Easy Shepherd’s Pie (Beef And/or Lamb Combo)

I have been making this recipe for several years, and we love it! I made a few adjustments to Rachael Ray’s recipe, which I think are great improvements– adding tomato paste and thyme, for extra flavor. I work full-time, but I can have this dish on the table in well under an hour– no, it’s not a 30-minute meal, and I am pretty fast in the kitchen. It tastes delicious the next day. I highly recommend this version of Shepherd’s Pie.

Ingredients

For the potato topping:
2 pounds potatoes, such as russet, peeled and cubed
2 tablespoons cream cheese (or sour cream)
1 large egg yolk
1/2 cup 1%% milk (or heavy cream for richer flavor)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the filling:
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
1 3/4 pounds ground beef or ground lamb*
NOTE: The combo of ground lamb and beef is how we love this casserole
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 teaspoons thyme (fresh or dried)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
For the gravy:
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup beef stock or broth
2 teaspoons Worcestershire, eyeball it
NOTE: I recommend doubling the gravy
1/2 cup to 1 frozen peas, a couple of handfuls
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves, for garnish

Preparation

1. Boil potatoes in salted water until tender, about 12 minutes. Drain potatoes and pour them into a bowl.
2. Combine cream cheese (or sour cream), egg yolk and milk (or heavy cream). Add the cream mixture into potatoes and mash until potatoes are almost smooth..
3. While potatoes boil, preheat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add oil to hot pan with beef and/or lamb.
4. Season meat with salt and pepper. Brown and crumble meat for 3 or 4 minutes. If you are using lamb and the pan is fatty, spoon away some of the drippings.
5. Add chopped carrot* and onion to the meat. Cook veggies with meat 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
6. NOTE:*by finely chopping the carrots, they will cook a little faster.
7. Add the thyme.
8. OPTIONAL Add the tomato paste, which gives the meat filling a richer flavor.
9. In a second small skillet over medium heat cook butter and flour together 2 minutes. Whisk in broth and Worcestershire sauce. Thicken gravy 1 minute. Add gravy to meat and vegetables. Stir in peas.
10. Preheat broiler to high.
11. Fill a small rectangular casserole with meat and vegetable mixture. Spoon potatoes over meat evenly.
12. Top potatoes with paprika and broil 6 to 8 inches from the heat until potatoes are evenly browned. Top casserole dish with chopped parsley and serve.
Credit: Foodista

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