Although this recipe says it’s for Shepherd’s Pie, you could say it’s for Cottage Pie. The difference between the two is that shepherd’s pie is made with lamb, while a Cottage Pie is made with beef. The thing is, if I called it a cottage pie, you’d never find this recipe.
Make this basic Shepherd’s Pie recipe once and then start switching up the ingredients. Try switching beer for wine (or neither), mushrooms for celery, or rosemary for thyme. I’ve been known to add sliced Brussels sprouts to this Shepherd’s Pie recipe to clean out the veggie drawer. In fact, this is a great recipe to use up whatever you have in the fridge. If you’re wondering about a cheesy topping, a traditional shepherd’s or cottage pie doesn’t have cheese melted on the mashed potato, but go ahead anyway. Cheese + potatoes + beef = a tasty combo.
You can save time making this Shepherd’s Pie recipe by prepping all the ingredients first and then cooking the meat while the potatoes are boiling. To cut down on your red meat consumption, cut the ground beef with brown lentils (see tip below).
Shepherd’s Pie Tips
- You can substitute ketchup for tomato paste, just reduce the salt in the recipe.
- To save money and meat, reduce ground beef to ½ a pound and add 1 can brown lentils (drained) with the corn.
- Swap a potato for a sweet potato. You’ll get a fluffy slightly sweet topping.
- If you don’t have a casserole or baking dish, you can make this is a deep pan or pot. Just make sure what ever you use is oven safe.
- If you want to add wine or beer, do so after the onions have softened. Add the wine and cook until it has reduced, about 2 minutes. Then continue the recipe by stirring in the tomato paste and so on.