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Shepherds Pie, Comfort Food at its Best

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I have not tried my hand at shepherds pie before, but for some reason, I thought I needed to give it a shot….I don’t know why.  Maybe it’s because of the fall weather and feeling the need for heartier food.  Maybe it’s because the idea of a stew type thing covered in mashed potatoes just sounds yummy.  I really don’t know.  But I did some research and I came up with a plan.

As far as mashed potatoes go, I knew I wanted to use garlic mashed potatoes because the recipe I have  is SO good!  I also wanted to use red wine in the sauce because I thought it would give it a nice depth of flavor.  As far as vegetables go, I knew it should have carrots, celery and onion and then I thought mushrooms and peas would be awfully nice. That was my plan.

This recipe is a little time consuming, but worth it because it turned out to be very good.  If you would like to try this but you want it to come together more quickly there are a couple of shortcuts you could take.  Instead of making homemade mashed potatoes, you could use instant or refrigerated.  If you don’t want to spend time chopping vegetables, find a mix of frozen veggies that sound good to you and use that.  If you don’t mind taking the time to make the recipe as written, you should know that making a double batch would not take much more effort and then you could have one pan now and freeze the other for later.

Shepherds Pie with Garlic Mashed Potatoes
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 lbs hamburger (I use 90% lean)
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 2 ribs celery, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 8 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 4 cups mashed potatoes (see recipe below for garlic mashed potatoes)
Get all of your veggies chopped and ready to go.
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add butter, once butter is melted, add ground beef and break up with a spoon. Once the meat is broken up and starting to brown, add the carrots, celery, onion and mushrooms.  Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper and continue cooking for about 5 minutes.
Sprinkle flour over the top of the meat and vegetables.  Mix in well and cook for a couple of minutes.  Stir in wine.
Bring mixture to a boil and then stir in beef broth.

Let mixture simmer, uncovered for about 15 to 20 minutes.  This will allow the sauce to reduce and the flavors to blend.  Add more salt and pepper if necessary.

Stir in peas and parsley and pour mixture into a 9×13 baking dish that’s been coated with cooking spray.
Spread mashed potatoes over the top of meat mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until brown and bubbly.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes
  • 1 head of garlic
  • olive oil for drizzling
  • 4 lbs russet potatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 stick of butter, melted
  • salt and pepper
Take the head of garlic and cut the top off.

Put on a sheet of foil and drizzle with oil.

Wrap in the foil and place in a 350 degree oven for about an hour, until the garlic is very tender and soft.
Squeeze the garlic out of the skins into a bowl and mash with the back of a fork.
Add garlic, along with the milk to a pot and simmer for 10 minutes, to infuse the flavor.
Then, pour mixture through a strainer into a bowl to remove garlic.
Peel potatoes and quarter lengthwise.

Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water.

Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork.  Drain.

Rice the potatoes into a bowl (or you can mash them with a masher).
Stir in the butter, salt and pepper.

Stir in the milk, a little at a time, until the potatoes are smooth.


Shared at Mandy’s Recipe Box on 11/28/11
Shared at Family Fresh Meals on 12/11/11

Shared at Chef in Training on 2/28/12.

Shared at Miz Helen’s Country Cottage on 3/01/12.

Shared at Crumbs and Chaos on 3/10/12.

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Sonja @

Saturday 10th of March 2012

Thanks for sharing the little "garlic tutorial", especially! Looks yummy!

Miz Helen

Saturday 3rd of March 2012

Lisa, Thank you so much for sharing your awesome Shepherds Pie with Full Plate Thursday! You are right it is pure comfort food. Have a great week end and come back soon! Miz Helen

Corey @ Family Fresh Meals

Monday 12th of December 2011

Mmmmmmm! I love shepherds pie. One of my childhood favorites. And seeing the picture of your roasted garlic has prompted me to go roast some now for a snack. I eat roasted cloves all the time for a snack. YUM! Great great recipe Lisa!