Shepherd’s Pie

Easy, satisfying and presentable enough for a casual dinner party. Served with a green salad and warm bread, Shepherd’s Pie fits the bill for a scrumptious winter meal.


Shepherd’s Pie

2 T extra-virgin olive oil
3 T unsalted butter, divided into 2T and 1T
1 medium onion, diced
3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
1 rib celery, sliced
8 oz. cremini mushrooms, quartered
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T kosher salt, divided
1 t dried oregano
3/4 t tomato paste
1 lb. lean ground beef
1/4 cup canned low sodium beef broth
1/2 t Worcestershire sauce
Freshly ground black pepper
4 cups Mashed Potatoes, recipe follows
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Mise en place

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Heat the olive oil and 2 T of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, mushrooms garlic, half of the salt and oregano. Cook until vegetable are tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook until mushrooms are soft and tomato paste has turned brick red. Stir in the beef, broth, remaining salt, Worcestershire sauce and a few grinds of pepper. Break up any large clumps of meat and cook until no longer pink, about 3 minutes.

Transfer the meat and vegetables to a 2-quart oval casserole dish and spread the mashed potatoes over the top, leaving a 1/4 inch border around the edge. Sprinkle with cheese and dot with remaining butter.

Bake until potatoes brown and the juiced bubble around the edge, about 40 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Mashed Potatoes

1 1/2 lbs. russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 t kosher salt, plus more for seasoning to taste
3/4 cup whole milk
6 T unsalted butter
2 T chopped flat-leaf parsley
Freshly ground black pepper

Put the potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water by 1 inch and add salt. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, uncovered, and cook until potatoes are tender but not mushy, about 15 minutes. While the potatoes are cooking, combine the milk and butter in a small saucepan and warm over low heat until the butter is melted. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.

Drain the potatoes and return to the saucepan. Toss the potatoes over medium heat until dry. Add the heated milk mixture and mash the potatoes to desired consistency. Stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste.


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