Shepherds Pie, also known as Cottage pie, is a dish originally created to use up left over meat and vegetables. Traditionally using minced meat, either ground beef or lamb, it is one of those dishes that can be really good, or well, not that great. For me the key is in the seasoning, and the gravy. (I love gravy). If you just toss together basic leftovers without adding flavour, it’s going to taste bland and dry. This recipe for the Best Ever Shepherds pie is savoury and comforting, as well as being easy to make.
Taking just a few extra minutes, and some basic ingredients takes this economical comfort food from ordinary to something that your family will ask to be on the regular dinner rotation.
When I was younger, I went to a school that served us hot lunches, I don’t remember many of them, but I do remember loving Shepherd’s Pie days. The gravy was delicious and the mashed potatoes, smooth and creamy, and it had sweet corn. I loved it.
The memory of that particular Shepherd’s Pie had me hunting for the perfect recipe for years. I never found one, so as with many of my recipes, I tested and tweaked until I was happy with the results.
For me, this recipe is the only one I use, thus the name Best Ever Shepherd’s Pie. I often make a double batch of the filling and freeze a portion to have it on hand for nights when I’m running behind. After a busy work day, when you need something warm, comforting and filling this is an excellent option.
Meal Planning Tips:
This recipe for Best Ever Shepherds Pie is a great one to add to your meal planning roster. It’s takes no additional time to make a double or even triple batch, and it freezes well.
Potatoes tend to not reheat well, so I recommend making the filling and freezing them in gallon sized freezer bags. You can simply take it out of the freezer in the morning and it will be ready to use that night.
I love using Intentional leftovers, so I would schedule this meal in during the week, and after I’ve made another meal where I double the mashed potatoes. At dinner time all you need to then do is spread the defrosted filling into your pan, top with your already made mashed potatoes, and heat about 30-40 minutes.
Serve this up with a side of mixed roasted vegetable or a traditional garden salad, with Thousand Island dressing. Leftovers will reheat well for lunches for the next few days.
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Best Ever Shepherds Pie
- 6 medium potatoes peeled -- quartered
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 pinch nutmeg -- generous
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 medium onions chopped
- 1 tablespoon parsley
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon dried sage
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 medium carrots -- finely chopped
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 beef bouillon cube
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon ketchup
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
- salt and pepper
- For topping, place potatoes in large saucepan of cold, salted water. Bring to boil, then simmer partially covered 20 minutes or until very tender. Drain. Add milk, butter, nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste. Mash potatoes until smooth and fluffy. Keep warm.
- For filling, heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onions, parsley, thyme and sage. Cook 5 minutes or until onions have softened slightly.
- Add beef and water to pan, stirring frequently to break up meat; cook until no longer pink, about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Stir in carrots; cover, reduce heat and cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add corn and stir.
- Stirring continuously, add flour, bouillon cube, sugar, ketchup, mustard,
- Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper to taste. Cook 5 minutes. Skim and discard any fat.
- Place meat mixture in buttered 9X13 ovenproof casserole dish Spread potato mixture on top. Score topping using prongs of fork.
- Bake in preheated 350 degrees F oven 30 to 40 minutes, until potatoes are golden brown on top and filling is hot.