Fall is All About the Layers: Shepherds Pie


My mom recently sent me the ingredients to an out-of-control pumpkin cake. Naturally, I figured it would be best (for my thighs) if I didn’t take down the whole cake by myself. Who better to share food with than good friends? So I wanted to make a dinner dish that would be pretty simple to make, delicious, and easy to feed multiple people with… Not to mention, a nice precursor to the perfect Fall dessert I had up me sleeve. (Not to worry, that recipe will be up soon too).
I liked this dish because it was very comforting- warm and flavorful. It was also a pretty inexpensive way to feed 6 , which can be useful for a student who likes having people over 🙂
Since it was my first time making Shepherds Pie, I took from Alton Brown’s recipe and tweaked it to my own taste. Enjoy!

Shepherds Pie

For the potatoes:
1 1/2-2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes (I used about 7 of these)
1/4 cup half-and-half
3 tbsp butter
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 egg
1/3 cup shredded Gruyere cheese plus 1/4 cup
2 slices Swiss cheese

For the meat filling:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 carrots, peeled and diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 pounds ground beef (I used 1 beef and 1 meatloaf mix, which had beef, veal, and pork)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons chopped rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon chopped thyme leaves
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 cup frozen peas


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Peel the potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch dice. Place in a medium saucepan and cover with salted, cold water. Set over high heat, cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, uncover, decrease the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until tender and easily crushed with tongs, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Place the half-and-half and butter into a microwave-safe container and heat in the microwave until warmed through, about 35 seconds. Drain the potatoes in a colander and then return to the saucepan. Mash the potatoes and then add the half and half, butter, salt and pepper. And 1/3 cup of Gruyere with 2 slices of Swiss cheese and continue to mash until smooth. Stir in the egg until well combined.

While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the filling. Place the olive oil into a 12-inch saute pan and set over medium high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the onion and carrots and saute just until they begin to take on color, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and stir to combine. Add the meat, salt, pepper, and herbs and cook until browned and cooked through, approximately 3-5 minutes. Sprinkle the meat with the flour and toss to coat, continuing to cook for another minute. Add the chicken broth, Worcestershire, and nutmeg and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer slowly 10 to 12 minutes or until the sauce is thickened slightly.

Assemble your pie in a 9×13 casserole dish- meat mixture on the bottom and
Potatoes on top in nice, even layers. Sprinkle the Gruyere over the top and pop it in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Let it cool a bit before you dig in to let it set and also to avoid severely burning your whole mouth 🙂

Bon apetit!


4 thoughts on “Fall is All About the Layers: Shepherds Pie

  1. Reblogged this on It's Just Food, Bitch and commented:
    Just looking over this recipe makes my mouth water. Yukon Gold Potatoes are one of my fave foods. They deliver a natural butteriness that russet potatoes lack. If you’ve never tried them, then take them for a spin on this recipe.

    As Pao(and Julia) says, “Bon Appetite!”


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