Sunday, January 13, 2013

Super Fast, Cheap, and Easy Shepherd’s Pie


We love Shepherd’s Pie at our house.  It was never something my mom cooked, but I remember my Aunt Totsie made it.  It was much later that I first made a Shepherd’s pie.  I usually start by making a 2 ½ lb meatloaf with Lipton Onion Soup Mix according to the package directions.  Then I layer up corn, peas, and freshly made mashed potatoes. 

Recently I made a quick, smaller version.  I had some ground beef that I urgently needed to use.  I also happened to have some leftover mashed potatoes in the frig.  So I decided to do a fast and easy version of Shepherd’s Pie.  It only took about 10 minutes to prep and get it into the oven.  My brother and I agreed this was just as good and satisfying as the more time consuming larger version. 

Easy Shepherd’s Pie

1 lb extra lean ground beef

1/3 to 1/2 package onion soup mix

1-2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1/3 cup Progresso Italian bread crumbs

1 egg

1 ½ cup frozen corn

1 can Llessur English peas

3 cups leftover mashed potatoes

1/3 grated Parmesan cheese


1.  Pre-heat oven to 350°. 

2.  I mixed my hamburger right in the casserole dish.  I used an old 8” X 8” 2 ½ quart corning dish.  Place hamburger in the baking dish.  Add onion soup mix, egg, bread crumbs, and Worcestershire sauce.  Mix well to combine ingredients.  Pat down evenly in the casserole dish. 

3.  Add corn, distributing evenly over the top.  Ordinarily I would add a layer of frozen peas, or a can of Llessur’s over the top.  Quite frankly, this time I just forgot. 


4.  Next comes the layer of potatoes.  I don’t use instant mashed potatoes very often, but I had made some a few days ago.  It’s usually pretty difficult to spread the potatoes without making a mess with the corn and peas.  Because these potatoes were refrigerated, they were fairly stiff.  The stiffness of the potatoes actually seemed to help, along with using a fairly small but deep casserole dish (less surface area to cover).  I mixed the Parmesan in, breaking the potatoes into a crumbly mixture.  I spooned it over the top of the corn, and pressed into place, spreading out the potatoes slightly. 


5.  Bake at 350° for 60 minutes. 

6.  Serve hot with a couple spoons of English peas over the top. 


If you’re intrigued with Shepherd’s Pie, and feeling a bit adventurous, you might want to try a full-on, authentic version.  The pre-cursor was Cottage Pie, a nod to working class people living in modest cottages.  Cottage Pie dates back to the late 1700s, and was made with leftover minced meat of any kind, and in a bed of potatoes, and topped with potatoes.  Shepherd’s Pie emerged in the late 1800s, and strictly speaking is made with minced lamb (shepherds do not raise cattle). 
Gordon Ramsey's Shepherd's Pie


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