Shepherd’s Pie Stuffed Baked Potato

We love shepherd’s pie in my house, so I wanted to find a way to shake it up a little bit.  This was just the answer and it was so easy since I didn’t have to make mashed potatoes to go on top!

The filling recipe is a slight variation on my other shepherd’s pie recipe that I use with turkey. I think I like it with ground beef better, but both are delicious.

Serves 4

4 russet potatoes

1 pound ground beef

Olive oil

½ onion, diced

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup peas

1 cup carrots, diced small

¼ cup worchestershire sauce

1 cup beef broth

2 tablespoons cornstarch

Grated cheddar cheese (optional)

Poke a few holes in each potato after you wash the outside. In a 425 degree oven, bake the potatoes for 1 to 1 ½ hours or until done all the way through. My potatoes were really big, so it took a long time. If yours are smaller, it may not take as long. Just keep your eye on them.

Meanwhile, in a skillet, Add the carrots in a little olive oil until they begin to soften. Add the onion, garlic, and ground beef and cook until the carrots are soft and the beef is browned and cooked through. Add the peas just before the end of cooking so they can thaw (if frozen) and warm through.  Sprinkle with the cornstarch and add the worchestershire sauce and the beef broth and bring to a boil, stirring consistently to mix in the cornstarch and form the gravy.

When the potatoes are ready, cut them open slightly and fluff up the inside.  Top with the shepherd’s pie mixture and a sprinkle of cheese.

Serve and enjoy!

Shepherd’s Pie

I was going to start out by saying that even though it is really, REALLY tasty, Shepherd’s Pie is not a “pretty” dish. Whenever I make Shepherd’s Pie, it always turns into a big ol’ mess when I serve it up. It does not photograph well. It tastes great. It is complete meal all in itself (protein, veggie, carb). It is primo comfort food. But it isn’t winning any beauty contests here.

I was going to start off that way, until I did a Google Image search for Shepherd’s Pie and found some quite lovely photographs of this dish. I mean, in reality, those are probably styled and photographed by people who know what they are doing. I have a nice camera that I use occasionally, but for this blog, I tend to use my phone because it is easier. I guess that means I don’t always get the best pictures of some things. I think I do pretty well, though, on most posts. Right?

 

Anyway, back to the food… As I you saw in my last post, I made mashed potatoes in the slow cooker. I really wanted to try that to see how it would work before Thanksgiving, but then I was going to be stuck with a bunch of potatoes. That’s when I decided to make Shepherd’s Pie. It is always a favorite in our house, so I knew it would be a good use of the potatoes.

A little background: Shepherd’s Pie (sometimes known as Cottage Pie, when not made with lamb) is an Irish dish. It dates back to the 18th century and was a way for the poor to use up potatoes and leftover meat (usually beef or lamb) and stretch their food supply.

I usually make mine with ground beef, but in an effort to be healthier, I made this one with ground turkey. My husband said it was still really good, but it did taste a little different with the turkey. I used all the same ingredients otherwise and I didn’t really notice a difference. Bottom line: you can use whatever ground meat you want (or roasted. This would be good with Thanksgiving leftovers).

Shepherd’s Pie

1 pound ground turkey

½ onion, diced

1-2 cloves minced garlic

3 medium carrots, peeled and diced

About a cup of frozen peas (eyeball it)

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons flour

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1-2 cups beef broth *I’ll explain this in the directions. Also, chicken broth is acceptable, but it will taste MUCH different)

2 pounds of potatoes, mashed

In a skillet, add a little bit of olive oil and brown your turkey. Remove the meat from the skillet.

 

Add a little more oil to the same skillet (if you think you need it) and saute your onions, garlic, and carrots until the onions are translucent and the carrots are soft. Add some salt and pepper to taste. Add back in the turkey and the peas and cook until the peas thaw out mostly. 


Sprinkle the flour over all of it and stir to coat. Add the Worcestershire sauce. Then slowly add the beef broth until until the sauce forms. You don’t want it too soupy but you don’t want it too thick either. Find a happy medium so it’s like a gravy almost. That’s why I suggest slowly adding the broth until it is at a consistency you like.

Pour everything into a 9×13 baking dish in an even layer. Then top with your mashed potatoes. I made mine with a little butter, a little milk, and some parmesan cheese, but you can do whatever you normally do.

 

Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.

 

I know my pictures may not look as pretty as some of the others, but I can promise you this tastes really good!