I had never heard of shepherd’s pie until I’d seen Sunny Anderson make it on her Food Network show, Cooking for Real; the first time I saw her make it, I needed to try it, it looked SO good. The idea to me is spectacular, to combine the comfort of mashed potatoes with crunchy vegetables and melted cheese, along with juicy hamburger meat. The dish is a comfort in and of itself; it requires no side dish or extra frills, just a tall glass of cold milk.
This dish, specifically, is an adaptation on Sunny’s original that I tried when I first discovered the wonders of shepherd’s pie. I kicked up the flavor level on the mashed potatoes, adding cheese and green onions; I left the skins on the potatoes to not only give it a little extra flavor, but also to add to it’s nutritional value. I kept the vegetables as they were, but they could be substituted with almost any other vegetables; I’ve heard the original version (from England, I believe) is made with peas and carrots; I bet corn would be tasty as well. Every ingredient in this recipe could be personalized in some way, and changed to fit your taste preferences, so if you’re not crazy about it, read it through and get creative, it’ll still turn out great!
This is one of those dishes I like to make on a Monday night (Monday is my last day off of the weekend, then it’s back to work Tuesday through Friday), because I get to spend some time in the kitchen, and I have leftovers for a couple of extra meals. Shepherd’s pie is great when refrigerated and reheated; it’ll keep for a few days, if there’s any left!
Originally posted December 2nd, 2010.
2-3 lbs red potatoes, washed and cut into chunks (you can peel them if you prefer, but I’d recommend leaving at least most of the skins on; choose your amount, depending on how thick you want this layer to be)
2 cloves garlic, smashed
Salt & pepper
6 tbsp unsalted butter
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
2 scallions, chopped
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 ½ lbs ground beef
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbsp tomato paste
½ cup low-sodium beef broth
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, julienned*
2 zucchini, julienned*
2 medium carrots, peeled & grated
1 tsp paprika
4 ounces Havarti or mozzarella cheese, grated
Optional: sour cream and/or Tabasco sauce, for garnish
**I julienned, then cut each piece into three (pictured below)
What to do:
Optional garnish: sour cream and/or Tabasco sauce. Enjoy!
The term cottage pie emerged in 1791, when potato was being introduced as an edible crop affordable for the poor. Shepherd’s pie appeared in the 1870s; the principal ingredient being lamb (hence shepherd); since then both terms have been used synonymously, regardless of whether the principal ingredient was beef or lamb.