Shepherd’s pie with onion gravy is one of the best comfort foods I know of with it’s beefy (or lamb) filling topped with mounds of creamy, cheesy mashed potatoes that wrap around you like a warm hug.
To double the comfort this is topped off with an easy skillet onion gravy. (Not shown – sorry – hungry people lying in wait.)
Like most casserole-type recipes this requires you to have multiple things going on at once.
While the potatoes are boiling for the mash you can work on the filling. I kept it on the simple side with ground beef, onions, garlic, corn and peas.
The success of the entire dish depends on the gravy, you definitely don’t want to skip it because the filling doesn’t have any sauce to it and is on the crumbly side. It needs the gravy to feel complete.
The potatoes are mashed up with butter, half & half, chives and cheddar cheese. They’re pretty dreamy all by themselves.
Once you get the pie tucked away in the oven you make the gravy in the very same pan you cooked the filling. Thinly sliced onions cooked in butter, beef broth and Worcestershire plus a little cornstarch to thicken it.
This is one of those meals that you probably have everything on hand to make at any given time. A bunch of simple staple ingredients that turn out some kind of wonderful.
A big, delicious food hug.
- For the Potatoes:
- 1 + ½ pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 4 tablespoons butter
- ½ cup half & half or milk
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 tablespoon chopped chives
- For the Filling:
- 1 + ½ pounds ground beef or lamb
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
- 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
- For the Gravy:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 mediumish onion, thinly sliced
- 1 can (14 ounces) beef broth
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
For the Potatoes:
Put the potatoes in a big saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat and maintain a simmer until fork tender 15 - 20 minutes.
Drain the potatoes in a colander and add back to the pan with the butter, milk, 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Smash with a potato masher until creamy. Mix in the cheese and chives.
Meanwhile make the Filling:
Set a 10-inch frying pan over medium heat and add the beef, onions and garlic. Break the meat apart as it cooks. Once the meat is cooked through turn the heat off, tilt the pan and scoop out the grease with a spoon. Discard it.
Stir in the corn and peas, ½ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon black pepper.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and butter a 9x9 inch square baking dish or a deep dish pie pan.
Spoon the filling into the pan and spread out evenly.
Drop spoon fulls of the potatoes over top and spread out evenly. Rake the top with a fork.
Bake 25 minutes or until bubbly and golden around the edges. Let it set for 5 - 10 minutes before serving.
Meanwhile make the gravy:
While the pie is baking make the gravy in the same pan you cooked the filling in.
Add 2 tablespoons butter to the pan set over medium-low heat.
Add the onions (plus a couple dashes each of salt and pepper) and cook about 10 minutes, stirring often until they're wilted and soft.
Add the broth and Worcestershire, a couple more dashes of salt and pepper, turn the heat up to medium-high and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and maintain a simmer.
In a small bowl whisk the cornstarch with about 3 tablespoons water until dissolved. Slowly whisk it into the broth.
Cook until thickened, season well with salt and pepper to taste.
Use a big serving spoon to scoop up portions of the pie, plate it and top with a ladle of gravy to serve.
Shepherd’s pie is one of the best comfort foods with it’s beefy (or lamby) filling topped with mounds of creamy, cheesy mashed potatoes that wrap around you like a warm hug. To double the comfort this is smothered in an easy skillet onion gravy.
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