Shepherd's Pie With Caramelized Onions

Total Time
1hr 5mins
Prep 30 mins
Cook 35 mins

This is an old recipe that my children loved when they were younger--fresh simple flavors--especially if you caramelize the onions right! Family favorite from "Farmhouse Cookbook". You can simplify it by using instant mashed potatoes, but fresh is definitely better. (I just recently made this and thought I'd up the nutritional value by throwing in a bag of fresh spinach and stirring it in just before I put mixture in pan to bake. Mmm -- great addition.)


  1. Steam potatoes in a steamer basket over boiling water until they are soft, 20 to 25 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, mix ground beef in a bowl with allspice, salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Brown seasoned ground beef in a large skillet until it is almost cooked through, but still somewhat pink.
  4. Transfer to a medium-size bowl with a slotted spoon.
  5. Add the onions to the fat in the skillet, cover and cook, stirring frequently, until they are a deep golden to dark brown, about 10 minutes.
  6. The onions should get quite dark brown and caramelized. (Don't cook at too high of a heat, or they will burn).
  7. Add the water and stir, scraping browned bits from bottom of skillet.
  8. Add onions and the cooking liquid to the ground beef and stir until combined. Season to taste and set aside.
  9. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  10. Mash the potatoes until they are completely smooth, adding the milk and cream as you mash them.
  11. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (The potatoes will be quite soft)
  12. Add corn to the meat mixture.
  13. Press mixture into a 9-inch glass pie plate or 8x8-inch glass baking pan.
  14. Spoon or pipe potatoes evenly over the mixture, making sure you completely and evenly cover the meat (don't pile in center).
  15. Bake until it is hot through, about 30 minutes.
  16. Remove from oven while you heat broiler.
  17. Broil about 2 inches from the heat until potatoes are golden brown on top, 3 to 4 minutes.
  18. Serve immediately.
Most Helpful

This is quite good. I don't particularly care for this type of dish, but DH loves them so I made it for him and actually found myself liking it alot! I did add some shredded cheddar on top before broiling - other than that followed the recipe faithfully.

SuzieQue April 21, 2002

Soooo good!! The only thing I did differently was to add some diced carrots and a little butter when I was carmelizing the onions. I didn't have any allspice so used a little garlic powder and some worcestershire sauce. My family will definitely be enjoying this one again and again! Thanks for sharing.

HungryPeeps November 17, 2010

This is a great recipe. We did tweak it a little and added garlic and cayenne pepper seasoning to the meat and the potatoes, and also topped it with shredded sharp cheddar cheese. We all enjoyed it and will have it again in the future. Thanks!

mkincade December 08, 2008