Comfort food: Shepherd's Pie (from scratch)...


There are few things more comforting in life than a meal that nourishes both body and soul, especially on a cool drizzly day (of which we’re having a lot of right now). Made with fresh ingredients, from scratch, Shepherd’s Pie can really tick all the comfort boxes.
I realize that one of the virtues of Shepherd’s Pie is that it can be put together speedily, using frozen vegetables and even ready-made mashed potatoes. But having tried it every which way over the past year or so, starting from scratch with fresh ingredients is really the way to go. It’s so much tastier. Truly. And while it will take you a little longer in the kitchen than the quick version, it's still not like you'll be slaving away for an entire afternoon, and there are ways to break it up beforehand with a little planning. I really think if you try this recipe, you'll be a believer.
One other thought: This is a great dish to make even if you have company coming. It’s veggies, meat and potatoes all-in-one, and when you add some good crusty bread and a glass of wine, it takes on a more sophisticated air. Try it and I bet your friends will be surprised and wowed.

Shepherd's Pie

You’ll need:
hamburger
onion
carrots
green beans
corn, still on the cob
peas
potatoes and ingredients for mashing (milk, butter, etc.)
mushrooms
cream of mushroom soup
cheese

Please note that amounts vary, depending on how much you want to make. As a general guide, you'll want enough hamburger to cover the bottom third or slightly more of your casserole dish/pan; same for potatoes.

1. To start, peel and boil the potatoes, adding a little salt to the water. While the potatoes are cooking, brown hamburger in frying pan with some chopped onion; season with salt, pepper and a little garlic powder. 

2. When potatoes are done, drain and set aside. Wash and chop carrots and green beans and mix together in a microwaveable bowl. Cut the corn from the cob and add it to the bowl. If you have fresh peas, you can shell and add them to the bowl. Frozen peas will work fine, as I know fresh ones can be hard to get sometimes. (Fresh onions, potatoes, carrots, green beans and corn on the cob are always easy to find, though.)

3. Add a little water to the bowl of vegetables, season with salt and pepper and microwave until they are nearly cooked. Do not overcook them as they still have to bake in the oven. This is just to give them a jump start in the cooking process.

4. When the hamburger is nearly done, add some mushrooms. It's important not to add them too soon or else they'll cook down into hard little nubs - not tasty. Once the hamburger, onion and mushrooms are done, add up to a can of cream of mushroom soup, to taste (or possibly up to two, if you're making a large pan, such as a 9x13 size). Mix together well and reduce heat to medium, then low once heated through. 

5. While that is simmering, mash the potatoes. Everyone mashes their potatoes to their own liking; I put butter, mayo, cheese, salt and pepper in mine, and just a splash or two of milk. Some people only use butter and milk. Do whatever you like, just make sure they are not runny. The potatoes should be thicker for this dish.

6. Add the vegetables to the hamburger mixture and mix well. Taste a little bite to see if more seasoning is needed and if so, adjust accordingly. Do the same for the potatoes. It’s important that each layer be seasoned appropriately. Add a little shredded cheese (your preference, but I find Monterey Jack works best) to the hamburger mixture and mix well again.

7. Grease your dish/pan. Pour the hamburger and vegetable mixture into the pan and spread out evenly. Spread the potatoes on top. Sprinkle a good layer of cheese on top (I use Cheddar) and bake in the oven at 400 degrees until you can tell its bubbling underneath and the cheese is brown - usually 30 to 40 minutes.

8. Remove from oven and let rest for a few minutes. Serve and enjoy.

SHORT CUTS: Aside from using frozen peas, you can also cut up your vegetables in advance and put them in the fridge. You also make your mashed potatoes in advance ~ for example, make extra if you're having them earlier in the week. Additionally, this dish makes great leftovers if eaten within a couple days, so you can always make extra and have it for lunches, etc., later in the week.


I am linking to:
Tuesdays at the Table
Tuesday Night Supper Club
Fat Camp Fridays

Stop by and visit for more delicious recipes and inspiration.
Bon appetit.

Comments

  1. this sounds awesome, I have to make this. thanks for posting!

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  2. Mmmmmmmmmmm......that sounds soooo good. My little grandson has already ordered several meals for me to make while I'm taking care of my daughter... I think he'd like this one tooooo!

    Warm blessings,
    Spencer

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  3. Now that's comfort food to the max.

    That recipe looks yum yum! So does the photo!

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  4. This my husband's favorite. Mine is very similar. I will be making this soon. Thanks for sharing.

    Carol

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  5. You're so right...everything is better from scratch. This is such a comforting dish...I love your recipe!

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  6. That is definitely one of my favorite cold weather foods, and as you said, so easy to make. Last night I made beef stroganoff... also simple, fast, easy, and I could have thrown in vegetables to make it even healthier!

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  7. I just made shepherd's pies and your looks great! I am hosting a new link up on Fridays and this Friday will be the first one. It's basically all about good homemade food. Join us, and check here for the details:

    http://www.mangoesandchutney.com/p/button-codes.html

    Thanks!
    Miranda

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  8. gorgeous. i love shepherds pie..especially as the weather begins to cool. yours has so many yummy bits in it...now i am craving it! :) thank you for linking it up to tuesday night supper club

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  9. Mmmmmm! That looks so good.
    You know, I haven't had Shepherds Pie in years. Probably 20 or more.
    I think that I will print out your recipe and give it a try soon.

    ((Hugs))
    Laura

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  10. Thanks for stopping by, this does look delish! I am now following back!

    Nichole @
    carterfamilytable.blogspot.com

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  11. Ta Da!!! Here I am again!! Whatever it was that has kept my computer from accessing your page has finally been resolved, and I am able to visit again. YAY!!!

    This recipe looks delicious. My husband is a HUGE shepherd's pie fan. He would love this.

    Blessings,
    Patti

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  12. Hi: I think I am going to make that tomorrow for dinner! Thanks for the great idea. Have a wonderful week. Blessings, Martha

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  13. That is a great treat.. Hope you are having a great week..

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  14. Yum! One of my favorites and I agree that making it from scratch is way better. Thanks for reminding me. I haven't made it in a while. Your looks delish.

    Love and blessings!

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  15. I saw this post and laughed right out loud! My husbands cousin is helping us build out house and tonight I asked him what he would like to have me make for dinner for him. he is a singe 40 year old bachelor so he usually eats mac and cheese. Plus he is avery picky eater. He said Hamburger pie! I said Shepards pie?? He said ye. I have never made it so I told him that I would hve to look up a recipe. I thought that would be a project for tomorrow morning. And here it is! Thank you!
    Have a pretty day!
    Kristin

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  16. Shepherds pie is one of my very favourite comfort foods. Yours look absolutely delicious!!

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  17. I'm thinking of making a pan of this over the weekend...one of my favorite comfort foods. Yours sounds absolutely amazing :)

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