Shepherd’s Pie

Another go-to meal in our house is shepherd’s pie. You can make it in a big casserole dish or individual bowls. You can use any kind of meat and vegetables you like. And the sauce to hold it all together can be virtually anything savory. Plus did I mention you can use home-prepared or instant mashed potatoes and no one seems to care? Seriously, they like it any way I make it. So it can be a long slow process or a quick meal, whatever you are in the mood to make.

Shepherd’s Pie

  • 2 pounds russet or all-purpose potatoes (prepared as mashed potatoes) or 1 package instant mashed potatoes
  • 2 to 3 cups of cooked chopped lamb or beef (or use ground meat…I use ground turkey)
  • 1 to 2 cups of diced vegetables (carrots, celery, onion, turnips, parsnips, whatever)
  • 1/2 cup chicken or beef broth (add soy sauce, A1, Worcestershire, etc. to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons of chopped fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary, oregano, basil) or 1 teaspoon of dried herbs
  • a pinch of salt, black pepper and (optional) nutmeg
  • (optional) shredded cheese for topping
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. If making your own mashed potatoes do it now. If using instant mashed potatoes wait.
  3. If using precooked meat and veggies, combine well with broth, herbs and spices and then place in a greased casserole dish or individual greased serving bowls. If using raw meat and veggies, cook ground meat and diced veggies in an oiled frying pan until soft, but not brown. (7-10 minutes depending on how big the dice is). Sprinkle on herbs and spices and add broth. Mix gently. Place in casserole or bowls.
  4. If using instant mashed potatoes, make them now according to the instructions on the package. Top the meat and veggie mixture with mashed potatoes.  Either make waves on the top with a spoon or drag a fork along the top to make an interesting design. The “points” poking up will brown more than the rest of the potatoes giving it a wonderful appearance and some crispy bits for texture.
  5. Sprinkle with shredded or grated Parmesan or Cheddar cheese if you like, but use sparingly (optional).
  6. Bake for 35-45 minutes until the potatoes are brown and the dish is bubbling. Let cool for a few minutes and serve with green salad and bread.

About countrymarketcooking

I am blogging about my experiment in sustainable community through cooking in the tiny mountain town of La Honda, California. Each week I'll be buying ingredients for a family-of-four-dinner at our fabulous local La Honda Country Market (which we are so lucky to have). Then I'll blog about it and share my recipes for that meal. Mangia!
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