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  • Writer's picturehungryhungryhayden

Shepard's Pie/Cottage Pie

To help fuel St. Patrick's Day festivities


Ground Beef/Ground Lamb- at least 80/20. Beef makes it cottage pie, and lamb makes it Shepard’s pie.

Carrot, Celery, and Onion- nothing wild here. 1 carrot, 1 celery stalk, and ½ onion per lb of meat.

Garlic- not savory without garlic

Tomato Paste- a heaping tbsp. Adds body and depth to the gravy

Herbs de Provence- fresh is best, but I use dried a lot of the time, because I always have it

Black Pepper- to taste

Deglazing Liquid- I use beer, because it makes sense, but you can use water, beef, or chicken stock if that's all you have.

Beef Stock- don’t need a ton, but enough to make a thick gravy

Worcestershire Sauce- i don’t believe in secret ingredients, but this makes it taste like it's supposed to.

Butter & Flour to make the roux-

Frozen peas- again, completely optional, but also kind of necessary.

½ Recipe of Mashed Potatoes- recipe here


1. Heat up a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Smoosh ground meat in the pan until it completely covers the bottom. You don’t need oil because it makes its own. Cook until well seared, then break up and cook until well browned and no longer hissing (the beef should be making a popping sound).

2. In the meantime, make your mashed potatoes according to this recipe.

3. Add diced aromatics to the cooked ground meat, and cook until onion and celery are just translucent, then add Worcestershire Sauce, tomato paste, garlic, herbs, pepper, and butter & flour. Cook until a good fond develops on the bottom of the pan.

4. Deglaze with enough beer to cover the bottom of the pan, scraping the bottom to get all of those bits of deliciousness dissolved. Then adjust the consistency of the gravy with beef stock (should be like pot pie consistency). Add frozen peas and cook until they are warmed through.

5. Turn off the burner and let the whole thing cool slightly. Top completely with mashed potatoes, and broil until the raised parts are golden

Substitutions and Additions:

1. Ground Meat- any ground beast will do. So will diced mushrooms or impossible meat.

2. Mirepoix, herbs, and spices, peas- feel free to play with these. Only have carrot and onion? That's fine. Only have onion? Perfect. Don’t have any herbs or only dried herbs? Awesome. Just make sure you like the flavor combinations. Feel free to add things too. Any vegetable would be great, like hunks of potato, frozen corn, or mushrooms.

3. Black Pepper- any dried spicy spice such as cayenne, dried chili flake, or something more exotic. Just add to taste, you want a good amount to carry the salt and herbs, but don’t want to nuke your taste buds.

4. Beer- any deglazing liquid will work

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