I have always liked the idea of shepherd’s pie.
I really like ground beef, and casseroles of any kind tend to appeal to me (even though that’s the opposite of how I was raised–very few casseroles show up in my parents’ kitchen). I also like mashed potatoes, and can’t seem to make them without having a bunch of leftovers.
Leftover potatoes is what lead me to shepherd’s pie this time. I read through a bunch of different shepherd’s pie recipes, before deciding how I would make mine.
I really liked the flavor of the dish, but I’ve got to say–the pictures leave something to be desired. Once it came out of the baking dish, it did not look like something you would want to eat, which is why I have no plans to post pictures. If everyone really wants to see, and leaves comments to that effect, I might be persuaded.
That being said, even though it wasn’t pretty, it was very, very tasty.
Creamy Shepherd’s Pie Bowls
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 can beef consumme
- 1 can mixed vegetables, drained
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon mild curry powder
For potato topping:
- about 4 potatoes, mashed (I used leftovers)
- 1 cup shredded cheese (we had Gouda on hand, but Parmesan would be good, or anything you like, really)
- 1/2 cup sour cream
1. Brown ground beef in a large skillet, with garlic powder, salt & pepper, and curry powder. Do not drain the drippings (they will be used to build the sauce).
2. When the meat is cooked through, add the can of vegetables. Sprinkle with the flour and stir until everything is evenly coated. Continue cooking for one or two minutes so that the flour is browned, to remove that chalky raw-flour taste.
3. Add the can of consumme, Worcestershire sauce, and balsamic vinegar. Continue to cook over medium-high heat until sauce thickens. Pour into a baking dish. (I used a Corningware casserole dish, 2 1/2 quarts. Pyrex would probably work fine here as well.)
4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees while you prepare the potato topping.
5. In a medium mixing bowl, combine mashed potatoes, 3/4 cup of the shredded cheese, and sour cream.
6. Carefully spread the mashed potato mixture over the top of the meat filling. Spread to the edge of the dish to avoid the sauce leaking out of the dish. Use a fork to add texture to the top of the mashed potatoes. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese. Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 25 minutes, until heated all the way through. The mashed potatoes should be brown and crispy at the top and edges.
Note: I’m calling this a shepherd’s pie bowl (and this is part of the problem with the pictures) because the mashed potatoes kind of ran together with the filling once you scooped it out of the pan. It was delicious, but not really the two separate textures that you expect from a true Shepherd’s Pie. I do have some ideas to correct that, and will try them next time. One is simply more mashed potatoes. A thicker layer of potatoes would have browned better and held up more easily I think. My other idea was to treat the mashed potatoes like a potato pancake batter, adding an egg and a little bit of flour along with the cheese and sour cream. I actually would have done that this time, but we were out of eggs. I’ll definitely be making this again, but I do hope to get the potato crust better next time.