If you love Traditional Shepherd’s Pie (and who doesn’t?), this ground beef and potatoes casserole is hearty and delicious. Instead of lamb, this Shepherd’s pie with beef is also loaded with vegetables and a savory gravy. It’s my Mom’s original shepherd’s pie recipe and it’s awesome.
The Original Shepherd’s Pie recipe was made with lamb or more commonly mutton (which is an older — let’s call it more mature sheep). For this recipe, I’ve opted for a more widely available combination of ground beef and potatoes.
Ingredients For Shepherd’s Pie with Beef
- Yukon Gold Potatoes
- Ground Beef
- Beef Broth
- Gravy Master (optional)
- Worcestershire Sauce
- Greek Yogurt (or Sour Cream)
Traditional Shepherd’s Pie is a layered casserole of ground beef and mashed potatoes (though you can also substitute lamb) consequently there are several steps to assembling this dish, but happily, none of them are difficult. It’s worth the effort because everyone loves ground beef casserole with potatoes.
Steps For Traditional Shepherd’s Pie
- Boil the potatoes for mashed potato topping.
- Sauté the mushrooms. Separately sauté the carrots and mushrooms.
- Season and brown the ground beef and transfer to a bowl.
- In the same pan, make a roux (melted butter with flour) until a thick paste forms.
- Whisk in the beef broth to make the gravy.
- Add the gravy to the ground beef and vegetables and set aside.
- Drain the cooked potatoes and mash them with butter and greek yogurt or sour cream.
- Layer the ground beef and potatoes in a casserole dish.
- Brush with a bit of butter (optional) and bake.
The beefy gravy augments the flavors in this ground beef and potatoes casserole. It also keeps it moist while it bakes. Just toss the vegetables, cooked ground beef and gravy together in a bowl. You can let it rest while you mash the potatoes.
You can make one large beef and potatoes casserole or you can break it up into multiple dishes or even single-serving casseroles. On this particular night, I was taking this traditional sheperd’s pie to a blogger meeting, so I made one large one for the party and one smaller one for my husband who doesn’t like to “fend for himself” where dinner is concerned.
Layering The Shepherd’s Pie with Beef Filling
- Spread the bottom of your casserole dishes with the ground beef, vegetable and gravy mixture.
- Top with mashed potatoes and smooth out evenly.
Getting Fancy With Mashed Potatoes
If you want to get fancy, you can pipe the potatoes in a pastry bag with a star tip for pretty swirls, but this is completely unnecessary. The back of a spoon will achieve rustic looking whorls of mashed potatoes, too.
That said, it’s pretty amazing what you can do with a pastry bag and tips, right? And I’m not even particularly adept at using them…
How To Cook Shepherd’s Pie
Brush the mashed potatoes with melted butter and bake until the top just starts to turn golden and the traditional shepherd’s pie is piping hot.
What To Serve with Shepherd’s Pie with Beef:
- Balsamic Dijon Roasted Mushrooms
- Easy 3-Ingredient Drop Biscuits
- Peas with Shallots Mushrooms and Tarragon
- Baked Pesto Tomatoes
- Braised Leeks and Carrots with Toasted Crumb
More Comfort Food Favorites:
- Southwestern Style Leftover Ham Casserole
- Braised Pork Penne Casserole
- Cheesy Homestyle Tuna Noodle Casserole
- Simple Turkey Chili
- 2 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2" pieces
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
- 8 ounces mushrooms, chopped
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- 1 teaspoon black pepper, divided
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh oregano, minced
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 3 1/2 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 1/2 tablespoons flour
- 1 1/2 cups low sodium beef broth
- 1/2 teaspoon gravy master (optional)
- 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup greek yogurt or sour cream
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon melted butter (for brushing over casserole, optional)
- Place cut potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook for 18-20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat one teaspoon of olive oil over medium high heat and add the mushrooms and a 1/4 teaspoon of salt, stirring occasionally 3-5 minutes until mushrooms are softened and give up their liquid. Transfer mushrooms to a large bowl.
- Add 1 teaspoon olive oil to the pan and stir in the onions and carrots and another quarter teaspoon of salt. Cook over medium high heat until onions are tender and translucent and carrots are slightly softened. Transfer the vegetables to the bowl with mushrooms.
- Heat the remaining teaspoon of olive oil and add the ground beef, breaking apart the meat with the back of a fork and browning. When the meat is about half way cooked, add the garlic, rosemary, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cook stirring until meat is fragrant and completely cooked through. Transfer the beef to the bowl with the vegetables and stir in the frozen peas.
- Melt 1 1/2 tablespoons butter in the pan and add the flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Stir to combine and cook over medium high heat, stirring constantly for about one minute, until bubbly. Slowly add the beef broth and cook, stirring constantly until mixture thickens and comes to a boil. Boil and stir one minute. Stir in the gravy master and worcestershire sauce. Remove from heat and add the gravy to the beef and vegetable mixture. Stir to combine. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350°.
- Drain the water from the potatoes. If using a potato ricer, select the smallest extruder disk and run the potatoes through the ricer then stir in the butter, sour cream, salt, pepper and milk. If using a potato smasher, add remaining 2 tablespoons butter, sour cream, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper to the potatoes. Smash the potatoes, incorporating the dairy products. Stir in the milk. Potatoes should be smooth, but firm, holding their shape when you run a spoon through them.
- Spray a large casserole dish with vegetable spray. Spoon the meat mixture into the casserole and spread out evenly with a spoon.
- To pipe potatoes, select a large pastry tip and fit it in the bottom of a pastry bag. Fill the bag halfway with potatoes and fold the open ends of the bag together tightly. Gently squeeze the bag from the top, extruding the potatoes out over the casserole.
- If you don't want to use a pastry bag, spread potatoes over the casserole with a spatula, creating divots and swirls. (casserole can be made to this point, covered and refrigerated to bake later).
- Carefully dab the melted butter over the top of the potatoes. Bake casserole in the center of a hot oven for 20 minutes. To brown the potatoes more, set the oven to broil and broil the casserole for 3-5 minutes until lightly browned. Serve.