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Shepherd's Pie Recipe

Shepherd's pie is a layered casserole of beef, carrots, sweet peas, mashed potato and cheddar cheese. This pie has been known for over 200 years, and has been called Cottage pie in the past. In more recent times, the name Shepherd's pie has been used when the meat used in the recipe is lamb, more particularly in Ireland and England. Although it was considered food for the poor, and mostly cooked from left-overs, the Shepherd's pie gained popularity as a comfort food for its great taste and nutritional value. My Shepherd's pie recipe is a little bit different than the original one, but every bit as tasty and comforting. Enjoy.

Shepherd's pie

Ingredients: 1 pound extra lean ground beef; 5 medium potatoes; 2 carrots, diced; 2 small onions, chopped; 3 garlic cloves, chopped; 1 small sweet potato, diced; 1 can sweet green peas (about 1 cup drained); 1 chopped tomato or a cup of canned diced tomatoes; 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, 1 tsp. butter; 1 egg; 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese; 1/2 tsp. dried thyme; 1/4 cup of milk; 1 pinch dried summer savory; salt and black pepper to taste.

Recipe: Put the potatoes (not the sweet potato) in a saucepan with 2 liters of water and boil them. You can peel and cut them before boiling, but I usually don't do that. In the meantime, in a large heavy pan, heat the olive oil and saute the onion and garlic for 3 minutes. Add the diced carrot and sweet potato and saute for 3 minutes more. Add the ground beef and brown it in the pan with the vegetables. At the end add the sweet peas and chopped tomato, and cook for 2-3 minutes more. Season to taste with salt, pepper and the dried herbs. Set the beef mixture aside until ready for layering. Pour the boiling water from the saucepan with the potatoes, and mash them with a potato masher. Add the milk, egg, half of the shredded cheddar cheese, and season to taste. Spread the butter on the bottom of a ceramic or glass baking dish, and spread half of the mashed potatoes. Pour the meat filling in the middle, and cover with the rest of the mashed potatoes. Bake in the oven at 425 F for about 20 minutes. Top with the remaining cheddar cheese and bake for a few minutes more, until the cheese is nicely melted. Let the Shepherd's pie stand out of the oven for about 5 minutes, before serving.

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Chef George Krumov
About the author: George Krumov is a Red Seal certified chef with many years of culinary experience working around the world in Europe, the Middle East, the cruise line industry and North America. In the last two decades he has headed the kitchens of several restaurants in Canada, and ran his own restaurant.

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