Arnett's Acres
Shepherd's Pie | October 2013

Shepherd's Pie is one of those recipes for all ages as well as a comfort food. It is a great dish for the elderly that are struggling eating with or without dentures as well as small children just getting the hang of eating. The big plus is the robust flavor.

If the ground meat is not fine enough, pull a small amount out and use a food chopper like the ones sold by Pampered Chef (thank you Nichole for the idea). I do not like to chop up the veggies because I want the texture and individual flavors to come out. How boring would all of our meals be if everything in them were pureed or chopped finely.


Shepherd's Pie


3 pounds 90% lean ground beef, double ground, I like to use venison/beef mix
1 tbls each olive oil & butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 onions, 1/4 inch dice
1/2 bell pepper or 1 sweet banana pepper, 1/4 inch dice
4 carrots, 1/4 inch dice
1-2 celery, 1/4 inch dice, depending on how salty you want it to be
1 1/2 cups broccoli, 1/4 inch dice (cabbage or cauliflower will do also)
1 can cut green beans, small cut
1/2 bag frozen peas
1 large can tomato sauce
1 bay leaf
1-2 tsp beef base, or bouillon if you do not have base
1 tsp powdered chocolate
1/2 - 1 tsp instant coffee, or 1/2 to 1 cup brewed, depending on your taste
black pepper to taste
1/4 - 1/2 cup flour, if you feel it's necessary to thicken
6-8 large potatoes for mashed potato topping
1/4 to 1/2 cup milk
Up to 1/2 stick butter
3 cups Monterey Jack/Cheddar cheese grated

1. In a large pan, brown ground beef breaking up to small pieces in olive oil and butter.
2. Once browned completely, add garlic, onion, bell or banana pepper. Sweat well.
3. Drain fat.
4. Add vegetables, tomato sauce and seasonings, you may add some (not much) water if you desire.
5. Bring to a boil and then simmer to let flavors thoroughly incorporate. At least an hour on low heat.
6. Adjust seasonings. If you feel it necessary to thicken at this point, place your 1/4 to 1/2 cup of flour in a 2 cup measure. Add about 1/4 to 1/2 cup water. Mix thoroughly with a fork until you find no lumps. Add about another 1/4 to 1/2 cup, mix again. Add more water, mix again. Add this flour/water mixture to the vegetable mixture. Mix thoroughly and let come to a boil over medium heat stirring occasionally. Let this come to the consistency that you desire.
7. Peel, dice and place 6-8 potatoes in a saucepan large enough to hold them and water to cover. Bring to a boil. Boil gently until a fork inserted in is met with little to no resistance.
8. Drain potatoes. Smash with a potato masher. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 stick butter. Smash a little more to mix.
9. Place vegetable mixture in a casserole dish, spoon smashed potatoes over top.
10. Top with cheese.
11. Place in 350˚ oven for 20-30 minutes or enough to melt and brown the cheese.

Leftovers freeze well. I like to make one large pie and several small pies in the small individual serving size aluminum throw away pie tins to freeze. The aluminum pie tins cannot be microwaved but, they may be placed in a toaster oven. If you only have the option to microwave, corning ware products work very well.


Let me know what you think, what would you like or would change within this recipe? Send your thoughts or recipe requests to Thank you.

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