Shepherds Pie




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.

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
-yams/sweet potatoes
-frozen mixed veggies
-frozen green beans
-cheddar cheese
-salt and pepper
-garlic salt
-thyme (though this time i used savory)

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.

Step 3: Making the Meat

Chop your celery, carrots, and onions. Dice the garlic

Toss celery carrots and onion into a pan with some oil and fry them until the onions are getting translucent.
Once the veggies are done add the ground beef and garlic. When your beef is most of the way browned add however much frozen vegetables you'd like. Once the veggies are thawed I add my spices. I tend to go a little heavy with the rosemary and thyme/savory and and just a little dash of nutmeg. As always, salt and pepper to taste.

You may have noticed that we haven't drained the beef at any point, that's because I'm going to use that grease to make gravy. I never said this was healthy, just awesome.

You have 2 choices on how to make your gravy, you can either
-add some flour(a tbsp. or so at a time), a little water and a tsp./cube of oxo/bovril or whatever
-or go the lazy way and just toss in a packet of the instant gravy of your choice. when i use instant gravy i just add the powder.

Today, I'm lazy and using roast chicken gravy, but every kind of gravy I've tried seems to taste good as well. Once the gravy is doing it's thing It's time to turn off the heat and set it aside. until the potatoes are done.

Step 4: Mash Some Potatoes

First off, find your potato masher.
OK, now drain the potatoes and give them a good dollop of butter or margarine and a little milk. Give it a good mashing and add a bit more milk and butter/margarine as needed. repeat as necessary.
Once it's getting close to the right consistency i add garlic powder salt and pepper.

Step 5: Final Assembly

Start by transferring the meat into a roasting pan. it should fill it about half way, then top it with the mashed potatoes.
Next grate some cheese and put a good layer of grated cheese on top of the potatoes.

Set your oven to broil and put your shepherds pie on the top rack. broil it until the cheese is browned, then take it out, let it cool and enjoy.



    • Fat Challenge

      Fat Challenge
    • Jewelry Challenge

      Jewelry Challenge
    • Pie Contest

      Pie Contest

    27 Discussions


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Don't shepherds herd sheep not cows? Methinks lamb would be more appropriate (and better!) than beef. Still looks great. Mouth watering.

    1 reply
    spinning topEthansDad

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    you are correct . shepherds eat lamb , and mutton ,
    cottage pie is made with beef .
    it a common mistake tho .

    spinning top

    7 years ago on Introduction

    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


    8 years ago on Step 2

    Never heard of adding oil to water when boiling potatoes; what does the oil do? Thx.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    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.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    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.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    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.


    10 years ago on Step 5

    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?


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    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.


    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 Smith

    10 years ago on Introduction

    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.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Bah. I'm open to new interpretations! My pie uses ground beef, cream style corn, instant mashed potatoes, paprika, butter and shredded cheddar cheese.