This easy Shepherd’s Pie recipe is filled with lots of veggies and tender ground beef (or lamb), simmered together in the most delicious sauce, and topped with the creamiest mashed potatoes.
SHEPHERD’S PIE INGREDIENTS:
Alright, grocery list time. Here are the basic shepherd’s pie ingredients that you will need to make this recipe:
- Ground beef or lamb: It’s traditional to make shepherd’s pie with ground lamb (and “cottage pie” with beef), but feel free to use ground beef, turkey or chicken if you prefer in the recipe below. (Or see notes below for how to make vegetarian shepherd’s pie sans-meat too.)
- Veggies: Finely-dice lots of onion, carrots, celery, garlic and frozen peas. Plus I also highly recommend adding in some finely-diced mushrooms (baby bella, white button, or portobellos) too.
- Flour: I used flour to thicken the sauce, but see below for gluten-free substitution options.
- Beef stock: Or chicken or veggie stock, whatever you have on hand.
- Dry red wine: I also love the extra depth of flavor this adds. But if you prefer not to cook with wine, just add in an extra 1/2 cup of beef stock instead.
- Tomato paste: Which will give it that nice tomato-y base.
- Worcestershire sauce: A must!
- Herbs: Definitely toss in a few bay leaves. Then I also recommend adding in a few sprigs of fresh Italian herbs, such as rosemary and thyme. (Or if you don’t have fresh herbs available, you can add in 1.5 tablespoons of dry Italian seasoning.)
- Mashed potatoes: This recipe calls for a half batch of my favorite mashed potatoes recipe, made with potatoes, milk, butter and cream cheese.
HOW TO MAKE SHEPHERD’S PIE:
To make this Irish shepherd’s pie recipe, simply:
- Cook the mashed potatoes. Cook the large potatoes in a large stockpot until tender. Then drain, mash, and stir in the remaining mashed potato ingredients until combined. Set aside for later.
- Brown the meat. Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan, cook the ground beef or lamb in a bit of oil until browned, crumbling it with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Then transfer it to a separate plate with a wooden spoon, reserving any grease that it has left behind.
- Sauté the veggies. Cook the onion, carrots, celery, mushrooms and garlic in the leftover grease (or you can add in extra oil) until they are softened as well.
- Add in the flour and wine. Stir in the flour to help thicken the sauce. Then add the wine, and scrape the bottom of the pan with your wooden spoon to loosen any of those tasty brown bits.
- Add the remaining sauce ingredients. Stock, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaf, herbs and frozen peas. Then give everything a good stir, and cook the mixture until it reaches a simmer. Reduce the heat to let it simmer for a few more minutes, so that those herbs can really season the sauce. Then remove the herbs (including bay leaves), stir in the cooked meat, give the mixture a taste, and season with salt and pepper as needed.
- Layer it all up. Transfer the filling mixture to a 9 x 13-inch baking dish, and spread it out in an even layer. Then spoon the mashed potatoes on top and carefully spread them out in an even layer as well.
- Bake. Pop the whole dish in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are lightly golden and the filling starts to bubble up around the edges. (If you would like the potatoes to be a bit more browned, you can turn on the broiler for 1 or 2 extra minutes.)
- Garnish and serve. Then remove the pan from the oven, sprinkle with a few extra herbs if you would like, and dish it up while the shepherd’s pie is still nice and warm. Yum.