I mean, WHAT A WEEK. For me, at least. Work and cooking and clients and class and TOO MUCH. The house is a disaster. The dogs refuse to clean up after themselves, and it’s getting pretty ridiculous how much they mooch off us.
It’s gotten cold again here the past few nights, and so this shepherd’s pie is perfect for the end-of-winter HURRY UP AND GET WARM blues. I made it yesterday and we had it for dinner last night, and I’m not lying when I say I kind of just wanted to eat it directly out of the dish for approximately 3 hours while watching TV.
Luckily for the future of my bottom I only ate one serving, but still. I thought about it.
So this pie. It’s got a traditional-ish filling with beef and veg and gravy and some sexy seasonings. Instead of mashed potatoes for a topping, though, I wanted some CRUNCH. So I did cheesy grated potatoes over top instead of a mash. It was GREAT, and gave more of a pie crust feel than a traditional shepherd’s pie topping.
Let’s make it! Grab some stuff. You need beef, onion, carrot, celery, garlic, a bell pepper, 2 potatoes, an egg, rosemary, Worcestershire sauce, crushed red pepper, smoked paprika, some kinda yummy grated cheese, flour, and beef stock. A decent list of ingredients, but all easy stuff. You could of course sub lamb if you’d like, or chopped mushrooms and vegetable stock for a vegetarian version.
Let the flour cook into the beef mixture for 2 minutes, then pour in the beef stock. Stir the stock into the beef, and it should thicken and bubble. Taste the mixture, and add salt if you think it needs it.
Now, this can be made well in advance and kept in the freezer for a few months or fridge for a few days. When you DO want to eat, bake the pie at 400F for 40 minutes or until the top is browned and the potatoes are cooked through.
I love casseroles like this. They’re perfect for dinner on the weekend, or to make on the weekend to have for the week ahead. We have tons of leftovers, and I’m going to eat this every day for lunch next week.
Happy weekend, and happy cooking!
- FOR THE FILLING
- 1.5 pounds ground beef or lamb
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 2 ribs celery, diced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon dried roasemary
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, plus more to taste
- salt, to taste
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1-2 cups beef stock
- FOR THE TOPPING
- 2 starchy potatoes, grated
- 1/2 cup shredded white cheese such as mozzarella or cheddar
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons flour
- salt and pepper
- Make the gravy. Add the beef to a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook for 7-10 minutes until browned and crumbly. Add the carrot, celery, and onion and cook for 5 more minutes. Add the bell pepper, garlic, Worcestershire, paprika, rosemary, crushed red pepper, and a sprinkle of salt. Stir to combine and cook for 3 more minutes.
- Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir to combine, then pour in 1 cup of beef stock. Stir, and add more stock if needed to thin out the gravy. Taste, and add more salt if you'd like to the beef mixture.
- To make the topping, combine the grated potatoes, egg, cheese, and flour in a bowl with lots of salt and pepper.
- Pour the filling into a baking dish - 8x10 or similar. Spread the potato mixture in an even layer over top of the pie.
- To serve right away, bake at 400F until potatoes are golden and cooked through. Uncooked pie may be frozen for several months or kept in the fridge for a few days before baking.