Shepherds pie is a classic recipe. I strongly feel it is well deserved to be a part of every occasion. It is so hearty, flavourful and comforting at the same time. It could be prepared with minced beef or lamb, that is cooked in a gravy with onions and other vegetables and topped with a layer of mashed potatoes before it is baked.
Now guys, this must be a common recipe in most of the Irish or European households. But trust me, the secret to nailing this dish is to perfect all the different components of this pie. The minced meat needs to be browned well before adding other ingredients to impart all good flavours from the meat. I would suggest not to rush with the gravy, that is the foundation of this pie. So let it simmer before you decide to assemble. Make a smooth and luscious mashed potatoes, without any lumps. I always make sure to taste everything before assembling, because for a dish like this, balance of flavours and textures are important. Nobody wants to have a flat, flavourless Shepherds pie. As a cook I think it is important to respect these classic recipes and when you do that people are going to love every bit of what you make.
The Best Classic Shepherd’s Pie – AKA Shepards Pie or Cottage Pie. Ground Beef (or lamb) with vegetables in a rich gravy, topped with cheesy mashed potatoes, and baked.
So, this is how you spell it: Shepherd’s Pie. But, from doing a quick google search, it came to my attention that TONS of people think it’s Shepards Pie.
IRISH SHEPHERD’S PIE
Traditional Irish Shepherd’s Pie would actually call for ground lamb. The difference between Shepherd’s Pie and Cottage Pie is the meat. Cottage Pie uses ground beef, while Shepherd’s Pie uses ground lamb.
I called this recipe Shepherd’s Pie. But, I wrote the recipe so that you could use ground beef or ground lamb.
I typically use ground beef because it is widely available. But, for a special occasion, like St. Patricks day, I would use ground lamb.
First I peel potatoes and chop them, get them boiling. (5 lb bag)
Then I start browning a pound and a half of ground beef with salt, pepper and minced garlic.
I add chopped onions and shredded carrots about half way through browning. *
Then I drain my potatoes while the beef continues to cook covered in order to make the onions and carrots soft.
Lid makes this process faster.
Everyone does their mashed potatoes their own way but I use salt, pepper, minced garlic, one stick of butter and about a cup of milk (sometimes more) to desired creaminess and I use an electric cake mixer to get them nice and fluffy and creamy.
Then I drain beef, put it evenly in the bottom of 13×9 baking dish, one can of drained French style green beans evenly over the beef, one can of beef gravy drizzled evenly over the beef and green beans, then I dump the mashed potatoes in and spread them evenly.
Then top with shredded cheddar and parsley!
Bake at 350 til the cheese is melted and bubbly. (25-30 minutes)
Usually I just use a medium cheddar but this time
I did medium cheddar mixed with white cheddar and it turned out amazing.
Recipe by Analicia Schrader
1 1/2 to 2 pounds potatoes (about 3 large potatoes), peeled and quartered
8 Tablespoons (1 stick) butter
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
1-2 cups vegetables—diced carrots, corn, peas
1 1/2 lbs ground round beef
1/2 cup beef broth
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Salt, pepper, other seasonings of choice
1 Boil the potatoes: Place the peeled and quartered potatoes in medium sized pot. Cover with at least an inch of cold water. Add a teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until tender (about 20 minutes).
2 Sauté vegetables: While the potatoes are cooking, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a large sauté pan on medium heat. Add the chopped onions and cook until tender, about 6 to 10 minutes.
If you are including vegetables, add them according to their cooking time. Carrots should be cooked with the onions, because they take as long to cook as the onions do.
If you are including peas or corn, add them toward the end of the cooking of the onions, or after the meat starts to cook, as they take very little cooking time.
3 Add the ground beef, then Worcestershire sauce and broth: Add ground beef to the pan with the onions and vegetables. Cook until no longer pink. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the Worcestershire sauce and beef broth. Bring the broth to a simmer and reduce heat to low. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes, adding more beef broth if necessary to keep the meat from drying out.
4 Mash the cooked potatoes: When the potatoes are done cooking (a fork can easily pierce), remove them from the pot and place them in a bowl with the remaining 4 Tbsp of butter. Mash with a fork or potato masher, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
5 Layer the meat mixture and mashed potatoes in a casserole dish: Preheat oven to 400°F. Spread the beef, onions, and vegetables (if using) in an even layer in a large baking dish (8×13 casserole).
Spread the mashed potatoes over the top of the ground beef. Rough up the surface of the mashed potatoes with a fork so there are peaks that will get well browned. You can even use a fork to make creative designs in the mashed potatoes.
6 Bake in oven: Place in a 400°F oven and cook until browned and bubbling, about 30 minutes. If necessary, broil for the last few minutes to help the surface of the mashed potatoes brown.
Put a layer of creamed corn between the ground beef and the mashed potatoes.
Sprinkle grated cheddar cheese over the top of the mashed potatoes before baking.