Beef, Dinner, Featured

Ultimate Shepherd’s Pie

Picture this: layers of seasoned meat, veggies, and creamy mashed potatoes, all baked to golden perfection. Get ready for a flavor rollercoaster that’ll make your taste buds sing! Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a kitchen rookie, this Shepherd’s Pie recipe is your ticket to culinary glory. So, buckle up, and let’s turn those simple ingredients into a symphony of savory goodness!

Now, before you ask, “Why Shepherd’s Pie?” – let me break it down for you. This dish is the OG comfort food, a timeless classic that warms the soul and satisfies every craving. From the seasoned ground lamb (or beef) to the heavenly mashed potatoes on top, every bite is a journey through layers of flavor. Whether you’re cooking for the family, hosting a gathering, or just craving some serious comfort, Shepherd’s Pie is the answer. Trust me; you want this in your culinary arsenal.

Ingredients:

For the Filling:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 pounds lean ground lamb (or beef)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 celery ribs, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • ½ cup frozen corn

For the Mashed Potatoes:

  • 2 ½ pounds Russet potatoes, peeled, quartered, and rinsed
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 ¼ cups shredded aged cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 cup half and half, warmed

Step-by-Step Guide:

1. Prepare the Meat Filling:

  • Heat vegetable oil in a large ovenproof sauté pan over medium-high heat.
  • Brown the ground lamb (or beef), breaking it apart with a wooden spoon for about 5-8 minutes.
  • Drain excess fat, season with salt and pepper, then set aside.

2. Sauté Vegetables:

  • In the same pan, lower the heat to medium and sauté chopped onion until translucent (about 3 minutes).
  • Add diced carrots and celery, sauté until veggies soften (about 8 minutes).
  • Stir in minced garlic and herbs, cooking for an additional minute. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Deglaze and Add Flavors:

  • Pour in red wine to deglaze the pan, scraping up any browned bits. Cook until the wine is almost fully evaporated.
  • Stir in tomato paste, cooking for 1-2 minutes until it deepens in color. Add flour and cook for an additional minute.

4. Create the Meat Base:

  • Pour in beef stock and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil, then return the cooked meat to the pan.
  • Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 45 minutes.

5. Add Peas and Corn:

  • Mix in frozen peas and corn, cover, and continue cooking for another 15 minutes.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Set aside.

6. Prepare Mashed Potatoes:

  • Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
  • Boil peeled and quartered Russet potatoes in salted water until fork-tender (15-20 minutes). Drain.

7. Mash the Potatoes:

  • Using a potato ricer, rice the potatoes back into the pot.
  • Stir in sliced butter, warmed half and half, 1 cup of shredded cheese, yolk, and a generous pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Mix until butter and cheese are melted, and the mash is well combined. Adjust seasoning to taste.

8. Assemble and Bake:

  • Top the meat filling in the sauté pan with dollops of mashed potatoes, spreading them evenly with a spatula.
  • Melt the remaining butter, drizzle over the mashed potatoes, and finish with the remaining shredded cheese.
  • Place the sauté pan on a baking sheet (to catch any drips) and bake until the potatoes are lightly browned and the edges are bubbling, approximately 30 minutes.
  • If desired, pop it under the broiler for 3 to 5 minutes for deeper browning.

9. Rest and Serve:

  • Allow the Shepherd’s Pie to rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Expert Tips and Tricks:

  • Meat Matters: Mix it up with a combination of lamb and beef for a flavor explosion.
  • Cheese Choice: Experiment with different cheeses for the mashed potatoes – sharp cheddar, Gruyère, or Parmesan all bring unique flavors.
  • Herb Haven: Play with herbs in the filling – thyme, rosemary, or even a hint of sage for that extra kick.
  • Crispy Crown: Craving a crunchy top? Pop the Shepherd’s Pie under the broiler for a few minutes to get that perfect golden crust.

Variations:

  1. Guinness Shepherd’s Pie: Add a cup of Guinness to the filling for a rich, malty flavor.
  2. Sweet Potato Topping: Swap regular potatoes for sweet potatoes in the mash for a sweet twist.
  3. Cottage Pie: Use ground chicken or turkey instead of lamb or beef.
  4. Mushroom Magic: Sauté mushrooms and add them to the filling for an earthy note.
  5. Spicy Surprise: Mix in diced jalapeños or red pepper flakes for a spicy kick.
  6. Curry Fusion: Infuse curry powder into the filling for an exotic twist.
  7. Loaded Shepherd’s Pie: Top with crispy bacon bits, green onions, and sour cream.
  8. Mashed Cauliflower: For a low-carb option, replace potatoes with mashed cauliflower.
  9. Greek-Inspired: Add feta cheese and olives for a Mediterranean touch.
  10. Tex-Mex Twist: Spice it up with cumin, chili powder, and a layer of melted cheese on top.

What to Serve with Shepherd’s Pie:

  1. Garlic Bread: A classic choice to mop up the flavorful juices.
  2. Roasted Vegetables: A side of seasonal roasted veggies complements the hearty pie.
  3. Side Salad: A crisp salad with a tangy vinaigrette balances the richness.
  4. Creamy Coleslaw: The crunch of coleslaw adds freshness to each bite.
  5. Grilled Asparagus: A simple yet elegant choice that pairs well with the dish.
  6. Yorkshire Puddings: Classic English fare that elevates the meal.
  7. Buttery Cornbread: The sweetness of cornbread is a delightful contrast.
  8. Mashed Turnips: A lighter alternative to mashed potatoes.
  9. Baked Beans: A classic British side that complements the savory pie.
  10. Cucumber Raita: A cooling yogurt dip with cucumber and mint.

Recipe Card

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Shepherd’s Pie

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a large ovenproof sauté pan (see notes), over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the lamb (or beef) and cook – breaking apart with a wooden spoon – until browned, about 5 – 8 minutes. Drain off the excess fat, season with salt and pepper, then remove with a slotted spoon to a plate. Reserve.

  2. Add more oil if needed, lower the heat to medium, then stir in the onion, sautéing until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the carrots and celery and continue sautéing, until the veggies have softened, about 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and herbs, cooking for another minute. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.

  3. Pour in the red wine to deglaze the pan, using a wooden spoon to scrape all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook until the wine is almost fully evaporated.
    Stir in the tomato paste and stir to combine, cooking for a minute or two until it turns from bright red to a deeper red color. Once dissolved, stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute.

  4. Pour in the beef stock and Worcestershire sauce. Cook until it begins to boil, then return the ground beef to the pan. Cover, lower the heat, and simmer for 45 minutes.
    Add the peas and corn, mixing to combine. Cover and continue cooking for another 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Reserve. Preheat oven to 375ºF.

  5. Place potatoes in a large pot of salted water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 15 – 20 minutes, or until potatoes are fork-tender. Drain in a colander. Using a ricer, rice the potatoes back into the pot. Stir in the butter (sliced), warm cream, 1 cup of the cheese, yolk, and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Stir until the butter and cheese have melted and everything is well combined. Taste and adjust seasoning.

  6. Top the meat with dollops of the mashed potatoes, using a spatula to spread them out evenly. Melt the remaining butter in the microwave, then drizzle over the mashed potatoes. Finish with the remaining shredded cheese.

  7. Place the sauté pan on a baking sheet (to catch any drips) and in the preheated oven. Bake until the potatoes are lightly browned and the edges are bubbling, about 30 minutes. If desired, pop under the broiler for 3 to 5 minutes for deeper browning. Let the shepherd’s pie rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Hey family,

My name is Aaron Brown. You can call me “A.B.”

My mission is to help you level up the process of making your favorite mealswith my video tutorials and recipe guides,plus my tried-and-true spices, cookware, and more that make every meal special.

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