Traditionally shepherd’s pie is made with ground lamb but since we like to do things a little differently in the United States, we tend to swap out the lamb for ground beef.
Here’s the thing: the moment we change the meat, the British classic is no longer shepherd’s pie, it becomes known as cottage pie.
You may not be familiar with the name but your taste buds are surely familiar with the delicious flavor of grandma’s cottage pie which she cooked with a lot of love.
This cottage pie casserole will bring grandma’s recipe back to life with a minor twist that will have you reaching for seconds.
The recipe calls for a layer of mashed potatoes to accompany the juicy beef and creamy mashed potato crust. This killer combination makes for the ultimate comfort food that your family will love.
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 onion, small diced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1½ cup cheddar cheese
- 1 lb. carrots, cut into thirds
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- Pepper to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 375 F and set two pots of water to boil.
2. Place the potatoes into one and the carrots into the other. Boil until soft then drain the water; save 2/3 cup of potato water for later
3. In a large bowl, add potatoes, butter, cheddar cheese, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Mash together with the back of a fork. Set aside.
4. In a separate bowl, mash the carrots together with the back of a fork then set aside.
5. Add in oil in a large pan on medium-high heat. When oil becomes hot, add in onions and garlic and cook until onions are soft and translucent.
6. Add ground beef, salt and pepper to the pan and cook until meat has browned.
7. Add in the 2/3 cups of potato water and the tomato paste. Allow to simmer on low for 10 minutes until the mixture thickens.
8. Spread the beef evenly in the bottom of a baking dish. Spread a layer of the mashed carrots over the beef then add the mashed potatoes over the carrots. Place the casserole into the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until the mashed potatoes are just browned.
9. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then serve.