Two Variations of Shepherd’s Pie

After a long day of attending a conference, I came home to relax with my dogs as I awaited the arrival of my husband. I started to get antsy (I can never sit still) and decided to brainstorm ideas for dinner.

I wanted to cook something unique…something that we haven’t had in a while. Chicken? No. Pasta? Eh. Beef…maybe…but what?

Then it came to me…Shepherd’s Pie. I knew this would be the perfect complement to the dreary, Fall day. It was rainy and chilly all day in D.C. and I had a feeling that flavorful Irish Shepherd’s Pie was the ultimate comfort food on a day like today.

Now, as you will see, there are two recipes listed below. I thought I would do you a favor and provide you with two similar recipes, the only major difference being prep time. The first recipe requires quite a bit of prep time due to dicing, chopping, browning, diluting and baking. The Easy Shepherd’s Pie recipe only involves a minor amount of prep time and, although it’s not as flavorful, it’s still delicious.

Irish Shepherd’s Pie


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 lb ground beef (or lamb)
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 3-4 large carrots, finely diced
  • 1 cup mix of frozen peas and corn
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 glass red wine (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • Mashed potatoes
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Saute carrots in the olive oil until they get tender; Add in the onions and saute for an additional two minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, brown the meat and drain the fat; Add to vegetable mixture. Season with black pepper and thyme.
  4. Add butter, as well as the frozen peas and corn.
  5. Sprinkle with flour and stir through.
  6. Add tomato paste, wine and Worcestershire sauce.
  7. Let the mixture reduce and then add the chicken stock. Allow mixture to reduce again until the sauce is thick and meaty. Season to taste.
  8. Grease a pie dish and add the mixture.
  9. Spoon or pipe the mashed potatoes over top of the mixture. Brush the potatoes with egg and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese (if desired).
  10. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until the potatoes are nice and browned on top.

Easy Shepherd’s Pie


  • 1/2 tablespoon butter or vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup celery, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup carrots, finely diced
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup beef or chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • Mashed potatoes


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a large skillet, saute the onions, celery and carrots in the butter or oil.
  3. Meanwhile, brown the ground beef and drain the fat. Add beef to the large skillet.
  4. Stir in flour and gradually add broth, stirring constantly. Heat to boiling and stir in Worcestershire sauce.
  5. Grease pie dish and spoon mixture evenly into dish. Top with mashed potatoes.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes or until heated through.

The choice is up to you on which recipe you decide to cook. However, I have to remind you…the first recipe is jam-packed with flavor but it requires a lot of time for preparation. Trust me on this one, especially since it was the one I made tonight. But, like I said before, they are both amazingly delicious…my husband cleared plate after plate!

Happy Fall Cooking!

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