Friday, November 9, 2012

Shepherd's Pie (lamb) or Cottage Pie (beef)

Hello my pretty (see picture above)!

Yes, another all-in-one dish to end our week of yummy casserole style dishes.

I must interject a quick snippet of information here.  I grew up eating this version under the guise that THIS was Shepherds Pie, what I was actually eating was Cottage Pie.  So what is the difference?  That would be the meat.  A traditional Shepherd's Pie is made with ground lamb and a Cottage Pie is made with ground beef (the picture above).

I grew up eating this shepherds pie and to say it was my least favorite dish is an understatement.  As a kid I did not like my stuff touching each other and the thought of eating a cooked carrot was enough to make me gag, and gag and then gag some more.

I am sure my parents thought I was pretending, but I was not.  Carrots that had been cooked in my mind was like cryptonite to superman, they zapped my powers.

Fortunately my taste buds and sensitivity to cooked carrots changed as I became an adult.  Maybe I cook them different or the fact that I use fresh carrots and not frozen or canned helps too.

I decided to make this dish for my family when school started.  I desperately needed a few things in the fridge that the kids could grab and warmup in the microwave.  The problem is that when I made it they ate the whole thing…LOL

There were no leftovers.  The combination of mashed potatoes and ground beef kept them coming back for more.

This recipe is a general style of what you will find if you google the dish, but I like to add a bit of ranch to my mashed potatoes and I leave out the peas.  I know some recipes call for corn and next time I plan on trying that.

You can make this in a 9X13 casserole dish or use a stoneware bowl to cook the shepherds pie in.  I think this recipe would also make great individualized cups if you have the ramekins on hand.

Rachael Ray Stoneware 9x13 lasagna baker -white (Google Affiliate Ad)

Share with me your thoughts on how you prepare shepherds pie, I know there are a lot of variations to the recipe.


Recipe:  Shepherd's Pie

2 tablespoons of butter
1 large onion, chopped fine
1 teaspoon of minced garlic
2 pounds of ground beef OR ground lamb
4 tablespoons flour (I use brown rice flour for a gluten free version)
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
2 cups of chicken broth
1/4 cup of heavy cream
2 tablespoons of Worcestershire Sauce
2 cups of shredded fresh carrots


2 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled and diced
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of cream cheese
1/4 cup of parmesan ranch dressing (recipe below) or plain ranch

In a large stock pot, add salt and diced potatoes.  Cook until tender.

While potatoes are boiling, make meat sauce.

Melt butter, add onion and garlic. Cook 3 minutes.  Add meat and brown.  Add flour and tomato paste and cook 2 minutes.  Sauce should be dark in color.

Add broth, cream, worcestershire sauce and simmer over medium heat.  Simmer until ground beef mixture starts to thicken (6-8 minutes).  Remove from heat.

Preheat oven to 425.

When potatoes are done boiling, drain and add butter, cream cheese and ranch.  Using a potato masher, mash until potatoes are smooth.  Small pieces are okay, my family likes it this way better.

NOTE:  I do not cook my shredded carrots, they turn out just fine by adding them raw to the dish and having them bake.  You can also use drained canned or frozen carrots.

In a 9X13 dish, add meat mixture, a layer of carrots and finally the mashed potato topping.

Cover with foil.

Bake for 35-40 minutes.  If you would like the topping to be dark brown, remove foil and broil for a few minutes.

Let cool for 10 minutes and serve.

Recipe:  Parmesan Ranch Dressing

1/4 cup of sour cream
1/4 cup of mayonnaise
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/2 cup of finely grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons of finely chopped green onion
1/4-1/2 teaspoon of salt
dash of pepper

Combine all of the ingredients together in a small bowl.  Serve immediately or refrigerate.

NOTE:  If you wish to make this thinner, add a small amount of milk or buttermilk.  Shake or stir really well.

I have not tried substituting yogurt for the sourcream or mayonnaise, but this is an option if you are trying to reduce fat.



  1. This looks wonderfull, like a real feeling-good-dish!

  2. It really is pretty. I used to eat a lot of Shepherd's Pie because it was easy to prepare ahead and have ready for quick dinners but more and more I found that I was losing my taste for it. After an absence of about a year, I decided to change my recipe and use fresh veggies and some red wine in my beef. I also added one sweet potato to 3 regular potatoes for the topping and the result is much tastier and also a little healtheir.

    1. Thank you for sharing your version Anita, I love the idea of adding a sweet potato! YUM

  3. A good shepherds pie is always something comforting. Looks good!


Thank you for leaving a comment. Your comment will be approved shortly. Have a great day.

Donut Breakfast Casserole

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1.  Share  this pos...

Popular Posts