The shepherd’s pie is a classic recipe. I firmly believe that it deserves to be part of every occasion. It is so hearty, so tasty and so comforting at the same time. It can be made with ground beef or lamb, cooked in a sauce with onions and other vegetables and covered with a layer of mashed potatoes before cooking.
Now, guys, this must be a common recipe in most Irish or European homes. But believe me, the secret to making this dish a success is perfecting all the different components of this pie. The ground meat should be well browned before adding other ingredients to give it all the right flavor. I suggest not rushing on the sauce, which is the base of this pie. Let it simmer before you decide to assemble it. Make a smooth and succulent purée, without any lumps. I always make sure to taste everything before assembling, because for a dish like this, the balance of flavors and textures is important. No one wants a flat, tasteless shepherd’s pie. As a cook, I think it’s important to follow these classic recipes and when you do, people will love every piece of what you make.
The best classic shepherd’s pie – aka shepherd’s pie or country pie. Ground beef (or lamb) with vegetables in a rich sauce, topped with mashed potatoes with cheese and baked in the oven.
So here’s how you spell it: Shepherd’s pie. But doing a quick Google search, I noticed that tons of people think it’s shepherd’s pie.
IRISH SHEPHERD’S PIE
The traditional Irish shepherd’s pie actually required 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 call this recipe shepherd’s pie. But I wrote this recipe so that you can use ground beef or ground lamb.
I usually use ground beef because it is widely available. But for a special occasion, like St. Patrick’s Day, I use ground lamb.
I first peel the potatoes and cut them into pieces and boil them. (5 pound bag)
Then I start frying a pound and a half of ground beef with salt, pepper and minced garlic.
I add chopped onions and grated carrots about halfway through. *
Then I drain my potatoes while the beef continues to cook, covered, to make the onions and carrots tender.
The lid speeds up this process.
Everyone makes their own mashed potatoes but I use salt, pepper, chopped garlic, a stick of butter and about a cup of milk (sometimes more) to get the desired smoothness and I use an electric mixer for the cakes to make them soft and creamy.
Then I drain the beef, put it evenly in the bottom of a 13×9 baking dish, a can of French green beans drained evenly over the beef, a can of beef sauce drizzled evenly over the beef and green beans, and then I pour the mashed potatoes in and spread it evenly.
Then I cover them with grated cheddar cheese and parsley!
Bake in the oven at 350° until the cheese is melted and bubbling. (25-30 minutes)
Usually I only use medium cheddar, but this time I’m using
I made medium cheddar mixed with white cheddar and it was amazing.
1 1/2 to 2 pounds potatoes (about 3 large potatoes), peeled and quartered
8 tablespoons (1 stick) of butter
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 to 2 cups diced carrots, corn, peas, vegetables
1 1/2 lb. round ground beef
1/2 cup beef broth
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Salt, pepper, other seasonings of your choice
1 Boil the potatoes: Place the peeled and quartered potatoes in a medium saucepan. Cover with at least one inch of cold water. Add a teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil, simmer and cook until tender (about 20 minutes).
2 Sauté vegetables: While potatoes are cooking, melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chopped onions and cook until tender (about 6 to 10 minutes).
If you include vegetables, add them according to their cooking time. Carrots should be cooked with the onions as they take as long to cook as the onions.
If you add peas or corn, add them near the end of the onions or after the meat starts cooking, as they take very little time to cook.
3 Add the ground beef, then the Worcestershire sauce and broth: Add the ground beef to the pan with the onions and vegetables. Cook until the meat is no longer pink. Season with salt and pepper.
Add Worcestershire sauce and beef stock. Simmer the broth and reduce the heat to low. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes, adding beef stock if necessary to prevent the meat from drying out.
4 Mash the cooked potatoes: When the potatoes are done cooking (a fork can easily pierce them), remove them from the pot and place them in a bowl with the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter. Mash them with a fork or potato masher and season with salt and pepper to taste.
5 Place the meat mixture and mashed potatoes in a casserole dish in layers: Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a large baking dish (8×13), spread the meat, onions and vegetables (if using) in an even layer.
Spread the mashed potatoes on top of the ground beef. Smooth the surface of the mashed potatoes with a fork so that the peaks are golden brown. You can even use a fork to make creative patterns in the mashed potatoes.
6 Bake: Place in the oven at 400°F and bake until the mashed potatoes are golden brown and bubbly, about 30 minutes. If necessary, broil for the last few minutes to help brown the surface of the mashed potatoes.
Suggested Variations :
Place a layer of creamed corn between the ground beef and mashed potatoes.
Sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese on top of the mashed potatoes before putting it in the oven.