Shepherd's Pie (Meat or Pareve)

Shepherd's Pie
Shepherd's Pie made with vegetarian ground "beef". © Miri Rotkovitz
Ratings (14)
  • Total: 60 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: Serves 8 to 10
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
461 Calories
19g Fat
41g Carbs
32g Protein
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Shepherd's Pie, which is believed to have originated in northern England and Scotland, was originally made with lamb meat, as the name implies. In America, many make Shepherd's Pie with ground beef, though ​as British & Irish Food Expert Elaine Lemm points out, the ground beef version is more properly called Cottage Pie. Traditional versions, of course, would never use a vegetarian beef substitute, but the casserole works well with veggie "ground beef," as well. 

Miri's Recipe Testing Notes and Tips:

The original recipe called for ketchup, but I found the finished dish more flavorful when made with a well-seasoned marinara sauce.

The original recipe called for onion soup broth, however most commercial onion soup mixes are very high in sodium, and often contain MSG. Storebought or homemade beef stock or vegetable broth are more traditional, easier to find, and often healthier alternatives.  

I added peas and corn to the recipe both to add visual interest and a flavor boost. 

Updated by Miri Rotkovitz

Ingredients

  • For the Mashed Potatoes:
  • 4 large potatoes (Russet, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces; about 3 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (or non-hydrogenated margarine)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (kosher or sea)
  • For the Meat Filling:
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil (or canola oil)
  • 2 medium onions (peeled, trimmed, and chopped)
  • 2 celery stalks (trimmed and diced)
  • 2 carrots (peeled, trimmed, and diced chopped)
  • 2 large cloves garlic (peeled, smashed, and finely chopped)
  • 2 pounds ground beef (or 2 12-ounce packages vegetarian ground-beef substitute)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons marinara sauce (or ketchup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (kosher or sea)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups beef stock (or vegetable broth )
  • Optional: 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • Optional: 1/2 cup frozen corn kernals
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika (or to taste)

Steps to Make It

1. Preheat the oven to 400° F (204 °C). Oil an 8 x 8-inch baking pan, or similarly-sized casserole dish, or coat with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

2.  Place the potatoes in a stockpot and add enough water to cover by 1 to 2 inches and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer just until the potatoes are easily pierced with a knife, and soft enough to mash with a fork.

3. Transfer the potatoes to a colander to drain, then return them to the pot.  Mash them with a wire whisk or fork, and the margarine or oil and salt, and mix well. Set aside.

4. In a chef's pan or large, deep skillet, heat the 3 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat.  Add the onions,  celery, and carrot, and saute until the onions are soft and translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and saute one minute more. 

5. Add the ground beef or vegetarian meat substitute, and cook until browned. Sprinkle evenly with the flour, stir, and cook until well combined. Stir in the tomato paste, marinara or ketchup, salt, and pepper. Pour in the broth, and add the peas and corn (if using). When well combined and thickened, taste and adjust seasonings as desired.

6. Transfer the meat to the baking dish. Cover with the mashed potatoes, spreading them with a spatula into an even layer. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the potatoes begin to brown. Serve hot.