This classic shepherds pie has a delicious beef mixture with lots of carrots & peas then topped off with creamy mashed potatoes and a crispy cheddar cheese topping! Ultimate comfort food! We love this easy dinner at our house.
Easy Shepherd’s Pie
I was never a huge fan of shepherds pie. And I finally figured out why! I don’t love the tomato/beef/potato combo. I love tomatoes but just not all those flavors together. So when I saw THIS recipe over on Karen’s blog, The Food Charlatan, I was so excited to make it for dinner. (It just has a rich beef gravy and no tomato added). We loved it of course. I’m basically obsessed with everything Karen makes! I just love her blog! Be sure to check her site out if you don’t follow her already.
How to make classic shepherd’s pie
- Make your mashed potatoes. Just peel and dice up some russet potatoes. Cover with water in a large pot. Boil till for tender. Drain then add the good stuff. Butter, sour cream (can use cream cheese instead) and milk. Add in some seasoned salt, garlic salt and pepper then whip it up good!
- Sauté the onion and carrots in some butter. When they are tender, add the ground beef. When it’s close to being cooked (and no longer pink) add the frozen peas. And season with salt and pepper, of course 🙂
- Then you mix up some beef broth (or water and some beef better than bullion is what I use) with a little cornstarch. Add that to the beef/veggie mixture and add a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce. Cook & reduce until it reaches a consistency you like.
- Pour the meat into the baking dish then top with the creamy, dreamy mashed potatoes.
- And what makes this recipe even better, the crusty cheese top! When it’s done baking, you can turn on the broiler for a minute or 2 till it turns a little brown and crispy. Totally optional but I highly recommend it!
What is shepherd’s pie?
Fun fact….Shepherd’s pie is actually made with ground lamb. And in other parts of the world, when they make this with beef, they call it Cottage Pie. In America, beef is more commonly used in this casserole dinner. But it’s just a ground meat mixture with vegetables then topped with mashed potatoes. The cheese is optional (and not traditional) but when would I ever say no to cheese on top?! If you don’t want to add cheese, the top of the potatoes will turn golden and slightly crispy which is delicious as well!
Can I use left-over mashed potatoes?
YES! My favorite way to use up mashed potatoes. Makes this dinner even easier 🙂
Can I used boxed potato flakes?
I have never made them with potato flake mashed potatoes. I am sure it would work, but the extra effort will be worth it in my opinion. Homemade mashed potatoes are so much better!
This classic shepherds pie has a delicious beef mixture with lots of carrots & peas then topped off with creamy mashed potatoes and a crispy, cheddar cheese topping!
- 2 1/2 pounds russet potatoes
- 1/4 cup salted butter
- 1/2 cup sour cream or cream cheese
- 1/2 cup half & half (or milk/cream combo)
- 1/2 teaspoon season salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- ground pepper, to taste
- 4 tablespoons salted butter
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cups carrots, sliced (about 4 carrots)
- 1 pound ground beef (I prefer grass-fed)
- 2 cups frozen peas (I like petite peas)
- 1 cup beef broth (or 1 c. water + 1 tsp. better than bouillon)
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese (8 ounces)
Peel the potatoes and dice up. Place in a large pot and cover with water. Cook till fork tender. Drain the water.
Add the butter, sour cream & milk. Using a hand-held mixture to combine until creamy and smooth. Add the season salt, garlic salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
In a large skillet or saucepan melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion & sliced carrots. When they are soft, add the ground beef. Cook till no longer pink. Add the frozen peas towards the end of cooking the beef then drain off the fat.
In a small bowl, whisk together the beef broth & cornstarch (or water, better than bouillon & cornstarch). Add to the meat mixture. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce and season with salt & pepper. Bring the mixture to a simmer and let it reduce until it reaches a consistency you like. About 5 to 10 minutes.
Pour the meat mixture into a 9x13" baking dish. Top with the mashed potatoes. Then add the cheese, sprinkle all over the top!
Bake for 30 minutes or until it's warmed all the way through and has a nice golden color. Broil for a minute if you want a crispy cheese layer on top! (You do, trust me!) Just keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn.
-You can use 4 ounces of cream cheese in place of the 1/2 cup sour cream in the potatoes if you would like. I like it both ways! Also, you can use milk, half & half or cream or a combo. Whatever you want or have on hand.
-You can use beef broth or water and better than bullion. I really prefer the flavor of better than bouillon! Plus you can buy it at Costco for a great price too!
OTHER DINNER IDEAS!
Skillet Enchiladas: we LOVE this easy dinner
Hawaiian Baked Chicken: this chicken is SO good!