There's nothing quite like the comforting aroma and delicious taste of a homemade Shepherd's Pie. This timeless dish brings together tender ground meat, vibrant vegetables, and creamy mashed potatoes in a perfect harmony of flavours. Whether you're looking for a hearty family dinner or a dish to impress your friends at a potluck, Shepherd's Pie is a reliable crowd-pleaser. In this blog, we'll share a classic recipe for Shepherd's Pie that will leave everyone craving for seconds.
For the filling:
- 1 ½ pounds ground beef (or lamb)
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup beef or vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the mashed potato topping:
- 4 large potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup milk (or cream)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C) and lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking dish.
In a large skillet or frying pan, cook the ground beef (or lamb) over medium heat until browned. Remove any excess grease if necessary.
Add the chopped onion, diced carrots, and minced garlic to the skillet. Sauté for 5-7 minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften.
Stir in the tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, dried thyme, salt, and pepper. Cook for another minute, ensuring the ingredients are well combined.
Add the frozen peas and beef (or vegetable) broth to the skillet. Bring the mixture to a simmer and let it cook for 10-15 minutes, allowing the flavours to meld together. If the mixture appears too dry, you can add a splash of broth or water to adjust the consistency.
While the filling is simmering, place the peeled and chopped potatoes in a large pot of salted water. Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are fork-tender, approximately 15-20 minutes.
Drain the cooked potatoes and return them to the pot. Add butter, milk (or cream), salt, and pepper to taste. Mash the potatoes until smooth and creamy.
Transfer the meat and vegetable filling into the greased baking dish, spreading it evenly.
Spoon the mashed potatoes over the filling, using a fork to create a textured surface. Sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese on top for an extra cheesy crust, if desired.
Place the Shepherd's Pie in the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the mashed potatoes turn golden brown and the filling is bubbly.
Remove from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving. This will allow the flavours to settle and make it easier to portion.
Serve the Shepherd's Pie hot, garnished with a sprinkle of fresh parsley if desired. It pairs well with a side of steamed vegetables or a crisp garden salad.
Shepherd's Pie is a classic comfort food that brings warmth and satisfaction to the dinner table. With its rich and flavourful filling topped with creamy mashed potatoes, this dish has stood the test of time for a reason. The recipe provided here is a great starting point, but don't be afraid to add your own twists and variations to suit your taste.