Easy Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

There is always a little bit of pressure to come up with a dish that is holiday worthy and so special and impressive.

And this one checks all the boxes, check this out. Hey everybody, it’s Michell of fikbon.com. I’m gonna show you how to make shepherd’s pie.


Meat Filling:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 lb. 90% lean ground beef -or ground lamb
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves -minced
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 cup frozen mixed peas & carrots*
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels

Potato Topping:

  • 1 1/2 – 2 lb. russet potatoes -about 2 large potatoes peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter -1 stick
  • 1/3 cup half & half
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese

This is one of those classic dishes that is just so comforting and special, and it’s simpler than you think. And the flavors are just mmm, it is so satisfying. Also I’m hungry. So let’s get started. You can start with leftover mashed potatoes if you have them, but I’m gonna show you how to make mashed potatoes for shepherd’s pie.

You’ll need two pounds of russet potatoes. Peel those, then cut them into one inch thick pieces. Try to cut even pieces so they cook at the same rate. Once they’re all chopped up, I do like to rinse my potatoes to keep them from getting discolored and to remove any excess starch. Transfer those to a medium sauce pan and cover the potatoes with cold water. We’re gonna get those potatoes on the stove and bring them to a boil. Once the water has boiled, you can reduce the heat just to keep them at a low boil and continue to cook for about 12 to 15 minutes, depending on how large you cut your potatoes. Once you can pierce the potatoes easily with a fork, take them off the heat and drain well. Make sure you don’t over cook your potatoes. Now we’re gonna mash up the potatoes. You can either use a classic potato masher like this one, or you can use an electric hand mixer.

Since this is a small batch of mashed potatoes. I’m just using my hand masher. Add three fourths cup of warm, heavy whipping cream, and continue mashing until smooth and creamy. Now add half a teaspoon of salt or add to taste. Make sure you’re scraping down the pot as you mash so you don’t get any firm pieces of potato at the bottom.

To finish off the potatoes, we’re gonna add in one fourth cup of shredded Parmesan cheese, and one lightly beaten egg. Mash that in and your potatoes should be super smooth and creamy at this point. Now to make that delicious shepherd’s pie filling. Since this comes together pretty quickly once it’s on the stove, you’ll want to start with some quick prep. Finely chop up one cup of yellow onion. Also, peel and mince two large garlic cloves. This is also a great time to preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit with the rack in the middle of the oven. Now it’s time to hit the stove. Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add one tablespoon of oil, then add one pound of lean ground beef. Now shepherd’s pie is traditionally made with ground lamb, hence the name shepherd’s pie, but we prefer ground beef, so that’s what we’re using here.

And here’s a fun fact; when people do make this with ground beef, they call it cottage pie. Season the beef with one teaspoon of salt and half a teaspoon of black pepper and continue cooking the meat, breaking it up with the spatula.

You’re gonna cook for about five minutes or until the ground beef is just cooked through. Now add your chopped onion and saute for about three minutes to soften those up and add your minced garlic and stir for another minute or until the garlic is fragrant. To create a thick and creamy sauce, sprinkle the top with two tablespoons of all purpose flour and continue stirring that for another minute. You want to see the flour sticking to and coating the bottom of the pan. Stir in the red wine and scrape the bottom of the pan for another minute to deglaze the pan. Next, add your beef broth, and you can use chicken broth if that’s what you have on hand. Also stir in one tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce and a tablespoon of tomato paste. Now add one and a half cups of frozen veggies, and you can choose which veggies you like to put in there.

I have a combination of peas, carrots, and corn, and I’m just adding those frozen. Bring the mixture to a uniform light boil, then season to taste. I like to add about half a teaspoon of salt and a quarter teaspoon of black pepper. Reduce the heat to keep it at a simmer, then cover and let it simmer for about 10 minutes or until the sauce is thickened and the flavors have melded together. This is your last chance to season to taste if you need to before we transfer it into the oven. Transfer that to either a deep pie pan, which is what I’m using, or you can use a casserole dish and either an 11 by seven or a nine by nine dish works great.

Keep in mind you still need to add mashed potatoes on top, so if your dish is too shallow, the filling can bubble out and leak in the oven. Once your meat mixture is leveled out in your baking dish, you want to add your mashed potatoes. I do like to use this trigger release ice cream scoop, and I will link to this and all of the tools that I’m using in the notes and just mound the mashed potatoes evenly over the top. Adding them in little bits like this makes it much easier to spread them without disturbing the yummy filling underneath. You can either press over the top of the potatoes with the tines of a fork to decorate it.

But I personally like the swirled appearance, just a little spatula. Last but not least, drizzle with two tablespoons of melted butter over the top and bake in the center of a preheated oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes or until the potatoes start to turn golden on top. I do like to place a sheet of foil under my shepherd’s pie just in case to catch any leaks. You can see the top is getting lightly golden and you can broil the top for a couple of minutes to give it more color if you want to.

Once it’s out of the oven, you want to let it rest for about 15 minutes before serving because it will be piping hot in the center. And when your kitchen smells this good, it’s really hard to wait. All right. I cannot wait any longer. It’s time to dig in and enjoy this. And I do love to add a little bit of fresh greens on top. I’ve got parsley here. You can also use chives. Yum. That’s so pretty. Okay, there we go. If you love meat and potatoes, this is gonna be your new favorite because it’s meat and potatoes.

Okay, here we go. I’m ready for this taste test. And we’re just gonna load it up. And there’s no real like, pro way to serve this. You just get a spoon and you go at it. All right. Just like this. Let me show you. First you make a little cut around the edges and then scoop and lift. That’s all there is to it. All right. Oh, I love that saucy meaty gravy, oh, so good. I can’t wait to dig into this. That’s exactly what I’m gonna do. Okay, here we go. While it’s still hot and steamy and fresh. But this does reheat really well by the way. And you can make it ahead. Okay, enough talking, more eating.

Oh my, 10 out of 10. That is seriously the ultimate comfort food. Everything from that saucy gravy sauce underneath with all that tender beef in it. And then it’s loaded with veggies. So this really is a meal in itself and it just looks so stunning on a holiday table. It’s so impressive. I also love that there’s a little bit of cheese in the mashed potatoes in that topping. It just takes it to the next level. Oh, it’s so good. You can totally make this a day ahead. Cover it, put it in the fridge and then just pop in the oven when you’re ready to enjoy. You might add a few minutes of baking time though, if it’s cold, but wow. This is seriously one crowd-pleasing dish. I hope it becomes a new favorite for you. And let me know if you found the shark in today’s episode. I think we hid it pretty well, but I do want to hear from you in the comments if you spotted it. I’m gonna go eat this. I’m hungry.

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