Shepherd’s pie is a classic meal, and is usually well liked. Unlike other casseroles, it is not saucy and doesn’t use a creamed soup base. I like the fact that it doesn’t include cheese, which many casseroles do. It is easy to make this dish both gluten and dairy free.
Many people like peas in this recipe. I didn’t give exact vegetables to use, but leave it up to you.
I mentioned in my post about getting kids to eat that kids can change in their tastes. When I served this for dinner recently, Picky commented, “I can’t believe I used to not like this.”
Of course, I did not put peas in it, which he hates. And I used his favorite mashed potatoes—red potatoes with the skins left on.
This meal takes time to prepare. Basically, you cook everything, then put is in a casserole dish and bake it. The baking ads extra time, so plan ahead. I have not done it, but I’m sure you could cook at least the meat and vegetables ahead of time if that helps.
Another time saver would be to use instant mashed potatoes. They are not my preference, but if you are really short on time, not feeling well, or simply don’t like to cook, it’s an option.
- 1½ pounds ground beef
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 – 3 cups chopped or small vegetables (carrots, celery, peas, corn)
- 1 Tablespoons butter or other oil
- 2 pounds red potatoes
- ½ cup milk (or substitute, I used almond milk)
- 2 Tablespoon butter (or substitute, I used Earth balance)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder (optional)
- ½ cup beef broth
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley, or other seasoning if desired
- salt & pepper to taste
- Scrub and trim the potatoes, but don’t peel. Cut and cook until tender.
- Drain the potatoes and allow to steam dry for several minutes.
- Heat the milk and butter until warm. Add to the potatoes along with the baking power (to make them lighter). Mash vigorously with a hand masher.
- While the potatoes are cooking, crumble and cook the ground beef in a skillet. Drain and move the beef to a bowl.
- While the beef is cooking, chop the onions and any other vegetables that need chopping (carrots and celery if using).
- When the beef is done and removed, add the butter or oil to the skillet. Add to the skillet the vegetables that require the most cooking time such as onions and carrots. Cook until tender, adding other vegetables at the end of cooking time.
- When all the vegetables are just tender add the broth, salt, pepper, parsley and the reserved beef. Mix together and simmer about 10 minutes.
- Place the beef and vegetable mixture in a greased 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Place the mashed potatoes evenly on top, spreading out to the edges.
- Use a fork to create lines and peaks in the potatoes (for nice browning).
- Bake at 400° for 30 minutes.