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  1. Tuesday, August 20, 2019

    Shepherd’s Pie. Nothing Crazy, Just Really Good.

    I have perfected Shepherd’s Pie. There’s nothing magic about this recipe, no secret ingredients. It’s just really, really good, with the right balance of spices and flavors. And that is seriously all I have to say about this recipe. Yup, that’s it. 

    Side view of Shepherd's Pie on White Plate

    Okay, actually, one more thing. You can use ground lamb, beef or turkey. I always use turkey. As I’ve started subbing in poultry products for beef products more and more, I’m discovering that I actually like ground turkey better better than beef in most recipes, and this recipe is no exception. Use whatever meat tickles your fancy, but I’m loving the ground turkey in this one.

    Side view of shepherd's pie in blue casserole dish

    Uh oh, I thought of something else. This recipe is gluten free and, if you use oat milk (which I do), it’s dairy free, too.

    Top view of shepherd's pie recipe in casserole dish

    Okay, okay, just one more thing. You may notice that there are no peas or corn in these photos. I totally forgot to add them even though I specifically made this batch of shepherd’s pie for photographing. Just pretend there are a few more veggies in the photos. You are now like one of the lost boys on Peter Pan. You’re welcome!

    Top view of shepherd's pie on a plate

    Here you go…classic shepherd’s pie, no bells and whistles, just deliciousness.

    Plated Shepherd's Pie

    Shepherd's Pie
     
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
     
    Author:
    Serves: 6-8
    Ingredients
    • 2 standard-sized russet potatoes
    • ½ cup milk or oat milk
    • 4 tablespoons butter
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
    • 1 egg yolk
    • 1 small onion
    • 2 full-sized carrots
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • ½ cup peas (fresh or frozen)
    • ½ cup corn (fresh or canned)
    • 2 pounds ground meat (lamb, beef or turkey...I like turkey!)
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • ½ teaspoon black pepper
    • ½ teaspoon ground sage
    • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
    • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
    • 1½ cups beef, chicken or vegetable broth
    • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
    • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
    Instructions
    1. Cut russet potatoes into evenly sized discs, about ¾" thick. Place in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to medium or medium-high to maintain a light boil and cook until potatoes are tender. Remove from heat and drain. Put potatoes back into pot.
    2. Heat milk and butter in microwave until warmed, about 30-60 seconds.
    3. Add milk, butter, salt, pepper and egg yolk to potatoes and mash (with an electric hand blender or potato masher). Set aside.
    4. Preheat oven to 400º F.
    5. In a deep 12-inch frying pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and carrots and cook about 5 minutes.
    6. Add ground meat and cook until meat is no longer pink, stirring and breaking up the meat as it cooks. Add the salt, pepper, sage and thyme while the meat is cooking.
    7. Sprinkle the cornstarch evenly over the meat, then whisk in the broth. Stir in worcestershire sauce and tomato paste and cook a few minutes until everything is fully mixed.
    8. Pour meat mixture into a large casserole dish (a 13"x9" or equivalent). Carefully spread the mashed potatoes over the top, doing your best to create a seal around the edge between the potatoes and the pan and spreading the potatoes so there are no holes in the surface. If there are holes it's not the end of the world - you'll just get gravy bubbling up over the potatoes.
    9. Bake in oven for 20-30 minutes, until potatoes are lightly browned and dish is bubbling. I will sometimes turn on the broiler for a few minutes at the end to get the tops of the potatoes even more browned.