Classic Shepherds Pie

Classic Shepherds Pie



The Classic Shepherds Pie:

  • 1 to 1 1/4 pounds ground beef
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 2 carrots, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced, optional
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup peas, blanched or frozen

The Mashed Potatoes:

  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled and in large chunks
  • 1 teaspoon salt for cooking water
  • 23 tablespoons butter
  • milk, as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 pinch nutmeg, go light on this
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter, to brush on top of the Shepherd’s Pie
  • 4 ounces Cheddar or Swiss cheese, grated and divided – 3/4’s of it for the mashed potatoes, 1/4 of it to top the Shepherds Pie


Season both the dish and the potatoes well with salt and pepper. Start the potatoes before starting the Shepherds Pie, and preheat the oven when the potatoes have finished boiling. The potatoes will need to be a good, heavy mash because the cheese, as it melts, will make them much softer.

For the Potatoes:

Cook potatoes in salted, boiling water until tender, about 15 – 20 minutes. Drain and return to hot pan. Mash by hand or whip using an electric mixer, add butter and enough milk to smooth them out. Salt and pepper to taste. Add a pinch of nutmeg and about three ounces of the cheese (3/4’s of it) and stir in by hand. Cover to keep warm and set aside while finishing the rest of the dish.

For the Shepherds Pie:

In a pan, brown ground beef along with onion and carrots and cook beef is no longer pink and fat has rendered out. Drain well of any fat. Add the garlic, salt and pepper, and Worcestershire sauce (and parsley) and cook an additional two to three minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and mix in peas.

Spread meat mixture into the bottom of a casserole, top with mashed potatoes and smooth as desired. Bake at 350 degrees for a total of 30 minutes, brushing the top with melted butter and sprinkling with 1/4 of the grated cheese (see note) at the 20-minute mark. If, when the 30 minutes is up, the top of the potatoes hasn’t nicely browned, turn on the broiler for a few minutes, watching closely until the potatoes are golden brown.

Remove the Classic Shepherd’s Pie and rest for a few minutes before serving.

Note: The 1/4 of the cheese used to top the potatoes with should be finely grated. If not, run a knife through the cheese to break it down into fine bits.

Nutrition: Per Serving (counting 6 servings): 401 Calories; 27g Fat (60.2% calories from fat); 21g Protein; 18g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 90mg Cholesterol; 374mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 1 Grain(Starch); 2 1/2 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 3 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

Keywords: Bargain Meal of the Week, Carrots, Cheese, Ground Beef, Heritage Recipe, irsh, leftover potatoes, leftover vegetables, Leftovers, mashed potatoes, Peas, Potatoes, shepherd's pie

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