This shepherd’s pie is one of my teenage son’s favorite meals. It’s a good thing it’s so easy to make!
I know technically a shepherd’s pie should have lamb, otherwise it’s called cottage pie, but even most restaurants that we’ve been to refer to a beef-based dish as “Shepherd’s Pie.”
Some versions of this recipe call for tomatoes in some form or another, but that’s not the way I was introduced to the dish and so I don’t make it that way.
While it’s lovely if you have time to make homemade mashed potatoes to top this with, I often just don’t have time so I used delicious Idahoan Butter & Herb mashed potatoes and I add an extra couple tablespoons of butter.
It takes all of 20 minutes to prepare and then about another 30-40 minutes in the oven at 425º and it comes out perfect!
Here are the steps:
Brown the ground beef. Season as desired with salt and pepper.
Once it’s cooked all the way, spoon out most of the grease and add about half of one of these packages of mixed vegetables. (If your package is larger than this one, the measurement would be about 3/4 cup.)
I cook this until the vegetables are starting to get just a little bit tender.
Next, I add a cup of water and add 1 tsp. beef bouillon (or chicken if that’s all you have on hand). My favorite brand is Better Than Bouillon. I also add a couple of teaspoons of corn starch to thicken the “gravy”. Finally, I add about a tablespoon (I don’t really measure… I just splash it in there) of Worcestershire Sauce. Once it’s all come together well and the sauce has thickened a bit, I transfer everything to my baking dish. (I use either a large pie or pastry dish, or a square Pyrex dish.)
MEANWHILE, while the meat and vegetables are cooking, boil two cups of water and make the mashed potatoes for the top. I always add an extra couple of tablespoons of butter for flavor. This is our favorite flavor for shepherd’s pie, but Idahoan has all kinds of flavors available.
Once the mashed potatoes are prepared, I spread them on top of the ground beef vegetable mixture and put it in the oven at 425º for about 40 minutes.
You’ll know it’s done when the mashed potato topping has browned a bit and it’s stiff to the touch. (See below.)
A couple of options. If you are a big fan of mashed potatoes, you can use two packages instead of just one. If you do, you definitely need to use a larger baking dish than what I’m using above.
And once my hungry teenager has gotten to it (and I’ve had my normal-sized serving), it looks like this… (Sorry for not showing an immediately-out-of-the-oven picture, but he got to it too quickly!)
Not pretty, but I can assure you, absolutely delicious!
Easy Shepherd's Pie
- 1 lb. Ground Beef
- Salt & Pepper, to taste
- 3/4 cup of Frozen Mixed Vegetables
- 1 cup of beef broth prepared from bouillon (or chicken if that’s all you have on hand)
- Worcestershire Sauce, to taste
- 2 tsp. Cornstarch
- ~2 cups of prepared Mashed Potatoes (I like Idahoan Butter & Herb for this recipe.)
- 1 T Butter