Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Shepherd's Pie

 As we all know, shepherd's herd sheep. So as the name implies, shepherd's pie is traditionally made with ground lamb (sheep meat). When made with beef, it's traditionally called cottage pie. You can easily substitute other kinds of ground meat. For today, let's go with ground chicken.


pie filling

  • cooking oil 
  • a pound of ground chicken (or you can substitute ground beef or lamb)
  • a medium onion
  • a couple of cloves of garlic
  • a tablespoon of worcestershire sauce
  • two tablespoons of flour
  • a cup of beef broth
  • a teaspoon each of dried herbs (parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme)
  • a cup of frozen mixed veg (I use mixed peas, carrots, beans and corn because its readily available where I live, but you could use peas and carrots or any other combination - experiment and find what you like)
  • salt and pepper to taste

mashed potato pie crust

  • 6 medium potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • half a cup of milk
  • pinch of salt


pie filling

  1. peal and chop the onions
  2. peal and mince the garlic
  3. in a frying pan set to medium/high heat, sauté the onions 
  4. add the ground meat
  5. add the herbs and the salt and pepper
  6. stir until the meat is no longer pink
  7. add garlic and worcestershire sauce and stir for a minute to let the garlic cook
  8. add the frozen vegetable - stir for a couple of minutes until the vegetables are no longer frozen
  9. add the beef stock and the flour
  10. stir continuously so that the flour doesn't form lumps - the flour will thicken the mixture
  11. as soon as the mixture thickens transfer to a casserole dish

mashed potato pie crust

The pie crust is made with mashed potatoes. Many people have their own favorite way of making mashed potatoes by adding things like cheese, olive oil, cream, garlic powder, mustard powder, and other exotic herbs and spices. I will describe the simplest way I know, since the pie crust isn't the star of this show, it's just a supporting actor.

  1. peal, chop, and boil the potatoes
  2. drain and add salt, butter
  3. stir until butter melts
  4. using a potato masher, mash everything together adding the milk a bit at a time. Important: keep an eye on the thickness of the mixture - if you add too much milk you end up with potato soup which doesn't work as a pie crust

the pie

  1. carefully spoon the mashed potatoes over the top of the pie filling - be gentle, don't let the mashed potatoes mix into the filling

  2. use a fork to level the top of the mashed potatoes

  3. put lid on casserole dish, or if the dish doesn't have a lid, you can use foil
  4. put the casserole dish onto the middle rack of the oven, preheated to 300°F 

  5. bake for half an hour
  6. take the dish out of the oven and remove the cover
  7. brush the top with some melted butter and return the uncovered dish to the oven

  8. broil on high for a couple of minutes allowing the butter to blend into the top of the mashed potatoes and form a golden crust
  9. remove the dish from the oven and let it stand for a few minutes to cool before serving

Lets Eat

Bon Appétit!

Leftover pie can be stored in the fridge but not frozen. 

Cooked potatoes don't seem to do well in the freezer - when they thaw out they tend to get spongy. If anyone knows how to freeze cooked potatoes without this happening, please leave a comment below and let us know.

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