Original Shepherd’s Pie

I am watching Parks & Recreation as I type, and I can’t help but think that Ron Swanson would be very pleased with my Shepherd’s Pie. The beef was lean and tender, the vegetables had a bite, and the mashed potatoes were very thick and creamy. Wait a minute, Ron Swanson doesn’t like vegetables. Well, I’m convinced that he would change his mind after trying this blindfolded. It is very flavorful and delicious.

Shepherd’s Pie

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4


Mashed Potatoes
8 small to medium russet potatoes
2-3 cups whole milk
Salt to taste
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 small to medium onion, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine or minced
1 lb. ground beef, 85-90% lean
4 stalks celery, chopped in ¼” pieces
4 carrots, chopped ¼” pieces
1 cup frozen peas
1 cups beef broth
2 tsp tomato paste
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp dried rosemary, chopped 
3/4 tsp dried thyme 
Salt and pepper to taste
Mashed Potatoes
  1. Fill a large pot with potatoes, cold water (about 1” above the potatoes), and a tbsp of salt. Cook on medium with the lid cracked to avoid the water boiling over.
  2. Stir occasionally and cook until potatoes are fork tender. Drain all the water. And return pot to stove over the lowest heat possible. This helps keep them warm while you make them.
  3. Add butter and mash the potatoes until they’re a thick but smooth consistency.
  4. Add milk and use a spatula to stir well.
  5. Season with salt. They should not be bland.
Pie Filling
  1. In a large pan, sauté oil, onions, and garlic for 1-2 minutes over medium heat until onions are soft and translucent. Be sure not to brown them.
  2. Add beef and break it apart with a flat spatula. Cook for another 5 minutes and stir frequently until browned.
  3. Add all the vegetables, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce stir then cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Add all-purpose flour until you no longer see the white. It will turn into a thicker paste.
  5. Add in stock and seasonings. Taste and add salt and black pepper to taste.
  6. Close lid and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  7. Pour the filling in a 9×13 casserole dish (or leave it in the large pan) and cover with mashed potatoes.
  8. Put pan or casserole dish under the broiler for about 5 minutes or until a golden-brown crust is formed. Be sure to watch it carefully as it can burn easily. Serve about 5 minutes later to let it set.
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