Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

Shepherd’s pie was my most favourite thing ever to eat when I was a kid. I know I say a lot of things are my favourite ever, but Shepherd’s pie really was. I first tasted shepherd’s pie at the Heritage Festival in Edmonton, where I grew up. The Heritage Festival was an outdoor showcase of multiculturalism with performances, crafts and most importantly, food.

The food at the Heritage Festival would showcase specialties from all over the world. My mom would buy food tickets and my brother and I would get to pick out whatever we wanted. I wasn’t much of an eater then and I never wanted to to eat anything so my mom picked out the shepherd’s pie. Being the ever-so picky eater I didn’t want to even touch it, but my mom and brother looked like they were enjoying it so much that I ventured a taste. After that my mom had to buy me another pie, I liked it that much.

Shepherd’s pie won me over so much that I begged my mom again and again to make it for me, so she did. She made it so much that she was known for her shepherd’s pie around the neighbourhood. She even brought one, fancied up with piped potato rosettes, to our elementary school potluck.

Traditional shepherd’s pie is made from lamb, but my mom isn’t fond of lamb, and my parents don’t eat beef so growing up, home-style shepherd’s pie was made with ground pork. My mom’s shepherd’s pie is pretty simple: ground pork, diced onions and corn topped with mashed potatoes. When she had the time she’d make the mashed potatoes from scratch, but as we grew older and instant mashed potatoes became more common, she switched to those. I love home made mashed potatoes and I hate instant, so I always make my own.

Shepherd’s pie is excellent sick people food. You don’t have to chew it much so it goes down easy. I love the taste of savoury meat, crisp, sweet corn and smooth butter creamy mashed potatoes.

Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

1 lb of lean ground beef
1 onion, diced
1 11 oz can of corn nibblets
3 large potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 1/2 cups chicken stock divided into 1/2 cup and 1 cup
3 tablespoons of butter
1 1/2 tablespoons of flour
2 teaspoons of oil
salt and pepper to taste

Heat your oven to 400˚F.

Put the peeled and chopped potatoes in a pot and cover them with water. Bring the water to a boil over high heat and then turn the heat down medium so the water is at a simmer. Boil the potatoes until fork-tender, about 15-20 minutes.

While the potatoes are cooking, heat the oil over medium high heat in a pot or sauté pan. When the oil is hot, add the diced onions and brown. When the onions are brown, remove from the pan and reserve.

In the same pan, cook the ground beef over high heat until the meat is no longer pink, about 5-8 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the meat and stir for 2 minutes. Stir in the cooked onions and corn. Turn the heat down to medium and pour 1/2 cup of chicken stock into the pan and mix well. Let the chicken stock reduce and thicken up, about 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. When done, remove the pan from the heat and transfer the meat mixture to a oven-safe casserole dish.

When your potatoes are tender, drain and mash with 2 tablespoons of butter. When the potatoes are no longer lumpy, stir in the 1 cup of chicken stock. Season the potatoes to taste.

Top the meat mixture with the mashed potatoes. Cut the last tablespoon of butter up into tiny pieces and dot the potatoes with it. Put the pie in the oven and bake until it has a delicious golden brown potato crust, about 30 minutes. You may want to broil the pie for the last 5 minutes if you really like potato crust.

Remove from the oven, let the pie rest for at least 10 minutes and enjoy!

Note: Feel free to make your mashed potatoes your favourite way or with cream or milk; I just used chicken stock because when I’m sick, dairy irritates my throat.

14 Comments add yours

  1. The corn is a new one to me. You keep this surprisingly simple, not even garlic or thyme.
    Since you have a Kitchen Aid, you can get a meat grinder attachment. I can tell you from grinding my own sausages and meat that any ground meat dish is improved by meat you grind yourself.
    I tightly wrap up the extra in wax paper and freeze it in 12-16 ounce packages.

    Try it, with a chuck. You will be surprised at how beefy it tastes.

    It’s a super simple shepherd’s pie, just the way my mom used to make it! The corn is essential. I think it might be a Canadian thing.

    I’d love to get all the attachments for the KA one day!

    The pasta roller and the ice cream maker are the other two I want. I also make crackers, so the pasta machine would get some use. I’d like to play with some sorbets and ice creams too.
    The pasta extruder would be nice, but it looks pricier than what it is worth to me.

    If you get the pasta extruder, you can make homemade mac and cheese!

    steph on April 29th, 2010 at 10:36 am
    Andy on April 28th, 2010 at 4:29 pm
    steph on April 28th, 2010 at 12:37 pm
  2. Wonderful job with this post. That used to be a staple. Great photography.

    Thank you. Sometimes simple, staple food is best!

    steph on April 28th, 2010 at 12:37 pm
  3. Mhm. Corn.

    I come from a half Quebecois family which likes the sheppards pie sloppy. It should barely (just) hold together on a plate.

    The necessary lube: a can or two of creamed corn between the meat and the potatoes.

    Seems to be something just my (weird) family did.

    I’ve never tried creamed corn, but maybe I’ll give it a go.

    steph on April 28th, 2010 at 12:38 pm
  4. And this wasn’t because of the Top Chef Master’s episode of most recent right?

    Hahaha, haven’t been watching Top Chef Masters!

    steph on April 28th, 2010 at 12:39 pm
  5. I am use to some kind of cheese being melted on top, other then that looks delicious!

    Melted cheese is the best, but I’m a purist when it comes to shepherd’s pie!

    steph on April 28th, 2010 at 12:43 pm
  6. Technically, with beef it should be called cottage pie. But if you call it that, nobody knows what you’re talking about. When I make it, it’s gotta be lamb, with a hefty splash of stout beer, mushrooms, carrots and celery in there, too. And cheddar on the leftovers. Hmmm. I think I might have to go to the store now…

    You’re right on two counts! No one knows what cottage pie is and that it’s made with beef.

    I actually haven’t tried true shepherd’s pie with lamb, I really should sometime!

    steph on April 29th, 2010 at 10:38 am
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