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Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd's Pie in a casseroled dish served with gravy

Shepherd’s Pie is a great one-dish complete meal. Topped with perfectly creamy mashed potatoes, you just can’t go wrong with this recipe. 

Ingredients

For the Mashed Potatoes-

1 ½ pounds russet potatoes, peeled and halved

4 tablespoons melted butter

¼ cup milk

¼ cup sour cream

Salt and pepper

For the Filling-

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped fine

3 carrots, peeled and chopped

2 cloves minced garlic

1 teaspoon fresh thyme (½ teaspoon dried)

1 ½ pounds lean ground beef or lamb

1 cup frozen peas (no need to thaw)

1 cup corn kernels (fresh, frozen, or drained from a can)

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2/3 cup beef broth

1-2 tablespoons Worcestershire

Salt and pepper

For the Gravy-

2 tablespoons beef drippings, optional

2 cups Beef broth/stock

2 tablespoons Corn starch

Salt and Pepper

Splash of Worcestershire sauce

Instructions

Make the Mashed Potatoes-

Add potatoes to a large pot and cover with cool water. Add 1 teaspoon salt to the water. Bring to a boil and continue cooking for 16-18 minutes until tender when poked with a fork.

Drain and transfer to a mixing bowl. Add melted butter and mix until combined. Add milk and sour cream, beating on medium speed until light and fluffy. Season generously with salt and pepper. Cover and set aside while preparing the filling.

Prepare the Filling-

In the bottom of a Dutch oven or a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, garlic, and thyme, cooking until soft, about 5-7 minutes. Add ground beef and cook until just beginning to brown. Drain excess fat if needed, saving 2 tablespoons for the gravy.

Add peas and corn, stirring until heated through. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle flour over the meat and stir coat evenly, cooking 1-2 minutes. Add beef broth and Worcestershire, stirring to combine. Bring to a simmer and continue stirring occasionally until thickened, about 5 minutes.

If using an ovenproof Dutch oven, simply spread prepared potatoes evenly over the top of the filling. If using a large skillet, transfer the filling to an ovenproof casserole dish before topping with potatoes.

Bake at 400°F for 20 minutes, until potatoes are golden brown. Place under broiler for a few minutes to increase browning, if desired. While the Shepherd’s Pie is in the oven, make the gravy.

Make the Gravy-

In a medium saucepan, heat beef drippings and stock until warmed. Remove ¼ cup of the warm stock to a small bowl and whisk in the corn starch to make a paste/slurry. Add cornstarch mixture to the saucepan, whisking to combine. Continue heating, whisking frequently, until boiling. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Continue cooking until gravy has reduced by nearly half or until desired thickness is reached. Taste and season with salt and pepper and a splash of Worcestershire sauce. Serve immediately.

Notes

Note- The inclusion of sour cream (which is soft at refrigerated temperatures) allows these mashed potatoes to remain soft even when chilled, which makes them great for preparing ahead of time or for enjoying leftover. This is my go-to ratio and method for mashed potatoes.

Feel free to add as many vegetables to the filling as you like, and whatever you have on hand. I’ve added broccoli, mushrooms, anything I have in the fridge. It’s a great way to use up leftover veggies. 

Keywords: shepherd's pie recipe, ground beef, perfectly creamy mashed potatoes