What’s The Recipe For Shepherd’s Pie

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Gather The Ingredients For Shepherds Pie


This recipe requires a fair amount of ingredients, so be sure to check for items that you may have at home already. Start with 2 pounds of potatoes and some butter. In addition, you will need to get salt, pepper, and milk. The recipe also calls for extra virgin olive oil and a few things in the produce section like an onion, carrots, and garlic.

For the meat, be sure to pick up some ground beef. You will also need a few spices like thyme and rosemary. Next, grab a little flour and tomato paste. Then, throw some beef broth and Worcestershire sauce into your car. You will also need to swing by the frozen section for corn and peas.

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Yes You Can Make It Ahead

Once you have topped the filling with the potatoes and sprinkled the last bit of cheese over it, let it cool completely, then cover it with plastic wrap. You can keep it assembled, but unbaked, in your refrigerator for up to three days.

To bake the pie, remove the plastic wrap and take it straight from the fridge to the oven. Add an extra 15 minutes to the baking time. Check the pie after 30 minutes.

Cover it loosely with foil if the top browns too quickly.

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Why Would I Ever Make Shepherds Pie From Scratch

Ill tell you why: Frozen Shepherds Pie tastes like cat food compared to this.

Yes, my Shepherds Pie may LOOK like cat food, but I assure you its delicious! My middle daughter had seconds, my oldest daughter had thirds, and my husband ate all that was remaining later that night.

In my house no leftovers means the meal was good! Other meals where we have no leftovers is my Easy Cheesy Tuna Casserole, my Homemade Creamy Macaroni and Cheese and my Instant Pot Seafood Chowder.

Whats The Difference Between Shepherds Pie And Cottage Pie

Shepherds Pie  Whats for Dinner

A classic shepherds pie is made from lamb shepherd lamb, and a Cottage Pie is made out of beef. But in the US, not many Americans know the difference, and tend to label them both as Shepherds Pie. Of course you can also substitute ground turkey in place or the ground beef or lamb.

I imagine it was created by a frugal farmers wife as a good way to stretch that pound of ground meat. When its mixed with plenty of vegetables and topped with lots of mashed potatoes, it makes for a hearty meal.

One pound of ground beef will stretch to feed 6 with the addition of all the vegetables, which is something I like when were trying to eat less meat in general.

Top with more grated cheddar.

This is one of those dishes, that if you ask 10 cooks how to cook a Shepherds Pie, youll get 10 different recipes. Thats the beauty of cooking, adapting, modifying, and putting your own twist on it.

Bake, covered until hot and bubbly.

My husband loves mashed potatoes and cheese, so I always make my Cottage Pie with plenty of both. I had to cook a lot of Shepherds Pie when I was a cook at the John Bull Pub in Old town Pasadena, so this has evolved over the last 30+ years. The owner of the John Bull taught me her secret. She put a layer of grated cheese under the mashed potatoes as well as on top.

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Ingredients For Shepherds Pie

  • Ground Beef we used lean beef, or you can substitute with ground lamb.
  • Salt and Pepper after several tests, we found this simple seasoning is all that is needed. Thyme and rosemary are commonly added but we found it overpowering in any quantity.
  • Onion we used yellow onion, but you can substitute any variety
  • Garlic aromatic that enhances the sauce
  • All-purpose flour thickens the sauce
  • Red Wine use a dry red wine to add rich flavor. Use any dry red wine such as Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet, or Sauvignon
  • Beef Broth you can use Chicken broth if that is what you have on hand.
  • Tomato paste rounds out the flavor of the sauce
  • Worcestershire sauce adds the umami
  • Frozen vegetables we use a combination of carrots, peas and corn

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.

For dessert, you might want to whip up these cinnamon rolls with cream cheese glaze or a dish of this homemade rice pudding recipe.

Chef’s Tips

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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What Is Shepards 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!!

Corned Beef & Cabbage Filling

Sweet Potato Shepherd s Pie

2 Tbsp. garlic and herb Irish butter

1/2 small head green cabbage, chopped

1 cup baby carrots, cut into bite-size chunks

1/2 large onion, chopped

1 lb. leftover corned beef, sliced or cubed

Melt the butter in a large sauce pot or skillet. Sauté the carrots, onion and cabbage until the onions are translucent and the cabbage is soft. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a glass 8×8 oven-safe casserole dish. Set aside, adding the corned beef later when you are ready to assemble the dish.

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How To Make A Shepherds Pie

While shepherds pie certainly came about as a way to put those leftovers to good use, the results were delicious. Recipes vary widely but have the same basic structure. Theres a crust of mashed potatoes on the top and bottom. Inside, theres minced meat.

The meat is simmered in a gravy of onions and other vegetables like celery, carrots or peas, sometimes all of these. The result is something comforting and delicious that will warm you from the inside out. So while the history of this dish is anything but mystifying, it is something that Irish and English cooks like to put their own unique spin on. Like anything else, its fun to try out different seasonings and vegetables. And just like everyone makes mashed potatoes in their own way, the whole thing can be an incredibly diverse experience.

Shepherds Pie Vs Cottage Pie

When Shepherds Pie first originated, it was made with lamb. It has since evolved, especially in America, to include a variety of red meats . Per Wikipedia:

Shepherds pie, cottage pie, or hachis Parmentier is a ground meat pie with a crust or topping of mashed potato of English origin. The recipe has many variations, but the defining ingredients are ground red meat cooked in a gravy or sauce with onions, and topped with a layer of mashed potato before it is baked

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Cook The Ground Lamb Meat Or Mince

Bring a large cast iron skillet, skillet, or frying pan to high heat with two tablespoons of olive oil. *If you like lamb meat, but want to take the lamb flavor down a notch, try a drizzle of sesame seed oil.

The oil should be shimmering and just beginning to smoke when it is fully heated. Add the ground lamb meat to the skillet, and spread it in a thin layer over the bottom of the pan. *Your lamb meat will brown and crisp better if it has set out for about 30 minutes prior to cooking so that it is closer to room temperature when starting the cooking process.

Let the meat cook until browned and crisped on the underside. Then split the pan into portions that you can easily flip and turn them so that the topside is now facing downward and getting browned too.

When the bottom side has browned and crisped, break apart the lamb meat and season with 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Add the grated or finely chopped onion, minced garlic, and grated carrot. Stir into the ground lamb and cook for 2 4 minutes, or until the onion is softened.

Pour the Worcestershire sauce into the pan along with tomato puree and stir to combine. Add the red wine, thyme, and rosemary. Stir to combine and cook until most of the wine has evaporated off.

Stir in the chicken broth or stock and cook for 3 4 minutes, then remove from heat. Set aside.

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How To Make The Meat Filling

Cottage pie

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat then add in the onions, carrots, garlic, rosemary, and thyme.

Cook this mixture for 2-3 minutes stirring regularly.

Now, add the meat and stir to combine. Cook the meat and vegetable mixture for another 5-7 minutes stirring regularly to break up the meat. Cook until there is no pink left in the meat.

To the skillet and meat mixture, add the Worcestershire sauce, green peas, corn, and tomato paste then stir to combine.

Season with salt and pepper.

Sprinkle the flour into the meat mixture and stir until it has dissolved.

Pour in the chicken broth and stir to combine, then reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 4-5 minutes or until thickened.

Set the meat mixture aside and preheat the oven to 400°F.

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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!

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    How To Make Mashed Potato Topping

    While the meat mixture is cooking, you will place your peeled potatoes into a pot of salted water and bring to a boil.

    Cook the potatoes for 20 minutes or until fork-tender.

    Drain the potatoes reserving ¼ cup of the water.

    Pour the potatoes back into the pan and add in the water then begin mashing.

    When the potatoes are mostly mashed, add in the melted butter, heavy cream, and sour cream.

    Stir and mash to combine.

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    How Do You Thicken Meat Pie Filling

    If youve ever made a meat pie, stew or sauce you know that one of the challenges is to get that right consistency. You dont want it to be too runny, nor too thick. One of the most common tricks you might have used in such a case is to add a little bit of flour or corn starch. A spoonful can already do wonders here.

    What Kind Of Potatoes Are Used For The Topping

    Campbell’s Shepherd’s Pie||How To Make SIMPLE Delicious Shepherd’s Pie

    Russet potatoes are the best to use to make the mashed potato topping. They are a type of potato that is very starchy, and when cooked easily breaks into light and flaky pieces. The texture makes is very easy to spread across the top of the filling. The potatoes are gently combined with butter, warmed whole milk, and egg yolk for richness and color when baked.

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    Tips To Save You Time

    This recipe takes a little more time than the average weeknight meal, but its so worth it. Here are a few tips to save you some time and energy.

    • Use a mixture of butter and flour to thicken the sauce: Instead of a roux , I mix the flour and butter in a bowl and whisk it into the sauce to save on cooking time. This is known as beurre manié in French cuisine. Also, I always think its easier to clean a small bowl than a pot!
    • Choose large potatoes: Im not a fan of peeling potatoes, but the larger they are, the fewer there are to peel! And the less time I need to spend doing it. If you dont mind the skins, you could skip the peeling altogether, but thats an aesthetic choice. It doesnt affect the overall taste, but perhaps the potatoes wont be quite so melt-in-your-mouth creamy.
    • Buy grated cheese: Usually, I like to grate my own cheese because packaged cheese often has added cellulose to keep the shreds from clumping. That said, there are brands that have only a few additives, and I find skipping this one step just moves things along faster.

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