Shepherds Pie

The weather is cooling down and the kids are back in school.  Summer is suddenly gone, which makes it the perfect time for some good old, stick to your ribs, comfort food.  A simple shepherds pie recipe has been a family favorite for a long time.  But when it came time to share with all of you, I decided to add a little something extra to change the flavor profile.  I think the kids were a little nervous at first, but in the end there were not a lot of leftovers from this dinner.  It takes a few extra minutes to pull this all together, but it is definitely worth it.  With fall quickly settling in, you need something yummy to keep you warm.

Things have been so busy this summer, mostly with kids activities, and I haven’t taken the time to get any new recipes up on the site.  Now with school starting, you might think things would start to settle down.  But alas no, there is no break in sight with both kids playing soccer this year and everything else happening.  Nevertheless, I decided I needed to get a recipe together to share with all of you.  My decision to make shepherds pie was a bit of a last minute thing, and I had never quite made this recipe before.  Now, I know I said this has been a long time family favorite, but the usual recipe is a simple ground beef, corn, gravy, and mashed potatoes.  Every once in a while, I try something a little different, but it changes every time.  So I didn’t really have an established recipe…until now.

I had gotten all the ingredients together for this recipe and decided to get started.  However, I still hadn’t quite decided exactly what was going into this recipe or not.  At the last minute, I ran out to the herb garden in the back yard and grabbed a handful of oregano and thyme (which turned out to be a great addition).  Once I got going, Lily came out to help me in the kitchen.  She helped with the food some, and then grabbed the camera and took some of the pictures (the image below was one of hers).  I wasn’t sure if I was going to add the tomato paste, but decided it would add an extra layer of flavor, so I went with it.  Then Lily and I had a debate about adding the peas or not.  Obviously, the peas won the debate.  I had a notepad sitting by so I could write down all the ingredients as I was making this.  I wasn’t sure if I would need to make this one a few times to dial it in, but I took pictures anyway hoping it would come out right.  In the end, I think it came out great and I am glad I captured exactly what I did.  I definitely plan to make this again and I want to repeat the experience.

Shepherds Pie

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion diced small
  • 3 carrots diced small
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 ¼ cups beef broth
  • Fresh oregano
  • Fresh thyme
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 lbs potatoes peeled and cubed
  • 2-3 tbsp margarine
  • Splash beef broth
  • Pinch white pepper
  • Salt & pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Peel and cube the potatoes and place them in a pan of cool water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then turn the heat down and cook until the potatoes are tender. Drain the water and mash the potatoes. Add the margarine, white pepper, and salt & pepper to taste. Mix in a splash of beef broth so the potatoes are nice and smooth and not too thick.

Meanwhile, put the oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat, add the onions and carrots, and a large pinch of salt. Sauté until the veggies are soft. Add the ground beef to the pan and cook until no more pink is visible. Add the garlic and stir it in. Let that cook for a minute and then add the tomato paste. Stir until that is thoroughly combined, then mix in the flour. Make sure all the flour is absorbed before adding the beef broth and the herbs. Let that cook for a minute or two and it should thicken up quickly. Last, turn the heat down and add in the frozen corn and peas. Let that cook just another minute or two while you finish up with the potatoes (if you haven’t already).

Put the meat and vegetable mixture in the bottom of a wide shallow baking dish. Something like a lasagna pan might be the perfect size. Scoop small spoonsful of the potatoes over the top to create an even layer. Smooth out the top with a spatula. If your baking dish is nearly full to the top, you may want to place it on top of a baking sheet to catch anything that may drip. Place in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Let it cool for 5 minutes or so before digging in…if you can wait that long.

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