I love warm, winter comfort food. As New Englanders know, it’s impossible to predict the weather around here. It was 70 degrees last week and today it’s 45 and raining. Last week, I was trying not to use the oven. However, today felt like a genuinely good night for Shepherd’s Pie.
Most Shepherd’s Pies use lamb, but I tend to lean more towards ground beef. I love lamb (I am mostly Greek and all) but in moderation and mostly on holidays…not on a random Wednesday night.
Honestly, what’s better than flavorful meat and veggies topped with creamy mashed potatoes?!?! Riddle me that! 🙂
This recipe is taken from cooking and science guru Alton Brown from the Food Network. His recipe can be found here and his is more traditional. My boyfriend was obsessed and nearly got himself sick eating dinner tonight. I was a proud lady 🙂 🙂
~ For the potatoes
- 2 lb. butter potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1/4 c. light cream
- 3 tbsp. butter
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1 tbsp. fresh chives, minced
~ For the filling
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, minced
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. pepper
- 1 tsp. each of dried rosemary and dried thyme
- 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 lb. lean ground beef (I used 95% lean)
- 2 tbsp. flour
- 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tsp. tomato paste
- 1 c. beef broth
- 1 bag frozen mixed veggies, rinsed to remove excess ice (Wegmans makes a superb one that has peas, carrots, lima beans, carrots, and green beans — perfect for this)
- 1/4 c. fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/2 c. shredded mild cheddar, optional
~ Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a baking dish (recommended to use 11×7 but I used a 10×9)
~ Begin with the potatoes. They take the most time so it’s best to start with them. Peel and dice them and place them in boiling water. Bring back to a boil reduce heat to medium. Allow them to cook for 25 minutes. I am lazy (self admitted) and like to as little work as possible when mashing potatoes. The softer, the better, amiright!?! 🙂
~ While the potatoes cook, begin working on your filling. Warm your olive oil in a large saute pan.
~ Add the onions into the saute pan and allow them to cook for about five minutes or until softened and translucent. Add in your garlic, salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, and crushed red pepper.
~ Next, place the ground beef into the pan and begin breaking it up in very small pieces with a wooden spoon. Try to break it up as much as you can. Cook the ground beef until it is no longer pink.
~ Coat the ground beef with flour and allow it to cook for one more minute. This allows the flour taste to cook off a bit before adding additional flavors!!
~ Add the Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, and beef broth. Turn up the heat and bring this mixture to a boil. Bring it back down to medium-low (you don’t want it to burn) and allow it to cook for 8-10 minutes.
~ While this is cooking, rinse your frozen veggies under warm water to remove any excess ice and to start the defrosting process a bit.
~ Drain the potatoes and return them to the pan you cooked them in. Mash them up to your liking with a potato masher or with a fork. Add in the butter, cream, salt, pepper, and chives. Stir together and try not to eat this!! You will need this later and this decision will be one you regret 🙂
~ Stir the frozen veggies into the beef mixture and allow it to cook for a few more minutes. Sprinkle in the fresh parsley and remove from heat.
~ Turn the meat filling out into your prepared pan. Spread it all the way to the corners.
~ In 6 separate glops (technical term), place the mashed potatoes on top of the meat. Spreading it out into 6 glops will allow you to better and more evenly spread it over the filling. Spread the mashed potatoes all over the filling, trying your very best to create a seal over the meat. You don’t want too much filling bubbling up from underneath.
~ Because I’m an American (ha) and because I have a soul (ha), I topped the potatoes with some mild cheddar. This is totally optional. But, doesn’t cheddar make everything better? I usually don’t believe in mild cheddar (go sharp or go home), but we had some left over from something else (not my choice….believe me)….and it complemented this meal really well!
~ Bake uncovered for 25ish minutes. Allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before cutting into this…if you can wait that long!!
~ Enjoy!!! 🙂 <3
~ Easy to make gluten-free, too! (sub out the flour with GF flour)