This easy Shepherd’s Pie is made with beef (sometimes called Cottage Pie) and will be ready in just about 30 minutes. A layer of ground beef mixed with a flavorful, veggie-filed gravy and topped with mashed potatoes is comfort food at its finest.
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Ever wonder what’s in shepherd’s pie? It’s a rich mixture of ground beef, carrots, onions, peas, and corn in a brown gravy, topped with a layer of creamy mashed potatoes, and then broiled to perfection.
I know I might catch flack calling it Shepherd’s Pie when I use ground beef. Traditionally, Shepherd’s Pie is made with lamb and Cottage Pie is made with beef, but this is how I’ve always referred to it. If you’d like to make it with lamb, it’s an easy swap.
Because it is so filling, you don’t need much to go with it, but a crusty piece of onion dill bread will go nicely to soak up some of the leftover gravy and then finish off with some slow cooker apple crisp.
Ingredients you’ll need
Below is a list of ingredients with some helpful tips and suggestions for substitutions. Scroll all the way down for the full, printable recipe card with amounts & instructions.
POTATOES – I use yukon gold potatoes because they’re creamy and flavorful. You’ll mash them with milk, butter, salt, and pepper. If you prefer cheesy mashed potatoes, you can certainly make your favorite.
BEEF – I use sirloin because it is lean and full of flavor. If you use a chuck or something higher in fat, drain off any excess grease.
SEASONINGS – I season my beef with salt, pepper, and Montreal Steak Seasoning which is a blend of garlic, onion, red pepper, etc. Use your favorite seasonings.
VEGGIES – Dice up a carrot and onion (use my favorite veggie chopper to make it a breeze) and then mix in frozen peas and corn at the end. Alternatively, you can use a bag of frozen mixed veggies.
BEEF BROTH/STOCK – To make your gravy, you’ll start with butter and flour, then thicken it with either beef broth or stock. Low sodium will work fine.
WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE– Typically made of anchovies, molasses, and vinegar, worcestershire sauce is a flavor enhancer in the gravy.
SWEET PAPRIKA – Adding paprika to the top of your potatoes adds both color and a mild peppery flavor.
Tools found on Amazon to help you
- Veggie Chopper – I love this thing – it makes chopping uniform carrots and onions SO easy.
- Meat Chopper – This little tool beautifully breaks up meat while you’re browning it.
- Casserole Dish – Make sure it is heat and freezer safe in case you want to freeze leftovers.
How to Make Shepherd’s Pie
This sped up version of Shepherd’s Pie should be ready in 30-45 minutes, depending on how quickly you’re able to prep your veggies. Fast comfort food is the best!
STEP ONE: Make the mashed potatoes. Boil cubed potatoes in salted water, drain, then mash with butter, milk, and salt & pepper.
STEP TWO: Make the meat filling. Season and brown the ground sirloin then add the chopped carrots and onions and cook until tender.
STEP THREE: Make the gravy. In a small saucepan, whisk together the butter and flour. Whisk in the beef broth and Worcestershire sauce. Let it thicken and then pour over the meat filling. Add in the frozen peas and corn.
STEP FOUR: Assemble. Pour the meat filling into a small casserole dish. Carefully spread the mashed potatoes over the top and sprinkle with paprika.
STEP FIVE: Broil. Broil for 6-8 minutes or until just golden. Serve & enjoy!
Easy Shepherd’s Pie FAQs
Does Shepherd’s Pie contain beef?
Traditionally, no shepherd’s pie is not made with beef. The recipe originated in England and was originally made with lamb or mutton. Americans (hi, it’s me) usually refer to it as Shepherd’s Pie though.
What is Shepherd’s Pie called when made with beef?
If you use beef, it should technically be called Cottage Pie.
Do I have to make the mashed potatoes?
You can use your favorite mashed potatoes recipe (like these garlic mashed potatoes) or if you’re short on time and need to make this dish even quicker, you could pick up a tub or two of pre-made mashed potatoes (I know people rave about the Bob Evans version).
Can I use frozen veggies?
Sure, if you want to save even more time, you could use a bag of frozen mixed veggies instead of chopping the carrots and onions.
How should I store leftovers?
Any leftovers should be covered and placed in the fridge for up to three days.
Can you freeze it?
Yes, you can! After assembling and broiling, let the pan cool down to room temperature, cover with foil, and place in the freezer for up to two months. When you’re ready to eat it, reheat the shepherd’s pie (still covered with the foil) for 1 hour in a 350ºF oven.
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Easy Shepherd’s Pie with Beef
For the potatoes
- 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes peeled & cubed
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- ½ cup milk
- salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
For the filling
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound ground sirloin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Montreal steak seasoning
- 1 medium carrot peeled & chopped
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 2 Tablespoons flour
- 1 cup beef stock or broth
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- ½ cup frozen peas
- ½ cup frozen corn
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- In a large pot of salted water, boil potatoes until tender. Drain potatoes and pour them in a bowl. Add the butter, milk, and salt & pepper. Use a potato masher or hand mixer to mash together. Adjust with more butter/milk/salt & pepper, to taste.
- While the potatoes are cooking, preheat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add olive oil & ground sirloin to the pan and season with salt, pepper, and Montreal steak seasoning.
- Brown & crumble the meat for 3-4 minutes. Add the chopped carrot & onion to the meat & cook 5 minutes more (or until meat is no longer pink), stirring frequently.
- In a small saucepan, over medium heat, whisk butter & flour together for about two minutes. Whisk in the broth & Worcestershire sauce. Let the gravy thicken for about one minute.
- Add the gravy to the meat & veggies and stir in the frozen peas & corn.
- Preheat broiler to high.
- In a small casserole dish, add the meat and veggies to the bottom then spoon potatoes evenly over meat. Top potatoes with paprika and broil 6-8 inches from heat until potatoes are evenly browned.
Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.
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Originally published July 15, 2010