Table of Contents
- Why I love this recipe.
- Everything you’ll need to make this recipe.
- Here’s how to make this recipe.
- These pro tips will make this recipe a success.
- Frequently asked questions about this recipe.
- You'll love these other casserole recipes.
- Watch how to make this recipe.
- Have I convinced you to make this recipe?
- Easy Shepherd's Pie Recipe
This recipe brings modern simplicity to a cozy traditional meal. Onions and carrots sautéed with butter and ground beef create a robust foundation for the dish. Red wine, Worcestershire sauce, and fresh herbs add great flavor, while creamy mashed potatoes form the perfect topping. Baked in the oven in a single dish, this hearty meal is fulfilling for any day of the week.
Why I love this recipe.
Recipes become classic for a reason. A good recipe is added to our recipe box many times virtually now, and we make them time and again. That is what shepherd’s pie should be. Instead, the recipe has become dated for many or not worth the effort with little flavor. Enter my easy shepherd’s pie that’s full of flavor and perfect for a chilly night. The fillings are a mixture of ground beef, or any ground meat, and hearty vegetables.
Lamb is traditional in shepherd’s pie, but many people love the convenience of ground beef. When this swap out is made, it’s broadly known as cottage pie.
While the filling is cooking, potatoes are cooked, mashed, and then spread over the filling for a one-pot meal. This recipe will be a classic, but more so, it will be devoured by everyone.
Everything you’ll need to make this recipe.
- Ground beef is a freezer staple. Choose a slightly lean grind or 85-90% for the best ratio of flavor and fat.
- Red wine helps tenderize the meat and adds a small amount of acidity. After cooking and evaporating, the wine leaves behind a deep layer of flavor.
- Worcestershire sauce is the secret sauce that will always add a rich flavor without anyone being able to pinpoint what it is.
- Thyme and rosemary offer the bright seasoning needed to bring the vegetables and meat mixture to a new, updated flavor level.
- Potatoes are cooked and then mashed. For the best texture, choose a russet or gold potato.
Here’s how to make this recipe.
- Prepare the potatoes. Scrub and peel the potatoes. Cut into small pieces, about 1 inch in size. Add them to a small pot and submerge them in cold water. Season with salt and place over medium heat.
- Cook the vegetables. Place butter in a large oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Evenly dice the carrot and onion. Add to the skillet once the butter has melted. Season with salt and black pepper. Sauté until they begin to soften, about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Cook the ground beef. Add the ground beef to the vegetables, stirring frequently and breaking up the meat. Once it has browned throughout, add in the red wine. After the wine has cooked off, stir in the flour. Cook for about a minute, then add in the beef stock. Add the Worcestershire sauce and bring the dish to a simmer.
- Add flavor. Take the dish off the heat. Add in the thawed peas. Chop up fresh parsley, thyme, and rosemary. Add them to the dish and mix everything together.
- Assemble the mashed potatoes. Drain the potatoes. Using a potato masher or hand mixer, mix the potatoes together. Add in the room-temperature butter and milk. Grate in the Parmesan cheese and season with black pepper. Salt to taste.
- Assemble the final dish. Begin by dolloping the potatoes evenly over the top of the dish. If desired, cover just the center of the dish with the potatoes, leaving a ring showing the contents underneath. Smooth the top into an even layer. Place in the preheated 375°F oven for 20 to 25 minutes until the dish is bubbling throughout. Serve warm.
These pro tips will make this recipe a success.
- Cut the potatoes into small, similarly-sized pieces. This allows them to cook quicker at an even rate.
- Fresh herbs make a huge difference. Adding them at the end imparts a fresher flavor than dried herbs. Cooking them in the final moments of the dish warms them just enough to add great taste to the dish.
- Different techniques can be used to achieve the desired look and crispiness for the mashed potato topping. A completely smooth top will cook evenly. Dragging a fork over the top creates several ridges that will turn golden brown. Using a spatula to create swirls can achieve a similar effect but with less frequency. Use the broiler for the final few minutes to achieve further browning.
Frequently asked questions about this recipe.
Yes, this can be assembled with the mashed potatoes on top and stored in the refrigerator. To bake, cover with foil and place in a low oven until warmed through, remove the foil and bake until the potatoes are beginning to brown.
Yes, the wine can be omitted, and the recipe will still work. The flavor that the wine adds will be missing, but it will still be good for those who do not wish to use alcohol.
The leftovers should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They will last for 7 to 10 days.
Watch how to make this recipe.
Have I convinced you to make this recipe?
I hope you make this recipe and put some food on your table. Leave a comment and share a star rating so you can let others know how much you love this recipe. This helps show others that this is a recipe they, too, can make, enjoy, and love!
Beef Shepherd’s Pie (Cottage Pie)
For the mashed potatoes
- 3 lb potatoes peeled and cubed
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 8 tbsp unsalted butter room temperature
- ½ cup whole milk warmed to 100-110°F
- ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
For the filling
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 onion diced
- 2 carrots diced
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 1 lb ground beef
- ½ cup red wine
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 cup beef stock
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup frozen peas thawed
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
- 2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Add the prepared potatoes to a large pot. Cover with water by 1 inch. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce to a gentle boil. Cook until the potatoes are tender and a knife inserted meets no resistance, 20-25 minutes. Once tender, drain the potatoes. Mash the drained potatoes, trying to remove any lumps. Add the salt, black pepper, butter, and milk. Mash together until the butter is incorporated. Add the Parmesan cheese and stir to incorporate.3 lb potatoes, 1 tsp kosher salt, ½ tsp black pepper, 8 tbsp unsalted butter, ½ cup whole milk, ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- In a 12-inch oven-safe skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted, add the onion, carrots, salt, and black pepper. Sauté until the onions are softened, 3-4 minutes.2 tbsp unsalted butter, 1 onion, 2 carrots, 1 tsp kosher salt, ¼ tsp black pepper
- Add the ground beef. Break the beef into small pieces and cook until fully browned, 4-6 minutes. If the beef has excess liquid, drain and discard. Pour in the wine and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook until the wine is nearly evaporated, 4-6 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour and stir to incorporate. Cook the flour to coat the mixture and remove the raw flavor, 2-3 minutes. Add the beef stock and Worcestershire sauce, and bring to a simmer. Stir and cook until it is thickened, 4-6 minutes.1 lb ground beef, ½ cup red wine, 2 tbsp all-purpose flour, 1 cup beef stock, 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- Remove the skillet from the heat and add the peas, parsley, thyme, and rosemary. Stir to evenly combine.1 cup frozen peas, 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme, 2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
- Spread the prepared mashed potatoes over the filling. Bake in the preheated 375°F oven until it is warmed through and the potatoes are beginning to brown, 20-25 minutes.