Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd's Pie

Here’s a recipe inspired by my husband’s side of the family. I don’t know if I have his Irish heritage to thank or if his mother made it because it was a quick, one-dish meal that would inspire everyone to pull closer to the table. My husband’s version featured a pie plate layered with ground beef, then corn and topped with mashed potatoes. After some R&D, I’m finding I like a saucier take on the dish, one that stirs in slightly more nutritious peas and carrots rather than corn. However you slice it, this casserole is satisfying comfort food, sure to warm you on a chilly, not-quite-spring-yet night.

Makes 6 servings, double it to feed a crowd.


  • 2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 6 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 cup milk or cream
  • 1 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 pound ground lamb or beef (choose local or grass-fed if you can)
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. dried sage
  • 1 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 tsp. paprika


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Bring potatoes to a boil in salted water. Cook until tender, about 20 minutes; drain.
  3. Mash the potatoes with the butter, milk or cream and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a large cast iron pan or Dutch oven heat the onion, carrot and meat over medium high heat. Cook until browned, 8 to 10 minutes.
  5. Drain some of the fat if you like; some can be left in for flavor. Add water, tomato paste and seasonings. Simmer until the juices thicken, about 10 minutes. Add peas.
  6. Pour the mixture into a 1 1/2-quart baking dish. Top with mashed potatoes.
  7. Bake until browned and bubbling, 30 to 35 minutes.