Easy Shepherd’s Pie

Easy Shepherd’s Pie

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Easy homemade Shepherd’s Pie, for when you need the comfort food but can’t slave in the kitchen for hours. Tasty chopped meat topped with crisped mashed potatoes; exactly what you need to help calm down after a stressful day. 

You guys, it’s been one of those days. You know the days I mean. The days where you just can’t wait to crawl in bed and block out the world.

Today my baby decided it was time to remind me that he’s nearly two and not a baby anymore. First, he threw a tantrum (lying on the floor, kicking and screaming) because I wouldn’t let him stick things into the electric outlet. He’s smart enough to realize that an outlet is where you plug things into, and at first he was trying to grab all the plugs he saw – phone chargers, computer chargers…

When I kept grabbing the chargers away from him, he went to the toy piano, took off the little plug-in microphone that came with it, and then went over to the outlet to try to plug the microphone into it. And when I took away the microphone and pulled him away from the outlet, he threw himself on the floor and proceeded to tantrum.

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When his tantrum was over, he decided it was time to play his new favorite game: jumping off the top of the couch. He climbs onto the couch, and then up the back pillows, and perches on top. Then he starts shaking and dancing around there, shouting, “Mommy, mommy!!” And then he’ll bend his knees and spring off of there. Usually I sit on the couch right next to him and catch him as he falls, but he’s tried to jump when no one was near him, causing me to dash madly across the room to grab him so he wouldn’t fall onto the hard tiled floor.

So after catching him a few times today, I tried to pull him away from the couch and distract him with something else (he’s heavy! I can’t keep catching him!) but he was having none of it, and kept running back to the couch and climbing up. Aaaargh….

 

Next I tried to make dinner, and he decided to follow me into the kitchen. He saw the potatoes I had laid out on the counter, and threw them all on the floor. I mean, potatoes are kind of spherical, so I guess he thought they were balls.

As I was peeling the potatoes, he was pulling the potato peels out of the garbage, along with other things. And at one point I noticed him chewing, so he definitely ate some garbage. We’re really strengthening his immune system, I guess… Later, I couldn’t find my oven mitts, and then I noticed that they were in the garbage. Hm, I wonder how they got there.

As we sat down to finally eat dinner, Mr. Terrible Two decided he did not want to sit in his booster seat. He climbed out onto the table and then laid down on it. Which was fine (I mean, not so fine, but compared to what he was doing until then, this was pretty tame), until he decided to roll over. Right near the edge of the table.

So that was my day. How was yours? Any words of wisdom how to deal with two year olds and make sure they don’t kill themselves from sheer stupidity??

But back to our scheduled programming. I made Shepherd’s Pie for dinner, and it came out really good, so I’m sharing the recipe with you guys. (Apparently Shepherd’s Pie is officially made with lamb, and if you make it with beef instead it’s called Cottage Pie. So technically this is a Cottage Pie. Whatever.)

A pan of Shepherd's Pie with a piece missing
Shepherd’s Pie. Who’s ready for dinner?

Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

Ingredients

For the meat layer:

Approximately 1 lb chopped meat
7 oz tomato paste or canned tomato sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp black pepper

For the mashed potato layer:
8 small potatoes (they were small and round. Exactly like balls, as I mentioned above.)
1/4 cup oil
salt to taste

Optional:
Frozen green beans

 

Instructions

1. Peel the potatoes and boil until they are easily pierced with a fork (I always take them off too early because I am impatient, but that’s very dumb of me because then I need to work extra hard mashing them.)

2. While the potatoes are boiling, prepare the meat layer. Place the chopped meat into a large frying pan and cook until browned, stirring to break up the clumps. When the meat is fully browned, turn off the fire, let the meat cool a bit, and remove excess fat that cooked out of the meat (I just use a spoon and scoop it into a disposable cup, wait for the fat to solidify again, and then throw the cup of fat out).

Plastic cup with drained beef fat inside
A lovely cup of drained fat. Appetizing, right?

3. Mix tomato paste and spices into the cooked chopped meat. Spread the seasoned meat into a baking pan (I used one that was slightly smaller than the typical 9 X 13 lasagna pan)

4. Optional: Sprinkle frozen green beans (fresh would work too, I guess) over the chopped meat, before adding the mashed potatoes. I usually do this and it works great to get my kids to eat more vegetables, but I had no patience to dig through the freezer and find the green beans today.)

5. When the potatoes are fully cooked, mash them with a fork (or a potato masher, if you are fancy). Add the oil and salt to taste, and mix well. Spread the mashed potatoes on top of the meat in the pan.

6. Bake the Shepherd’s Pie at 400F until the top is browned and crispy, approximately half an hour. (You can bake it for less if you are impatient, but the more browned and crispy the top is, the better it tastes. The crispy mashed potato bits taste like potato chips)

7. And that’s it! Enjoy your Shepherd’s Pie, and your terrible two-ers, if you’ve got any!

Overhead view of completed Shepherd's Pie
Cooked Shepherd’s Pie with nice burned crunchy bits on top (bonus points for anyone who gets that reference)

Want some other dinner ideas?

Hot Dog Stir Fry
Korean Beef Bowl
Honey Garlic Fried Chicken
Garlic Knots from Scratch
Best Fluffy Pancakes

 

 


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A pan of Shepherd's Pie with a piece missing

Easy Shepherd's Pie

Bee
Easy homemade Shepherd's Pie, for when you need the comfort food but can't slave in the kitchen for hours. Tasty chopped meat topped with crisped mashed potatoes; exactly what you need to help calm down after a stressful day.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 adults

Ingredients
  

For the meat layer:

  • Approximately 1 lb chopped meat
  • 7 oz tomato paste or canned tomato sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

For the mashed potato layer:

  • 8 small potatoes (they were small and round. Exactly like balls, as I mentioned above.)
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • salt to taste

Optional:

  • Frozen green beans

Instructions
 

  • Peel the potatoes and boil until they are easily pierced with a fork (I always take them off too early because I am impatient, but that's very dumb of me because then I need to work extra hard mashing them.)
  • While the potatoes are boiling, prepare the meat layer. Place the chopped meat into a large frying pan and cook until browned, stirring to break up the clumps. When the meat is fully browned, turn off the fire, let the meat cool a bit, and remove excess fat that cooked out of the meat.
  • Mix tomato paste and spices into the cooked chopped meat. Spread the seasoned meat into a baking pan (I used one that was slightly smaller than the typical 9 X 13 lasagna pan)
  • Optional: Sprinkle frozen green beans (fresh would work too, I guess) over the chopped meat, before adding the mashed potatoes.
  • When the potatoes are fully cooked, mash them with a fork (or a potato masher, if you are fancy). Add the oil and salt to taste, and mix well. Spread the mashed potatoes on top of the meat in the pan.
  • Bake the Shepherd's Pie at 400F until the top is browned and crispy, approximately half an hour. 
Keyword cottage pie, meat, potatoes, shepherds pie

 

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Lucie Fox

    Looks like a great recipe! Perfect for me as a busy student!

    1. Bee - Bites 'N Pieces

      Thanks! I hope you enjoy it!

  2. Paul M. Sod

    Two year olds do not suffer from ”sheer stupidity”. Supreme lack of intelligence perhaps or extreme absence of experience, common sense or higher brain functioning. But definitely not sheer stupidity.

    1. Bee - Bites 'N Pieces

      Isn’t “supreme lack of intelligence” just a fancier way of saying “sheer stupidity?”
      And yes, I know it’s not actually stupidity, it’s just lack of experience/knowledge/etc, but it sure is frustrating sometimes…

    1. Bee - Bites 'N Pieces

      Thanks! It is delicious 🙂

  3. Victor

    This doesn’t look that hard. I’m going to give it a try one of these days. Thanks for sharing!

    1. admin

      You’re welcome. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

  4. April

    Haha he have hit those “terrible twos” alright! I have no advice or thought for you there but I will say this, this recipe is super easy to follow and I’ve never heard of making shepherd’s pie with chopped meat! AND not lamb! I absolutely love lamb and will be trying the chopped lamb version of this recipe, thanks so much for sharing.

    1. admin

      I’ve actually never tried making it with lamb, you’ll have to let me know how it turns out!

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