As the weather gets colder, my desire to eat more hearty meals increases. One of my favorite cold-weather meals is shepherd’s pie. It is a simple meal when you break it down. Meat, vegetables, and potatoes all together into a piping hot dish. One of the great things about shepherd’s pie is how versatile it is. The type of meat and vegetables that are included can be changed to fit tastes, dietary restrictions and what is available. We prefer ours to be made with just ground beef, though many use a mix of beef and pork. Carrots can be added instead of corn. Really the possibilities are endless.
As part of our winter prep, I make a number of these shepherd’s pie for the freezer. Doing this in bulk means I get to enjoy a hearty warm meal on those colder days when my time is spent shoveling snow and I don’t feel like cooking. I simply grab one from the freezer, pop it in the oven and we have a delicious meal waiting for us.
If you are looking for a way to bulk up this meal and make it more filling, then I suggest leaving the potatoes unpeeled. This adds some extra heft to the meal and a ton of flavor. Another great option is to smother the top with cheese. Still not filling enough? Serve this meal with a side of dinner rolls.
This recipe makes one 9×13 pan or three 8×8 pans. The size of the pans you use will depend on how many people you are wanting to feed. A large pan feeds our family of three for two meals worth, while a smaller pan is a single meal.
- 2 1/2 lbs ground meat (beef, pork or chicken)
- 1 1/2 cups corn
- 1 1/2 cups peas
- 2 Tbsp oregano
- 5 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 Tbsp parsley
- 2 Tbsp dill
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 cups beef stock
- 8-10 large potatoes, peeled
- 1-2 cups shredded cheese, optional
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Peel potatoes. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook potatoes until soft. Mash potatoes, adding milk and butter. They can be as creamy or chunky as you desire.
- In a large pan, cook the onions and garlic until fragrant. Add the meat and brown.
- Add in the herbs and vegetables. Cook for a few minutes.
- Remove the contents of the pan into a bowl. Add in butter and melt. Then add the flour and stir until combined. To this add the beef stock and cook for a few minutes, until it starts to thicken.
- Add in the meat mixture and stir to combine. Continue to cook until the stock mixture thickens to the consistency you desire.
- Spray a 9×13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Spread the meat mixture evenly into the pan. Add the potatoes on top.
- Bake at 375 for about 30 minutes. If you are adding cheese, do so in the last 10 minutes of cooking.
For the freezer
- Assemble shepherd’s pie following the above instructions. Do not put it in the oven. Cool completely.
- Once it is cool, wrap the top with foil and label with contents, date made and cooking instructions.
- When you are ready to have the meal, you can either thaw overnight or put it in the oven directly from the freezer. If you skip the thawing process, you will need to double the cooking time.
Do you enjoy shepherd’s pie as much as I do during the colder months?