cause rusting, instead:
- Assemble the pie in a baking dish or casserole dish.
- Cover and refrigerate.
- The following day remove from the fridge while the oven preheats to 350 degrees.
- Bake covered with foil about 25 30 minutes until heated through, then broil closer to broiler element to brown the topping.