Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Cooking With Quiltville - - - Shepherd's Pie!

Shepherd's Pie is one of DS Jeff's favorite meals. I don't cook it much in the summer, it's just too hot for all that frying and boiling and baking that go into this meal. But with yesterday's rain, and leftover mashed potatoes from sunday's dinner,and 5 lbs of ground beef (Ala Sam's Club!) that needed to be browned, it seemed that I had all the makings to do this just for him.

When I buy ground beef, I usually buy 5 lbs or so...and fry the whole thing up with onions and then drain/rinse. After cooling I package it in freezer zip-locks so it is easy to pull out and add to things like chili, spagetti sauce, soup, etc. And since I was doing that anyway....Shepherd's Pie just became part of that time saving process. :c)

Of course, the painter guy showed up right in the middle of the frying part, and there I was a mess with kitchen apron on, etc...oh well!

The ingredients are simple! This is a recipe that was handed down from my Scottish Grandmother (Dad's Mom)and I've augmented it over the years.

Easy Shepherd's Pie Recipe


* 1 1/2 lbs ground round beef
* 1 onion chopped
* 1-2 cups vegetables - chopped carrots, corn, peas, celery
* 1 1/2 - 2 lbs potatoes (3 big ones) (Or leftovers from Sunday Dinner!)
* 1 can cream-of-something soup. I like mushroom or celery,but I've even used tomato in a pinch!
* 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
* Salt, pepper, other seasonings of choice
* Optional: Grated Cheddar Cheese

1 Peel and quarter potatoes, boil in salted water until tender (about 20 minutes).

2 Add ground beef and onion to hot skillet and sauté until no longer pink. If you are adding vegetables, add them according to cooking time. Put any carrots in with the onions. I use a large grating blade and grate my carrots...easier than slicing, and they cook faster. Add corn or peas at the end of the cooking. Add salt and pepper. Add Worcestershire sauce. Add can of soup, thinned with just a bit of water and cook, uncovered, over low heat for 10 minutes.

3 Mash potatoes in bowl with a bit of butter, season to taste.

4 Place beef and veggie mixture in baking dish. Distribute mashed potatoes on top.

5 Cook in 400 degree oven until bubbling and brown (about 30 minutes). Add grated cheese on top for the last 5 minutes of baking.

I also drain and rinse my beef/veggies after cooking,but before adding the corn and peas to the pan. I like to get rid of as much grease as I can. Paprika sprinkled on top of the potato layer is also a must! Grannie said garnish was everything... :c) It had to LOOK pretty, as well as taste good!

This is also one of those things that tastes even better as left overs. In a pinch I've used regular frozen mixed veggies, which also puts green beans into the pan, and that's good too. Mushrooms are also wonderful. This is a good dish to "clean out the crisper" in your fridge! I've even used a stir-fry mix with peppers, and THAT was yum. It's just one of those dang-easy things. So if you are planning on mashed potatoes for anything, just do extra and make some Shepherd's Pie later in the week.


  1. Hi Bonnie,

    Yes, Shepherd's Pie is a good old standard British family meal, although if you want to be strict it should be made with lamb. The beef version is called Cottage Pie because the mashed potato topping is forked into a basketweave pattern before going in the oven so that it comes out looking like a golden brown thatched cottage roof (a bit like a quilt top pattern, I suppose...) I'm being pedantic but I know you like knowing the origin of things! Whatever it's called, it's tasty.


  2. Anonymous1:47 PM EDT

    Painters! Yeah!!!!

  3. When I was growing up we had Shepherd's Pie often! (Mom is British) It was made from the leftovers of Sunday dinner. We loved to help grind up the rest of the Sunday roast so it could be mixed with the leftover gravy and spread the leftover mashed potatoes on the top. That's as fancy as it got! And don't ask me why, but I just love it slathered with Ketchup. I'm just drooling thinking about it! We don't cook roasts anymore and it just isn't the same for me with ground beef...sigh. I think I need to splurge on a roast! :-D

  4. Thanks a lot for the recipe - think I will try this one out.

  5. Thanks for the recipe Bonnie! I usually make my Sheppard's Pie with gravy mixed in with the beef but this one seems easier. I'll be trying this later this week :)

  6. Can I come for Supper??? Learned about sheppards pie from my Vermont brother in law. We add salsa and spice it up.


  7. Do you want a summer version when the potatoes are too new to mash? Make the "pie" as you normally would. Slice new potatoes thin enough so they'll cook, but thick enough so they'll stand up on their own. Push them into the top of the meat vertically (a friend said like building a dry stone wall), then pour gravy over the top so the tops of the potatoes are poking out. Put in the oven and as the gravy reduces/is absorbed by the potatoes, the tops will go brown and crispy. Delish!

  8. I hadn't made Shepard's Pie since the kids were very young, but last night I had some left over corn and left over potatoes and so I made your recipe. It was wonderful!!! Thanks for sharing.

  9. Tried this with cream of chicken soup and small can green enchilada sauce. Stirred in 1/2 cup lowfat sour cream just before pouring into casserole dish. Topped mashed potatoes with Mexican cheeses. Mmm, to die for!
    I suppose you could use chicken or pork besides lamb or ground beef- your pref :)

  10. Yum we love cottage pie but I really like the sound of the sliced potato version someone posted will try that tonight Ithink.

    Bonnie can we order your book from you yet??

    hae a great day (it is Friday here) and rainy so I am off to clena the sewing room.


  11. I love this too I also use tater tots instead of mashed potatoes kids like this when they were growing up. i just served this to a group of quilters that were retreating at my home they really liked it..


If you are commenting as "anonymous" please leave your name at the end of your comment.

Did you know that ad space on this blog provides for all of the free patterns and free mysteries and challenges at no cost to you? Without ads, this blog would not be possible.

Thank you for understanding the many hours that go into this blog 6 days a week, 52 weeks a year. :)