Prep 25 mins
Cook 1 hr 10 mins
This is my favorite kind of shepherd's pie. It's probably closer to what true English shepherd's pie is, but if not I'm not worried. I didn't know there was any other way to make it, I thought it was always made like my mom made it (which is the next recipe I'm posting, 'Vs. Mom's version of Shepherd's Pie).
- 4 -5 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1⁄2 cup heavy cream or 1⁄2 cup sour cream (or a combination)
- 3 tablespoons bacon fat
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup beef stock or 1 cup beef broth
- 1 stalk celery, finely sliced
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, peeled and finely sliced
- 1 can drained peas (type of peas to your preference)
- 1 lb ground beef (the leaner, the better)
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- ground nutmeg
- ground cloves
- Combine the herbs and grind in a mortar (If you don't have a mortar and pestle, sort of crush them into your palm with your thumb, but be careful with the rosemary, it's pointy!).
- Boil potatoes until cooked through.
- Drain; mash or rice the potatoes.
- Add the butter and stir until the butter has melted.
- Add the heavy/sour cream.
- Stir until the potatoes are very smooth.
- In a frying pan, heat the bacon fat until hot but not smoking.
- Add the carrot, onion, and celery, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are tender.
- Add the ground beef and cook over medium heat, breaking up the meat as it cooks, until browned.
- Skim off all the fat but reserve any juices.
- Sprinkle the flour over the beef and cook, stirring, until the flour has dissolved.
- Add the beef stock, peas (I use the whole can, you may want to use less), rosemary and thyme, and a pinch each of the cloves and nutmeg.
- Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened.
- Turn the meat mixture into a 1 1/2 qt casserole, and even the mixture out with a rubber spatula.
- Gently spoon the potatoes over the top and smooth with a rubber spatula, using gentle sweeping motions.
- Sprinkle a little heavy cream over the top and bake in a 400 degree F oven for about 1/2 hour to heat through.
- The cream should brown over the potatoes.
- Serve warm.
I love this! It is in my Top 5 all time casseroles. Have to laugh at that other two reviews. If they had followed the recipe and used bacon grease from GOOD bacon (not the cheap stuff) instead of olive oil, there is a very nice meaty flavor. Being a lover of vegetables, I do increase the veggies to 1 cup each and also 1 cup of frozen corn. Because of that added volume, I increase the flour to 1/4 cup and increase the beef broth to 2 cups. I do not mess with the seasonings at all, as they are perfection to my taste buds. I do sometimes add 1/2 cup shredded cheddar on top of the potato mixture, as that adds some attractive color/flavor.
I took the previous reviewer's advice & used olive oil instead of bacon fat... Honestly, I think it could have used the extra meaty flavor, as long as you're careful to skim off the extra fat. This was excellent, but I did want to chime in & say to use a 2 quart cassarole dish. This JUST fits in a 1 1/2 quart, and if I hadn't thought it looked too full and slid a cookie sheet under, I would have had a nasty mess to clean off the bottom of the oven, because it does bubble up.
I didn't care for the bacon grease flavor of the meat and vegetable mixture, to make this again I'll use Olive Oil. Other than that this is a very good Shepherd's Pie. I liked the use of cream and butter mixed into the the potatoes. Thanks!