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Shepherds Pie

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People frequently tell me that i make awesome shepherds pie, they could just be being nice, but i choose to believe that i do.

start to finish this usually takes me an hour to an hour and a half, and usually feeds 4, with seconds for everyone. I usually make it for 2 and have leftovers for a few weeks. it freezes well and with the addition of a microwave makes a great lunch at work.
 
 
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Step 1: Ingredients.. sort of

First off, I wont give you specific amounts. That's because 1, it's not that important, and 2, i don't even know how much i use of what.
That said, use the pictures to give you an idea of the proportions, and do all your seasoning to taste. don't be afraid to use lots of seasoning.

Here is what I usually use

-Ground beef
-Celery
-Carrots
-Onions
-Garlic
-potatoes
-yams/sweet potatoes
-milk
-margarine/butter
-frozen mixed veggies
-frozen green beans
-cheddar cheese
-salt and pepper
-garlic salt
-rosemary
-thyme (though this time i used savory)
-nutmeg

that's actually a longer ingredient list than i thought, in any case it's all either a staple ingredient, cheap, or both.

Step 2: Boil them taters

To start with peel your yam and potatoes, or don't. I never do.

Now, yams cook faster than potatoes. You need to leave the chunks of yam larger than the potatoes if you want everything to be cooked at the same time. I'd say my potato chunks are about 1/3 the size of the yam chunks.
Once everything's chopped toss it into a pot of water with some oil, put on a lid and boil away.

we'll come back to these when they're cooked.
EthansDad5 years ago
Don't shepherds herd sheep not cows? Methinks lamb would be more appropriate (and better!) than beef. Still looks great. Mouth watering.
you are correct . shepherds eat lamb , and mutton ,
cottage pie is made with beef .
it a common mistake tho .
beef , i have never known a shepherd to eat BEEF , shepherds eat lamb/mutton ,
what you have made is cottage pie .
sorry to be a little picky , but its a common mistake.
thought you would like to know the difference
maltesergr84 years ago
Never heard of adding oil to water when boiling potatoes; what does the oil do? Thx.
spylock4 years ago
I do it in layers,a layer of potatos,meat and veg.,cheese,tomato soup in a can and repeat til the dish is full.I cut and boil my potatos before hand.
basjan5 years ago
Thanks it looks great
ClayOgre5 years ago
Faved...yummy lookin' recipe. Might I suggest the acquisition of a potato ricer for the mashing process...they work a lot better and you get basically no lumps.
kiwiowl5 years ago
Fully agree with goldenlad et al. This is 'cottage pie' change it to lamb for shepherds pie - which is far better too (IMHO). For some extra zist try a teaspoon or so of chilli powder if you're in to that sort of thing.
Angelsnap5 years ago
I tried this dish for company - risky, I know, but it was a hit! It was a one dish wonder! There wasn't anything I could have added to the side other than a salad to make this dinner any better. I did, however, skip all spices except salt, pepper and garlic salt. yum! Kudos! You should put this in a contest.. You will win! Thank you! Got anymore recipes?
piks5 years ago
Why do you add oil to the water you boil your potatoes in???????
armourkris (author)  piks5 years ago
It stops the water from foaming over when it boils, i'm honestly not sure if you need to do it with potatoes, but i do anyways.
ah....interesting!
krowii piks5 years ago
To prevent the potatoes from sticking together?
Throughout this entire instructable i was drooling, but kept thinking, "this needs sauteed mushrooms." i'm definitely going to make a batch of this. i like your loose style of cooking.
John Smith5 years ago
looks delicious. a while back mom made shepherds pie with a side of corn(regular corn in a can, heat up, you know the drill). someody mixed it on accident with the shepherd's pie and liked it, (i like it), so now she always makes it with corn as a layer. i think its a nice variation.
gavnet5 years ago
Nice instructable, there's no cheese on a shepherds pie tho. Heres my shepherds pie instructable:

http://www.instructables.com/id/A-Good-Old-English-Shepherds-Pie-Recipe/
mmmmna gavnet5 years ago
Bah. I'm open to new interpretations! My pie uses ground beef, cream style corn, instant mashed potatoes, paprika, butter and shredded cheddar cheese.
cambalkon5 years ago
cam balkon imalat
Slisgrinder5 years ago
any way or alternative to make this vegetarian?
Yes,
I have made it vegetarian style with Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP), or Gimme Lean "ground beef "
http://www.lightlife.com/product_detail.jsp?p=gimmeleanbeef, or even have used frozen, thawed, and crumbled tofu as the "beef base."
If you use tofu or TVP it helps to add a little soy sauce to enrich the flavor.
gnomedriver5 years ago
I love shepherds pie. Do you have any recipes for his sheep dog as well? It seems such a waste not to use it.
ya know what makes an interesting variation? me and my family use a box of cornbread/muffin mix(takes too long from scratch) and layer it just beneath the cheese. Final baking makes it work wonderfully.
Stew25 years ago
Im coming for dinner! :)
=SMART=5 years ago
Dammit im so hungry !!
Incanus5 years ago
Absolutely right it's cottage pie for beef and shepherds pie for lamb but you have to be sure to skim off some of the fat when using lamb or risk a greasy mess when it mixes with the fat from the cheese. I'm the cook here but the one dish that is always cooked by my wife is the shepherds pie as she makes a stunner. She's curious about the addition of yam and will be trying it next time. She also adds a little tomato puree as this makes the sauce richer and adds body when it cooks out but she too has given up with the posh gravy and also uses instant granules for maximum 'comfort food' effect. We grow our own veg so pre-cook the carrots in stock ( try a stock cube in the water instead of salt next time you cook carrots - trust me you'll never go back.....if you're making gravy then use the leftover water and you get every last bit of goodness from the carrots ! ). We live in Ireland so have ours with Irish Cheddar on the top and Guinness on the side :-)
goldenlad5 years ago
If it's beef then it's a Cottage Pie, a Shepherd's Pie is made with lamb.
armourkris (author)  goldenlad5 years ago
ya know, i didn't know that, i thought shepherds and cottage pie were interchangeable names for the same thing. I even have both names in the search tags. that said, i do make it with lamb on occasion, and it is REALLY good when i do, just way more expensive.
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