Beef Shepherd’s Pie is a traditional dish with ground beef, veggies, creamy mashed potatos on top. A comforting meal for the whole family.
Shepherd’s Pie, also known as Cottage Pie, is a traditional casserole-like dish originating in England. The mashed potato topping, vegetables, gravy, and meat make it a filling and savory meal. You don’t even have to worry about making lots of side dishes because it’s plenty filling all by itself.
Ground Beef Shepherd’s Pie is perfect to enjoy as a weeknight meal during the winter. Or, lots of people like to make for their St. Patrick’s Day feast. The leftovers are also great to heat up in a microwave-safe dish and enjoy throughout the week.
How to Make Easy Beef Shepherd’s Pie
- Bring a pot of cold water with potatoes to a boil on your stovetop.
- Continue to cook the potatoes at a boil for another 12 minutes.
- Drain the water from the potatoes.
- Add in heavy cream and salt then use a potato masher to mash them together.
- Let the mixture cool for five minutes before mixing in an egg yolk.
- Add ground the ground beef and onion to a large skillet with oil over medium-high heat.
- Sauté until the meat is browned and the onion is fragrant.
- Once the meat is sautéed, add the flour to the meat mixture and whisk the ingredients together.
- Once the flour is mixed in, pour the broth and add the vegetables.
- Bring all the ingredients to a boil.
- Pour the meat mixture into an oven-safe dish.
- Top the mixture with the prepared mashed potatoes and use a spatula to spread them out.
- Brush melted butter over the top, and bake in the oven until the top is golden brown. It should only take 30-35 minutes.
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Why is it called Shepherd’s Pie?
Technically this recipe is for cottage pie because it is made with beef. Traditionally any kind of meat casserole like this topped with mashed potatoes was referred to as Cottage Pie.
Classic Shepherd’s Pie gets its name and is slightly different from Cottage Pie because it uses ground lamb. Shepherd’s Pie is originally named for the lamb because shepherds look after sheep.
However, since most people enjoy this dish with ground beef, more often than not the names Cottage Pie and Shepherd’s Pie have become somewhat interchangeable, at least in the US.
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Frequently Asked Questions
To make a traditional Shepherd’s Pie you can use ground lamb, instead of beef. If you’d prefer not to use red meat or just want to try something new, you can always try making it with ground turkey or ground chicken. You’ll also want to replace the beef broth with chicken broth.
For some more add-ins try mixing in other frozen veggies like cauliflower, chopped celery, cucumbers, chives, or green onions. You could also try adding some seasonings like thyme, black pepper, parsley, garlic powder, or Italian seasoning.
There are lots of different flavors you can add to the liquid surrounding the meat. Mix in some ketchup or Worcestershire sauce. You can also mix in some red wine with the beef broth.
Make the mashed potatoes more creamy, and cheesy. You can add shredded cheese over the top or even mix it in when you mash the potatoes. Apart from cheddar, you could also add Swiss cheese, jack, or gouda. To make the potatoes extra creamy you can also mix in sour cream.=
If you want to totally change up the flavors of your Easy Shepherd’s Pie make Mashed Sweet Potatoes for the topping instead of regular mashed potatoes.
If you want to make your casserole dish gluten-free you’ll just have to replace the all-purpose flour you mix in with the meat. Using corn starch or a gluten-free flour will work nicely.
What to Serve with Beef Shepherd’s Pie
How to Store Beef Shepherd’s Pie
- Serve: Don’t leave Shepherd’s Pie at room temperature for longer than 2 hours.
- Store: Let Beef Shepherd’s Pie cool to room temperature before storing it. Cover the dish tightly in plastic wrap or tin foil, and store it in the fridge for 3-4 days.
- Freeze: If you want Shepherd’s Pie for a make-ahead meal, you can also freeze Shepherd’s Pie. Cover it in tin foil and keep it in the freezer for up to 2 months. When you’re ready to reheat the dish keep it covered in foil and cook for an hour at 350 degrees.
- 1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes , peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter , melted
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2 yellow onion , diced
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 cup beef broth
- 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables , peas, carrots, corn, green beans
To Make Mashed Potatoes:
- Add a pot of cold water to your stovetop with potatoes in it.
- Bring to a boil (with the potatoes in it) and cook for 12 minutes at a boil.
- Drain water, mash potatoes with heavy cream and salt.
- Let cool for five minutes then mix in the egg yolk.
To Make Beef Mixture:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- To a large skillet on medium-high heat add the ground beef and onion and cook until browned.
- Add in flour and whisk it into the meat.
- Add in broth and vegetables and bring to a boil.
- Pour mixture into 9×13 baking dish.
- Top with mashed potatoes and brush with melted butter.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until the top is golden brown.
Photos used in a previous version of this post.