Easier Than You'd Think 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.
- 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
- Fill a medium pot with water and bring it to a boil in preparation for your potatoes.
- I then choose 4 to 5 medium potatoes and wash them. For my recipe, I had only had five left.
- 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.
- 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.
- Prepare a cutting board and knife for your potatoes and chop each into small pieces.
- When finished, dump them all into your boiling water and sprinkle a teaspoon of salt over the top.
- Mix your potatoes and salt in the water with a long wooden spoon.
- On the same cutting board, peel and chop your yellow onion into small pieces.
- Pull out a large skillet, and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
- Heat your skillet and oil to medium heat.
- When heated, add your chopped onion and stir into the oil, spreading out evenly in the pan.
- Cook your onions thoroughly until completely cooked and translucent.
- In the meantime, you'll want to prepare your hamburger.
- 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.
- I just pulled a pound of frozen, pre-cooked hamburger out of the freezer and thawed it in the microwave for 2 minutes.
- This is super handy and I recommend it to everyone!
- When your onions are completely cooked, add your fully cooked/heated hamburger to the skillet.
- MIx both your onions and your hamburger well.
- Now add your Worcestershire sauce to the mixture and mix it in.
- Pull out the veggies you plan to use in your mixture.
- 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.
- Add them in one at a time. I added in my peas first, then my corn, and finally my carrots.
- Mix everything thoroughly and heat together for a few minutes.
- Choose an appropriate sized casserole, mine was a small rectangular casserole, and spray it generously with cooking spray.
- Pour your hamburger mixture into the bottom of your sprayed casserole dish and spread evenly.
- Now it's time to check your potatoes to see if they are done.
- 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.
- If so, dump your potatoes into a strainer in the sink to get rid of all excess water.
- Then pour your potatoes back into the pot they cooked in and return the pot to the stove.
- 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.
- Smash and mix until all of the lumps are gone and the potatoes are smooth.
- 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.
- Now, with a fork, slowly and gently start spreading and smashing down your potatoes into a layer on top of your casserole.
- By using a fork, you will be creating peaks in your potatoes that will brown nicely in the oven.
- When all potatoes are spread and smashed, slide your casserole into the oven and cook for about 30 minutes.
- If your potatoes have not browned in that time, switch from bake to low broil to brown the top for a few minutes.
- We ate ours with shredded cheese and plenty of ketchup.
- Yummy! Yummy!
|Serving size: 1 cup of pie|
|Calories from Fat||153|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 17 g||26%|
|Carbohydrates 53 g||18%|
|Fiber 7 g||28%|
|Protein 23 g||46%|
|Cholesterol 65 mg||22%|
|Sodium 295 mg||12%|
|* 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.|
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!
What are your favorite veggies to put in shepherd's pie?
© 2014 Victoria Van Ness