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Easier Than You'd Think Shepherd's Pie

Updated on January 15, 2014
Easier Than You'd Think Shepherd's Pie
Easier Than You'd Think Shepherd's Pie | Source
5 stars from 2 ratings of Easy Shepherd's Pie

Hamburger, mashed potatoes, and Worcestershire sauce . . . How can you go wrong?

In our home, we make this often, or some variation of it. This is just one of those meals that you make when you don't know what else to make for dinner.

And it's always delicious!

It may seem so simple to pull together, but in truth, this meal has some serious history to it. It has been made for generations and generations.

History of Shepherd's Pie

This recipe started in 1791 and was called a cottage pie. Potatoes were just starting to be a regular crop, cheap enough for those with little to no money, and it was common to combine them with any leftover meat to make this a meal.

It wasn't until 1877 when this pie began being called a shepherd's pie, and began being made with mutton as this is what shepherds had at their disposal. (Wikipedia)

It started in Great Britain and Ireland, but now it is popular and eaten all over the world.

It goes by a variety of names depending on what kind of meat it is made with. For instance, a Shepherdless Pie is made without meat, using beans as a protein substitute. A St. Stephen’s Day Pie is made using turkey and ham.

It’s also been called a meat pie, a potato pie, and a Chinese pie depending on the country and arrangement of the ingredients.

Whatever way you choose to make it, whatever order you put the ingredients, and whatever vegetables you choose to include in your pie, I hope you enjoy it!

Let’s look at exactly how to put this delectable creation together.


Step One: Wash your potatoes
Step One: Wash your potatoes | Source
Step Two: Peel your potatoes
Step Two: Peel your potatoes | Source
I added another potato. lol
I added another potato. lol | Source
Step Three: Chop your potatoes
Step Three: Chop your potatoes | Source
Step Four: Pour your potatoes into your pot of boiling water
Step Four: Pour your potatoes into your pot of boiling water | Source
Step Five: Boil your potatoes for about thirty minutes
Step Five: Boil your potatoes for about thirty minutes | Source
Step Six: Pull out your onion to chop
Step Six: Pull out your onion to chop | Source
Step Seven: Chop your onion
Step Seven: Chop your onion | Source

Cook Time

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 1 hour
Ready in: 1 hour 15 min
Yields: Serves about 8 people 1 cup of pie

Ingredients

  • 5 to 6 medium baking potatoes
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 can green peas
  • 1 can whole kernel corn
  • 1 can carrots
  • 2 tablespoons Worchestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup milk

Instructions

  1. Fill a medium pot with water and bring it to a boil in preparation for your potatoes.
  2. I then choose 4 to 5 medium potatoes and wash them. For my recipe, I had only had five left.
  3. I then block off the sink with a stopper and peel my potatoes in the sink so the peels don't go down the disposal.
  4. You DO NOT want your potato peels to go down the disposal, as they will turn into a type of glue and cause you all sorts of plumbing problems.
  5. Prepare a cutting board and knife for your potatoes and chop each into small pieces.
  6. When finished, dump them all into your boiling water and sprinkle a teaspoon of salt over the top.
  7. Mix your potatoes and salt in the water with a long wooden spoon.
  8. On the same cutting board, peel and chop your yellow onion into small pieces.
  9. Pull out a large skillet, and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  10. Heat your skillet and oil to medium heat.
  11. When heated, add your chopped onion and stir into the oil, spreading out evenly in the pan.
  12. Cook your onions thoroughly until completely cooked and translucent.
  13. In the meantime, you'll want to prepare your hamburger.
  14. You can either thaw and cook your hamburger with your onions, or you can do it my way and cook it all as soon as you get home from the grocery store, storing it in the freezer until you need it.
  15. I just pulled a pound of frozen, pre-cooked hamburger out of the freezer and thawed it in the microwave for 2 minutes.
  16. This is super handy and I recommend it to everyone!
  17. When your onions are completely cooked, add your fully cooked/heated hamburger to the skillet.
  18. MIx both your onions and your hamburger well.
  19. Now add your Worcestershire sauce to the mixture and mix it in.
  20. Pull out the veggies you plan to use in your mixture.
  21. If they are fresh, you'll want to add and cook them with your mixture at the right time for everything to be fully cooked at the same time. If in cans, now is the time to add them.
  22. Add them in one at a time. I added in my peas first, then my corn, and finally my carrots.
  23. Mix everything thoroughly and heat together for a few minutes.
  24. Choose an appropriate sized casserole, mine was a small rectangular casserole, and spray it generously with cooking spray.
  25. Pour your hamburger mixture into the bottom of your sprayed casserole dish and spread evenly.
  26. Now it's time to check your potatoes to see if they are done.
  27. You'll know they're done if you can smash it easily with your wooden spoon. At this time, you may even want to taste it to make sure it is thoroughly cooked.
  28. If so, dump your potatoes into a strainer in the sink to get rid of all excess water.
  29. Then pour your potatoes back into the pot they cooked in and return the pot to the stove.
  30. Add your butter and milk and mix with a "potato smasher." I hope that's the correct term. See the instrument in the corresponding pictures. It has been a life saver.
  31. Smash and mix until all of the lumps are gone and the potatoes are smooth.
  32. Transfer your potatoes to the top of your casserole dish in huge clumps, as you want your potatoes to be spread on top and not move the hamburger layer you already have in place.
  33. Now, with a fork, slowly and gently start spreading and smashing down your potatoes into a layer on top of your casserole.
  34. By using a fork, you will be creating peaks in your potatoes that will brown nicely in the oven.
  35. When all potatoes are spread and smashed, slide your casserole into the oven and cook for about 30 minutes.
  36. If your potatoes have not browned in that time, switch from bake to low broil to brown the top for a few minutes.
  37. We ate ours with shredded cheese and plenty of ketchup.
  38. Yummy! Yummy!
Click thumbnail to view full-size
Step Eight: Add olive oil to a large skillet and heat on medium heatStep Nine: When heated, add your chopped onionsStep Ten: Cook your onions until completely cooked and translucentStep Eleven: Thaw your hamburger; Mine was pre-cooked and frozen in the freezerStep Twelve: Add your hamburger to the skillet when your onions are doneStep Thirteen: Mix your onions and hamburgerStep Fourteen: Add your Worcestershire sauceStep Fifteen: Prepare your veggiesStep Sixteen: Add your peasStep Seventeen: Add your cornStep Eighteen: Add your carrotsStep Nineteen: Mix everything thoroughlyStep Twenty: Cook for a few more minutes to heat everything togetherStep Twenty-one: Check your potatoes to see if they are readyIf they smash easily, they are ready.Step Twenty-two: When ready, strain your potatoes in a strainer in the sinkStep Twenty-three: Return your potatoes back to their potStep Twenty-four: Add your butterStep Twenty-five: Add your milkStep Twenty-six: Mix well with your potato smasherTwenty-seven: Pour your hamburger mixture into a prepared casserole dishSpread evenly across the bottom.Twenty-eight: Drop your mashed potatoes in dollops across the top of your casseroleTwenty-nine: Spread and smash evenly across the top with a forkStep Thirty: Bake for 30 minutes
Source
Step Eight: Add olive oil to a large skillet and heat on medium heat
Step Eight: Add olive oil to a large skillet and heat on medium heat | Source
Step Nine: When heated, add your chopped onions
Step Nine: When heated, add your chopped onions | Source
Step Ten: Cook your onions until completely cooked and translucent
Step Ten: Cook your onions until completely cooked and translucent | Source
Step Eleven: Thaw your hamburger; Mine was pre-cooked and frozen in the freezer
Step Eleven: Thaw your hamburger; Mine was pre-cooked and frozen in the freezer | Source
Step Twelve: Add your hamburger to the skillet when your onions are done
Step Twelve: Add your hamburger to the skillet when your onions are done | Source
Source
Step Thirteen: Mix your onions and hamburger
Step Thirteen: Mix your onions and hamburger | Source
Step Fourteen: Add your Worcestershire sauce
Step Fourteen: Add your Worcestershire sauce | Source
Step Fifteen: Prepare your veggies
Step Fifteen: Prepare your veggies | Source
Step Sixteen: Add your peas
Step Sixteen: Add your peas | Source
Step Seventeen: Add your corn
Step Seventeen: Add your corn | Source
Step Eighteen: Add your carrots
Step Eighteen: Add your carrots | Source
Step Nineteen: Mix everything thoroughly
Step Nineteen: Mix everything thoroughly | Source
Step Twenty: Cook for a few more minutes to heat everything together
Step Twenty: Cook for a few more minutes to heat everything together | Source
Step Twenty-one: Check your potatoes to see if they are ready
Step Twenty-one: Check your potatoes to see if they are ready | Source
If they smash easily, they are ready.
If they smash easily, they are ready. | Source
Step Twenty-two: When ready, strain your potatoes in a strainer in the sink
Step Twenty-two: When ready, strain your potatoes in a strainer in the sink | Source
Step Twenty-three: Return your potatoes back to their pot
Step Twenty-three: Return your potatoes back to their pot | Source
Step Twenty-four: Add your butter
Step Twenty-four: Add your butter | Source
Step Twenty-five: Add your milk
Step Twenty-five: Add your milk | Source
Step Twenty-six: Mix well with your potato smasher
Step Twenty-six: Mix well with your potato smasher | Source
Source
Source
Twenty-seven: Pour your hamburger mixture into a prepared casserole dish
Twenty-seven: Pour your hamburger mixture into a prepared casserole dish | Source
Spread evenly across the bottom.
Spread evenly across the bottom. | Source
Twenty-eight: Drop your mashed potatoes in dollops across the top of your casserole
Twenty-eight: Drop your mashed potatoes in dollops across the top of your casserole | Source
Twenty-nine: Spread and smash evenly across the top with a fork
Twenty-nine: Spread and smash evenly across the top with a fork | Source
Source
Step Thirty: Bake for 30 minutes
Step Thirty: Bake for 30 minutes | Source
And enjoy!! Yum!
And enjoy!! Yum! | Source

Nutritional Information

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1 cup of pie
Calories 452
Calories from Fat153
% Daily Value *
Fat 17 g26%
Carbohydrates 53 g18%
Fiber 7 g28%
Protein 23 g46%
Cholesterol 65 mg22%
Sodium 295 mg12%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.
The Sign of a Good Meal
The Sign of a Good Meal | Source

This is one of my favorite dishes lately, next to my Cheeseburger Casserole.

It includes hamburger and mashed potatoes, and I can top it with plenty of shredded cheese and ketchup; all of my favorites!

It's easy to put together and even easier to cook.

What's even better is that you can adjust it to your tastes just as easily.

Add your own favorite veggies, like mushrooms, broccoli, asparagus, etc. And you could even add cheese to the top before baking.

I hope you enjoy this wonderful creation as much as we did last night!

Quick Poll

What are your favorite veggies to put in shepherd's pie?

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© 2014 Victoria Van Ness

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I actually had to write an article for a customer on the history of shepherds pie....but I've never had it. I would definitely eat yours, Victoria. :) Thanks for the recipe.

    • purl3agony profile image

      Donna Herron 3 years ago from USA

      This recipe brought back a lot of memories for me - all bad :) We used to have Shepard's Pie for dinner A LOT when I was a kid, and I hated it (mainly because I didn't like potatoes)! But my mother's pie consisted of just hamburg and corn, covered in potato. Your recipe sounds much more flavorful and now that I'm an adult, I'm willing to give Shepard's Pie another try! Thanks for bringing back an old not-so-favorite for me to try again :)

    • VVanNess profile image
      Author

      Victoria Van Ness 3 years ago from Prescott Valley

      Thank you! I hope I represented the history well. :)

    • VVanNess profile image
      Author

      Victoria Van Ness 3 years ago from Prescott Valley

      lol Purl3agony, I'm so sorry this was such a bad memory. You can really make this meal anything you want it and include a variety of interesting vegetables. In other countries they put potatoes on the bottom as well as the top, some use gravy, and some even top it with shredded cheese before baking. You can even use a variety of different kinds of meats and seasonings.

      I hope this dish can become something you enjoy in the future! Thank you for your comment!

    • kidscrafts profile image

      kidscrafts 3 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      It looks very good! I had no idea of the origin of shepherd pie and it's something I learned to eat in Canada; I never had that as a kid.

      As you said, it's a great recipe to be original by changing the meat and/or the vegetables! My prefered part.... the crusty potatoes on top :-)

    • VVanNess profile image
      Author

      Victoria Van Ness 3 years ago from Prescott Valley

      It was delicious, we've had it for lunch for the last two days. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. :) Thank you for the comment!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Shepherd's Pie looks a delicious meal and I am going to try this recipe. Thank you.

    • VVanNess profile image
      Author

      Victoria Van Ness 3 years ago from Prescott Valley

      I'm so glad. It also was amazingly easy and extremely delicious! Thank you!

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 3 years ago from East Coast, United States

      The one time I tried to make Shepherd's pie, it turned into a total mess. Maybe next time, I'll use an actual recipe! Such a wonderful comfort meal on a chilly evening! (I never thought of cooking, then freezing ground beef) Shared!

    • VVanNess profile image
      Author

      Victoria Van Ness 3 years ago from Prescott Valley

      Wonderful! I hope it works as well for you as it did for me now that you have a recipe. :) I'm glad you liked it.

      Thank you for the comment!

    • freecampingaussie profile image

      freecampingaussie 3 years ago from Southern Spain

      Looks lovely ! It is one of my favourite dishes I used to make a lot for the family as it is so easy yet tasty ..

    • VVanNess profile image
      Author

      Victoria Van Ness 3 years ago from Prescott Valley

      I'm so glad! This is one of my go to easy dishes as well! :)

      I'm so happy you stopped by. Thank you for the comment!

    • Christy Kirwan profile image

      Christy Kirwan 3 years ago from San Francisco

      Ooooh, shepherd's pie is one of my favorite foods! I'll have to give your recipe a try!

    • VVanNess profile image
      Author

      Victoria Van Ness 3 years ago from Prescott Valley

      Great! You're going to love it. ) Thanks for the comments!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much for this recipe. I used to love Shepherd's pie as a child, but I haven't eaten it for a long time. Your version sounds delicious!

    • VVanNess profile image
      Author

      Victoria Van Ness 3 years ago from Prescott Valley

      Thanks! We are definitely people who live to eat and love our food. This dish was so extremely easy to make but was oh so delicious! :)

      Thank you so much for the comment.

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