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Nothing heartier than a delicious Shepherd’s Pie Recipe! Ground beef, gravy, and vegetables are cooked together and then topped with extra creamy homemade mashed potatoes before baking and serving. A super comforting meal year-round.
Did you grow up eating Shepherd’s Pie? We sure did at my house. During the colder winter months, it always seemed to make it onto the weekly rotation along with Spaghetti and Cauliflower Soup. My Mom had her Shepherd’s Pie recipe *just so* and as I’ve grown and had a family of my own, I’ve turned my version into the way my family likes it. It’s a tasty and simple recipe, but a solid one that will have you licking your plates clean.
But first, what is Shepherd’s Pie?
Shepherd’s Pie, or sometimes known as Cottage Pie, is a meat pie or casserole made mainly with a ground red meat, cooked in a gravy and topped with mashed potatoes before being baked. Usually carrots, onions and other vegetables are added to the mixture as well before baking.
In America, Shepherd’s Pie is made mainly with ground beef, while in the UK it is made with ground lamb. Both delicious, but different options.
Main Ingredients for Shepherd’s Pie
Nothing surprising here! Lots of obvious culprits that you probably have lingering your fridge riiiiight now 🙂
- Ground Beef: try to find a 90/10 or a 93/7 so you don’t have to feel guilty for not draining your meat after cooking
- Onions and Garlic: these cook down quite a bit and add ‘invisible flavor’
- Flour: to thicken the homemade pan gravy
- Beef Stock: adds great flavor and helps create that tasty gravy
- Worcestershire Sauce: no one knows it’s there, but adds great umami
- Potatoes: peeled and boiled for the mashed potatoes up on top
- Butter, Cream Cheese and Milk: give me all the dairy! This is what I use to create really creamy mashed potatoes.
How to make Shepherd’s Pie
I think it’s important to note the ease of this recipe. It really is simple! But because you are making everything from scratch and essentially cooking this Shephard’s Pie twice (first on the stove and then baking it in the oven), it’s the time crunch that will get ya. But I assure you the 60ish minutes are well worth it. All increments and more specific directions are listed in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Prep the potatoes. Peel, cube and bring to boil in salted water.
- While potatoes are boiling, start cooking the beef, onions and garlic together in some olive oil until browned.
- Make the gravy by sprinkling in flour and then whisking in the beef broth. Add in the Worchestershire, seasoning along with salt and pepper.
- Stir in frozen vegetables and remove from heat.
- Drain cooked potatoes and then mash with butter, cream cheese and milk.
- Top meat mixture with the mashed potatoes and smooth the top. Then use a fork and score the top to create grooves that will brown easily.
- Bake in a hot oven until the potatoes have browned. Adding cheese is an optional step.
Do I have to make this in a skillet?
I like dirtying as few dishes as possible, so I use an oven-safe skillet that holds up on the stove and in the oven. But if you don’t like this option, simply pour your meat mixture into a 9×9 or other casserole dish and top with potatoes and bake.
Cheesy Shepherd’s Pie!
Some people’s Shephard’s Pie Recipes call for the addition of cheddar cheese on top of the mashed potatoes. If you’d like to try this, grate 1 1/4 cups of medium to sharp cheddar cheese on a box grater and sprinkle over the top of the mashed potatoes before baking. Tada! Dinner is served.
How long to bake Shepherd’s Pie
Since everything is already cooked, the purpose of baking a Shepherd’s Pie is to simply brown the tops of the potatoes to get that delicious crust. Bake for 8-10 minutes at 450 degrees.
If you have any leftovers, simply spoon into airtight containers and refrigerate for up to 4 days. You can also assemble this into a disposable casserole dish, cover well with foil and freeze. To reheat, bake at 375 degrees covered until heated completely through. Remove foil for the last few minutes to brown the top, or simply broil.
What to serve with Shepherd’s Pie
Here are some of my favorite side dishes to serve alongside this tasty dinner:
- Caprese Salad with Garlic Balsamic Dressing
- Chinese Chop Salad
- Strawberry Spinach Salad
- Cucumber Salad
So if you’re in the mood for a meat and potatoes kind of meal, I gotcha covered 🙂 Be sure to save/print/pin/bookmark this recipe because it’s a great one.
Have a wonderful day, friends!
For the potatoes:
- 2 pounds Idaho potatoes
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup butter
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- milk enough to get the consistency you want
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Peel potatoes and cut into 1-inch dice. Add to small pot and cover with cold water. Add salt generously and bring to boil over high heat. Cook until tender, 10-12 minutes. Drain.
- While potatoes are cooking, heat cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add in oil and saute onion 2-3 minutes. Add ground beef and break apart using a wooden spoon. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute.
- Sprinkle in flour and stir to incorporate. Cook another minute. Whisk in Worcestershire sauce and beef stock. Continue to cook until gravy thickens, 3 minutes more. Remove pan from heat.
- To finish potatoes, add in butter, cream cheese, salt and pepper and enough milk to get the consistency you want. Mash until smooth and spread carefully over beef mixture. Bake 7-8 minutes or until potatoes have lightly browned. Sprinkle with chives (optional) and serve.