Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd's Pie | Dawn's Recipes

It seems everyone has their own idea of what goes into a Shepherd’s Pie. Some people prefer it with corn, while others prefer carrots. I like mixed vegetables in mine. Some like to add a gravy base to the meat filling, while others leave it dry. Mine is somewhere in-between.

One of the great things about Shepherd’s Pie is that it’s a complete meal unto itself. This makes it great for weeknights when you get so frazzled focusing on the main course you forget to decide on a vegetable till the last minute when everything’s just about ready to serve. Oh, that’s just me?

Another thing I love about this recipe is how well it freezes. You can freeze the entire recipe or have half now and half later. Each half will easily feed a family of four and still provide leftovers. I’ve included instructions for freezing in the notes below.

Shepherd's Pie | Dawn's Recipes

Shepherd’s Pie

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 12 servings

Shepherd’s Pie


    For the Mashed Potatoes:
  • 4 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 or 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter for top of potatoes (optional)
  • For the Filling:
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 16 ounces frozen mixed veggies
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • Few dashes of Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup beef broth or stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish, or use two smaller dishes if you want to freeze half for later.
  2. For the Mashed Potatoes:
  3. Place potatoes in a large cooking pot. Fill 3/4 of the way with water, salt well and bring to a boil.
  4. Continue boiling until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Drain.
  5. Using a potato masher or ricer, mash potatoes until no lumps remain.
  6. Stir in butter until melted, then add the milk, garlic salt and pepper.
  7. For the Filling:
  8. While waiting for the potatoes to boil, heat oil in large pan over medium heat. Add onions and sauté just until translucent.
  9. Add ground beef to pan and cook until browned, breaking up with a spoon while it cooks. Drain excess fat if necessary.
  10. Add vegetables, rosemary and Worcestershire sauce to pan.
  11. Dissolve cornstarch in beef broth and add to pan. Bring to a simmer and continue to cook, stirring, until thickened.
  12. Transfer filling to prepared baking dish. Top with mashed potatoes. Brush with melted butter, if desired.
  13. Bake for 30 minutes, or until top is golden. Serve immediately.


If you'd like to prepare this ahead of time and freeze it, follow all but the last step. Cover well and freeze up to two months. Let thaw in refrigerator overnight, then bake as directed.


Shepherd’s Pie — 3 Comments

  1. Hi Dawn – I feel like I know you because of the Springdell Farms blog and now the Winter CSA Facebook page! I was hunting around on your site looking for a Shepherd’s Pie recipe, and, of course, I found one, as I knew I would. This one looks yummy. I saw a Weight Watchers recipe that intrigued me, and I was hoping you could give me some feedback because I’d sort of like to combine the two. The filling of the WW one is, frankly, terribly boring, but they used mashed sweet potatoes with ginger and some other spices for the topping, and that sounds yummy to me. Also, I’d like to use my sweet potatoes from my share! Would you make any tweaks to your filling if you were to use the sweet potato topping? Many, many thanks in advance. I hope to meet you in person at the farm one of these days!
    Beth Lowe recently posted..November 30, 2012My Profile

    • That sounds like a great way to change things up! I love sweet potatoes. I’m not sure how well they’d pair with the rosemary called for in the recipe. I’d give sage a try in its place. Otherwise I don’t think you’d need to make any other changes.

      I know what you mean about the CSA and the group page. It’s become so much more than just a way to buy fresh produce. The sense of community it adds is one of the best things about Springdell. :)