Although Shepherd’s Pie is a firm American favorite, the dish actually originated in England. It’s quintessential comfort food. Warming, easy to make, and so satisfying, this is the best traditional Shepherd’s Pie.
The dish is traditionally made with ground lamb, vegetables such as peas and carrots, and a topping of creamy mashed potatoes. The dish is not difficult to make, but the payoff is huge. Who says comfort food needs to take ages to make? This dish will be so easy, you’ll want to make it every week.
Loved by everyone, the Shepherd's Pie has been prepared since they brought potatoes to England from the New World and quickly became a very popular dish among the common people for its simplicity, price and flavor. Since 1791, there is already talk of cottage foot and shepherd's foot in England to talk about this recipe that used to be prepared in cottages or cottages by normal people. Years later, it was changed the name of the meat pie according to the ingredients that used to prepare it.
You might have heard of ‘cottage pie’ before. What exactly is the difference? Well, if the dish is made with lamb, it’s called shepherd’s pie. If it’s made with beef, it’s called a cottage pie!
The Best Traditional Shepherd’s Pie is one with a rich, flavorful mixture of beef and vegetables, topped with mashed potatoes. The mashed potatoes should be creamy inside, but baked so that it is crispy on top.
The Traditional Shepherd’s Pie is an all-in-one dish—you get carbs, protein, and fat all in one bite. It’s quite rich and heavy on its own, so it goes well with a side salad of greens and tomatoes. Alternatively, broccoli would also work. Go for green and fresh sides, and rather steer away from heavy, fried foods.
This Shepherd’s pie is easy to change up. Add creamed corn to the mashed potatoes, or stir through some extra cheddar cheese through the mince mixture. Other veggies you can try: leeks, mushrooms, green beans, and even shredded cabbage!
If you want to make this Shepherd’s Pie low-carb, then switch the mashed potato topping for cauliflower. Blend 1 head of cauliflower (steamed), butter, cream, cheese, and seasoning in a food processor until smooth and use as a topping.
If you don’t have ground lamb, you can also use beef, turkey, or chicken.
This Traditional Shepherd’s Pie is really the best dish to make if you want to cook ahead, or plan a freezer meal. Follow the recipe, but pour the meat mixture and mashed potato into an aluminum casserole dish. Wrap with plastic wrap and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. It can go directly from the freezer into the oven, cooking until completely heated through.
You can also prepare the meat mixture ahead of time, freeze it in appropriate storage containers. Then when you want to make the Best Traditional Shepherd’s Pie, you can thaw the meat overnight in the refrigerator, while making the mashed potato fresh on the day.
Leftovers can be reheated in the microwave for about a minute. If the leftovers are in aluminum containers, you can reheat them in the oven for 15 mins at 375°/190°.
Cook the potatoes with ½ tsp salt in boiling water until tender.
Once cooked, drain the potatoes.
Add the butter, milk, cheddar cheese, and egg yolk. Mash until smooth.
Add ½ tsp black pepper and ½ tsp salt and mash again to mix through.
Preheat oven to 400F (200C). Fry the onion and sauté 2-3 minutes until translucent.
Add the crushed garlic, and stir for about 30 seconds until fragrant.
Add the chopped carrots and ground lamb. Cook the meat, using a wooden spoon to break up any lumps.
Season with salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme.
Add tomato paste and flour and stir through.
Add beef broth and peas, and stir. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens.
Layer the meat mixture in an ovenproof dish.
Scoop the potato mash in heaps over the meat mixture.
Spread the potato mash over the meat mixture.
Use a fork to create a pattern on the mashed potato.
Bake 20-25 minutes. or until mashed potato is golden brown.