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Shepherd's Pie

Libby with Lemony Thyme
This Shepherd's Pie is rich and hearty and just as comfortable as I remember. The fresh herbs in this classic comfort food recipe make it sing.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Course Main Course
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

For the Meat & Mushroom Layer

  • 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 1 Tablespoon butter & olive oil
  • 2 lbs. ground beef and/or ground lamb
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary, parsley, sage) minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 Tablespoon flour or arrow root (for GF Version)
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

For the Vegetable Layer

  • 1 Tbl. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion diced, about 1 cup
  • 2-3 carrots diced, about 1 cup
  • 2 small zucchini julienned, about 1 cup
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen English peas

For the Potato Layer

  • 3 lbs. potatoes or cauliflower for a low-carb alternative
  • 5 Tbl. butter divided
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh sage minced optional
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions
 

For the Meat & Mushroom Layer

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large skillet, add 1 tablespoon butter & 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add mushrooms in single layer and cook until golden brown on both sides. Remove from skillet and reserve.
  • Brown meat over medium high heat, drain fat, then add tomato paste, garlic, fresh herbs, and Worcestershire. Stir to combine and cook 1-2 minutes. Stir in wine and allow to mostly cook off before dusting with flour (arrowroot for gluten free version). Stir to incorporate, then add broth and stir until sauce begins to thicken. Return browned mushrooms to the pan. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Pour meat/mushrooms into 2 quart buttered casserole dish.

For the Vegetable Layer

  • In skillet saute onion & carrot until just tender, then add zucchini continue cooking for 3-4 minutes. Stir in frozen peas (or cooked fresh peas). Season with salt & pepper to taste. Pour veggies over browned meat/musrooms in casserole dish.

For the Potato Layer

  • Boil potatoes until tender, drain, then add 4 Tablespoons butter, buttermilk, 1/2 tsp. fresh sage, salt & pepper and mash. Spoon potatoes on top of meat/vegetable layers.
  • Take a fork and scratch a pattern into top of mashed potatoes. Dot with remaining Tablespoon butter. Bake until golden 40 - 45 minutes. Finish under broiler for nice brown peaks. Let stand for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Notes

If you're looking for a low-carb option, use cauliflower mash instead of mashed potatoes.