My girls love “shepherd’s pie.” Well, they love the shepherd’s pie that I make for them which has no vegetables in it. Which, to me, is not really shepherd’s pie. No matter what they say.
However, the “shepherd’s pie” that I make for them is an adaptation of one of my favorite things my mom would cook for us when we were growing up. I’ve taken her base recipe and melded it with a shepherd’s pie recipe to create something of a hybrid of the two.
Mom’s was mostly ground beef and mashed potatoes – with a lot of seasonings, of course. I took that, along with the shepherd’s pie recipe that I learned from an old work chum who was from Britain and made something that my girls would eat.
Personally, I love shepherd’s pie. I love the amalgamation of meat, veggies and a hearty broth topped with mashed potatoes. Comfort food at the very best. But the girls would turn their noses up at the veggies and I would never get my shepherd’s pie. So, I compromise – make this hybrid that they love and everyone is happy.
This one I made in my cast iron skillet. It was genius – one less pot to wash – and I think it turned out really well. You can certainly add some frozen mixed veggies to this to make it more of a true shepherd’s pie. If I was making it for grownups, I’d do that for sure.
Cast Iron Skillet “Shepherd’s Pie”
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
2-3 cups beef broth
1 cup finely diced carrots
1 cup finely diced onion
1-2 tsp minced garlic (about 1-2 cloves)
1 packet brown gravy mix
5-10 large potatoes
milk, butter, sour cream for mashed potatoes
salt & pepper
- Preheat oven to 350
- Peel, cut, & boil potatoes
- In a large cast-iron skillet, add some oil (about 1 tsp) and sauté the carrots & onions until the onion is translucent.
- Add the ground beef, seasoning with salt & pepper and garlic.
- When the beef is browned, sprinkle about 1-2 tsp of Worchestershire sauce over the mixture.
- In a separate small bowl, mix beef broth, gravy packet, to make a gravy.
- Pour the gravy mixture in the beef.
- Put one bay leaf in the mixture (remember to pull it out when you’re serving or someone will get a surprise)
- Mash potatoes, using butter, sour cream and milk. Season with salt & pepper.
- Top beef mixture with mashed potato.
- If you want, layer some cheddar or American cheese slices on top.
- Bake at 350 degrees until cheese is melted & bubbly. (about 15-20 min)
A few notes: you want your mashed potatoes a little dry as they will absorb some of the gravy while cooking in the oven. If they are too most to begin with they get runny.
I snuck the carrots in on the girls (they had no clue) and would probably even try some other finely diced veggies if I thought I could get away with it in the future.
I hope you enjoy!!
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