Shepherd’s Pie Recipe by Stephen Woodman
With ingredients that include corn, squash, and broccoli, this is a 21st century update to a dish whose origins reach back to late 18th-century Britain and Ireland, when potatoes were first being grown in rural communities where rustic dwellings, aka “cottages,” dotted the landscape and roasted leftovers were standard fare. If beef or mutton was used it was called “cottage pie,” while “shepherd’s pie” referred to leftover lamb. Today the names are interchangeable and you can simply call this carefully crafted recipe “delicious!”
Shepherd’s Pie Ingredients
6 cups water
3 pounds stew beef
4 pounds russet potatoes
1½ cups milk
4 tablespoons butter
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground pepper
½ pound green beans
½ pound broccoli
½ pound summer squash
½ pound white mushrooms
16 ounces whole corn kernels
1 ¾ teaspoon salt-divided
1 ½ teaspoon ground pepper-divided
1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder-divided
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 to 6 McCormick brown gravy packets
How to Make Shepherd’s Pie
Fill a large pot with 6 cups of water and add the stew beef. Cover and cook on high until water boils. Lower heat and let simmer for 45 minutes. Strain the beef, and reserve the water. Place the beef in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes or until you can handle it without burning your hands. Peel and cut potatoes into 1-inch cubes. Fill a separate pot with water and bring to a boil. Add potatoes and cook for 25 to 30 minutes or until fork tender. Strain the potatoes and return to pot. Add the butter, milk, 1-teaspoon salt, 1-teaspoon pepper, and 1 teaspoon garlic powder. Use a potato masher or hand mixer to mix until they have a smooth texture.
Wash, peel, and cut the vegetables into bite-sized pieces. Sauté on high in a large pan coated with the olive oil for 4 to 6 minutes, adding the remaining salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Add small amounts of water to keep the pan from overheating. Vegetables should be firm, not fully cooked through.
Measure 4 cups (6 cups if you want side gravy) of the reserved (beef) water and pour into a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add gravy seasonings and cook on medium heat, stirring constantly until it comes to a boil. Shred the beef by hand into a large casserole dish and spread evenly. Cover with vegetables and add 4 cups of gravy. Cover with the mashed potatoes and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Serves 8.
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