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The Shepherd’s Pie Tradition

When I started making Shepherd’s Pies several years ago, it quickly became a family favorite. My mom, who would not eat peas, actually ate them when I made this. It freezes well, so I often double or triple the recipe. Making individual single-serving casseroles means I always have extra to share with my grown kids, my neighbor recovering from surgery or someone who just needed spirits lifted. One of my best memories of my mom in her later years is “Shepherd’s Pie Day.”  At least once every 2-3 months, I would make a huge batch of Shepherd’s Pies. She had dementia, and lost a lot of her cooking skills. But she could always help me spoon the meat mixture into dishes, wrap them and mark them for the freezer. She loved being a part of that process. And my parents always had Shepherd’s Pies in their freezer!

Here’s a photo of my parents, Sharon and Joe Moody, helping me make Shepherd’s Pies. We filled every spare dish! And when my cupboard was full of dishes again, I knew it was time to make more pies!




1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 ½ pounds 93% ground beef
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups beef broth
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 ½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 ½ cups frozen mixed vegetables
Vegetable oil cooking spray
3 cups mashed potatoes


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add diced onion.  Sauté 2-3 minutes. 
Crumble ground beef into skillet.  Cook until no longer pink.  
Stir flour into cooked ground beef.  Add broth and seasonings.  Stir to combine.  Let mixture cook until thickened, 2-3 minutes. 
Stir in frozen mixed vegetables and remove from heat.
Spray a 10-inch round baking dish (or similar size) with vegetable oil cooking spray.  Transfer mixture into baking dish.  May also use individual casserole dishes.  
Spread mashed potatoes over beef mixture.  Tip:  If using leftover or ready-made mashed potatoes, heat them before spreading.  Adding a bit of milk may also help them spread easier.  (At this point, you can refrigerate the dish to bake later.) 
Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until top is slightly browned and mixture is hot and bubbly.  (40-50 minutes if baking from a refrigerated state.)

Yield:  6-8 servings

Source:  Original recipe by Janet Potts, RD, LD

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