Is there anything more delicious than shepherd’s pie? Savory meat swimming in gravy, studded with tender vegetables topped off with smooth and fluffy mashed potatoes?
That’s a dream meal right there. Shepherd’s pie is one of the ultimate comfort foods. We think we could eat it for every meal straight for a week and not be sick of it.
First, of all the shepherd’s pie is supposedly made with lamb and cottage pie is made with other meats. But really, what’s in a name, right? As long as it’s a potato topped pie, it’s shepherd’s pie for us.
We like a shepherd’s pie with a high potato to meat ratio: We are talking three-quarters potato to one-quarter meat filling. But, since not everyone would be an extreme potato lover. We eased it up a bit to more of a two-thirds potato, one-third meat situation.
It was hard not to – But we made a roasted garlic cream cheese mash and we think that is what actually made this whole pie. We had to stop ourselves from eating the whole thing because we really wanted leftovers. We should have made a double batch because we like big pie’s and we cannot lie. Next time, next time for sure.
- 3 large russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 3-4 cloves roasted garlic*
- 2 tablespoons butter, at room temp
- 2 tablespoons cream cheese, at room temp
- 1/4-1/2 cup milk
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 small carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1/4 cup beef broth (you can sub water if desired)
- 2 teaspoons tomato paste
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 cup corn
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1-2 tablespoon butter, if desired
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
2. Place peeled, cut and rinsed off potatoes in a pot and cover with water. Salt the water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes or until fork tender.
3. While the potatoes are cooking, make the pie filling. Heat a bit of oil over medium-high heat in a large oven-proof skillet. When the oil is hot, add the diced onions and brown slightly, 2 minutes or so. Add the garlic and carrots and cook until slightly tender, 2-3 minutes. Add the ground beef and cook, breaking up into pieces. When browned and cooked through, drain off the fat (if any) and add the broth (or water), tomato paste, and thyme. Stir and cook over medium-low. Stir in the frozen peas and corn. Mix well, taste and season with salt and pepper. Place in the bottom of an oven-safe casserole dish or if your skillet is oven-friendly, just spread it out evenly.
4. When the potatoes are cooked, drain well and return to the pot. Add the roasted garlic. Over very, very low heat, mash the potatoes and garlic. Stir in the butter and cream cheese. Stir in the milk until desired consistency. (I like a pretty stiff mash for shepherd’s pie.) Don’t over work the potatoes! Taste and season generously. Top the meat with the mashed potatoes and dot with tiny cubes of butter, if desired.
5. Bake until the potatoes are golden brown and crispy, about 30 minutes. If needed, broil for 5-8 minutes for an extra golden potato top. Enjoy warm.
Note: To roast the garlic, We just lop off the tops, drizzle a bit of oil on, wrap well in foil and toss it in a 400°F oven for about 30 minutes. When they’re done you can squeeze them right out. Here’s a link on how to roast garlic if you want more details.