Shepherd’s Pie is one of those classic comfort foods that is perfect when it’s cold outside or when someone in the family is sick. I have seen and tried multiple different versions, and I love that this is a dish that can be customized. This recipe if pretty traditional, but has an added bonus of being dairy, soy, and gluten free. (I love it when that happens!) It doesn’t exactly fall into the 15 minute meal category, and can generate more dishes that I would like, but there are some ways that you could save time and dishes – see tips at the end.
1 ½ pounds russet potatoes
¼ cup olive oil, divided
¾ tsp salt, divided
½ tsp pepper, divided
1 tsp minced garlic
1 – 1 ½ pounds ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 cup frozen peas
½ cup tomato paste
1 cup water
- If desired, peel potatoes. Cut into 1 inch cubes and place in large pot. Add enough water to cover potatoes by at least an inch, and salt to taste. Bring water to boil, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until tender.
- Brown ground beef, drain, and remove to another container.
- Meanwhile, blanch the carrots by bringing about 4 cups of water up to a rolling boil. Add the carrots and allow them to cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove them from the boiling water immediately.
- Heat 2 Tbsp oil over medium heat in the same pan that you used to cook the beef. Add the onions and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add the blanched carrots and sauté for a few minutes more, until vegetables are tender.
- Add frozen peas, tomato paste, water, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper, and stir well. Return meat to pan and stir until coated by the sauce. Remove from heat and pour into 4 quart casserole dish.
- Drain and mash the potatoes and mix in minced garlic, 2 Tbsp oil, ½ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper. Spread potatoes evenly over the meat and vegetable mixture, all the way to the edges of the dish. Sprinkle with paprika.
- Bake uncovered at 400º for 20 minutes or until potatoes begin to look lightly golden brown on the edges.
- Chop onions and carrots the night before, and store them in airtight containers in the fridge. This will cut down on about half of your prep time when you make the shepherd’s pie.
- Instead of using fresh carrots and onions, eliminate your chopping all together and use a bag of mixed frozen vegetables. Costco has a bag of frozen peas, corn, carrots, and green beans. This will not only save time chopping, but you can also skip the sautéing and blanching. The veggies you choose will change the flavor of the dish, but that is not necessarily a bad thing!
- After draining your potatoes, put them back into the same pot that you cooked them in to mash and season. This eliminates the need for a separate dish to wash.