Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Shepherd's Pie

I love Shepherd's pie.  My Mom and Dad have both been making this for as long as I can remember.  I remember it many different ways too.  My mom did just beef, corn and potatoes and we ate it with bread.  I remember my Dad wrapping it in tortillas and frying them a bit.  Mine is a bit different than what I ate as a child though but I love making it and love eating it.  I know Shepherd's pie normally is made with lamb but lamb is expensive and ground beef really isn't.  Plus, I can't get lamb here in Japan or at least I don't think I can.  This dish is awesome.  Creamy mashed potatoes with cheese.  A brown gravy sauce over sauteed ground beef and your favorite vegetables.  What's not to love!?

Shepherd's Pie

1 lb. ground beef
1 c. chopped carrots
1 c. frozen peas
4 slices of diced bacon
1 1/2- 2 c. beef stock
2 cloves minced garlic
4-6 yukon gold potatoes
1 stick butter
1/4 c. whole milk
1/4 c. sour cream
1 egg yolk
1/2 c. cheddar cheese
3 tbsp. flour
1 tbsp. Worcestershire 

Dice your potatoes and place them in a large pan with salted water.  Bring to a boil until fork tender.  Drain.  Add in 1/2 stick of butter, 1/4 c. sour cream & whole milk.  Mash and mix the potatoes with the butter and sour cream and slowly add the milk.  You can always add more milk to make your potatoes creamier but you can't undo it if you add to much.  You may need a bit more milk than the recipe calls for.  Add salt and pepper and then set potatoes aside.  Add bacon to a skillet and cook until fat is rendered and bacon is crispy.  Pull bacon out and set aside.  Add ground beef  to the pan with the bacon grease and cook until brown.  In a separate pan add a splash of oil and saute your carrots until almost tender (personal preference, you may like them more or less tender).   Once beef is brown add in your already cooked carrots and frozen peas.  Make sure to add salt and pepper to your beef and carrots.   Add in about a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce.   Add in about 3 tbsp. of flour or until meat mixture is pasty when stirred.  Slowly add in your beef stock (you may need more or less than the recipe calls for) until a gravy is formed allowing to cook for about 5 minutes to get some of the raw flour taste out of the gravy.  The gravy should coat the back of a spoon nicely without being too runny.  Add the bacon back into the beef gravy mixture.  Preheat oven to 350.  Pour beef mixture into a casserole dish. Add 1 egg yolk to cooled potatoes and cheese.   The egg yolk will give your potatoes a really nice golden yellow color when baking.  Spoon and spread the potato mixture on top of the beef mixture.  Add more salt and pepper to the top of the potatoes.  Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until potatoes are golden.  You can also make this dish ahead and place in the refrigerator.  If you do that you will need to bake it for longer since it will be cold, about 40 minutes.  Enjoy!  

I'd like to mention that I didn't actually measure when making this recipe as I make it all the time and I just eyeball it really.  These are rough estimates but the recipe is very flexible so just go with what you think is right.  This is a great dinner recipe though and leaves plenty of leftovers for the week.


  1. Yum... I love Shepherd's pie!

  2. YUM! I LOVE your recipe! Would you come over to CAST PARTY WEDNESDAY and share this tasty recipe with us?
    I hope to see you there!

  3. Oh, my hubby would love this one! Excellent recipe for a chilly day :)

  4. Yum! I've never made it myself but I always order it when I'm out at Irish restaurants! I'll need to try your recipe!