Skip to main content

Mama’s Shepherd Pie

This recipe is sheer comfort food for me; my mother made this casserole for us growing up and it’s one of the first things I ever learned to cook. It’s also one of my husband’s very favorite comfort food classics. 

Now, this dish is not really shepherd’s pie. Shepherd’s pie is made with lamb, so this dish would more accurately be called cottage pie, which is made with ground beef. But this casserole is still wrong; cottage pie does used ground beef and mashed potatoes, but the ground beef mixture in real cottage pie has peas and carrots and flour and is cooked into a thick meat sauce, and topped with mashed potatoes, no cheese added. This version comes from my mom’s family, and uses no peas or carrots, but canned corn and cheese.

This dish is probably not cool or hip or trendy, but it is delicious. It’s really easy to make, feeds a ton, and the leftovers heat up like a dream. It’s a very cold, very snowy day here today, and this was just the thing I needed after shoveling 18 inches of heavy snow (in March!). Enjoy!

5 medium russet potatoes
1 stick of butter
1/2 cup light cream
3 teaspoons salt, divided
freshly cracked black pepper
2 12 ounce cans creamed corn
1 12 ounce can sweet corn
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound lean ground beef
1 large sweet onion diced
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup red wine
pinch red pepper flakes
4 cloves of garlic, minced and divided
4 slices of provolone cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Cut the five medium russet potatoes into 2 inch pieces. Place in heavily salted cold water and bring to a boil. Boil until the potatoes are easily pierced with a butter knife. Drain. Add the stick of butter and, black pepper, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1 clove of garlic, light cream and mash with a potato masher until smooth. Set aside.

In a large cast iron skillet, add one tablespoon olive oil and heat until shimmering. Add the ground beef and cook, breaking it up into little pieces. Add the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, bay leaves, onion, remaining garlic, and red pepper flakes and cook until the onion is translucent and the beef is browned. Add the Worcestershire sauce and wine, and cook until the liquid is evaporated. 

Smooth the beef picture into an even layer. Top with the creamed and sweet corn and smooth out that layer. Dollop over the mashed potatoes and smooth that layer. Top with the slices of provolone cheese. 

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes until the casserole is bubbly and the cheese is melted and golden brown (use the broiler for 5 minutes if needed to make the cheese really golden and lovely). Let cool for 10 minutes before serving it up. Enjoy!


Popular posts from this blog

Raspberry Pomegranate Jam

Tis the season to be making homemade gifts! Pomegranates are in season and their juice is a festive deep ruby red color. I knew I had to make them into a jam to give away. Straight pomegranate flavor is a little tart for me; I added raspberries for the texture of their seeds and their sweetness. This is a very simple recipe to make and will yield 6 to 7 8 ounces jars of jam or 12 to 14 4 ounce jars, if you like to give away sample sizes during the holidays. Enjoy! Ingredients: 3 1/2 cups pomegranate juice 1 cup mashed raspberries 7 cups sugar 1 tablespoon butter 1 1/75 ounce package Sure Jell Method: Sterilize your jars and lids. Set aside. In a heavy bottomed large stock pot, add the pomegranate juice, raspberries and butter. Mix well. Add in the sugar. Bring to a full rolling boil then stir in the Sure Jell. Allow to boil hard for 1 minutes. Remove from the heat and skim off any foam. Ladle into the sterile jars, twist on the lids and pr

Copycat Star Crunch

I really love Little Debbie snacks but I very rarely have them. I don’t like eating things that are full of unpronounceable ingredients and preservatives. Plus, I greatly prefer to make things myself. My favorites have to be Oatmeal Creme Pies and Star Crunch. I am still looking for a perfect Oatmeal Creme Pie copycat recipe, but this recipe for Star Crunch is absolutely perfect. These cookies are a fantastic combination of caramel, chocolate, and crunchy crisped rice cereal. They keep in a sealed container for a week, or in the fridge for a month. Next time you crave  Little Debbie Star Crunch, try your hand at making your own! Ingredients: Recipe Credit: Adapted from Stella Parks 1/2 cup water 1 cup sugar 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 1/4 cup heavy cream 1 tablespoon vanilla paste 3 ounces of milk chocolate chips (use a chocolate for baking; some versions of “eating” chocolate contain too much fat. When your combine this chocolate and the caramel together, the

Peek-a-boo Squares

My grandma, Mimi, taught me this recipe. I used to make this with her and my mother as a child. It is my very favorite dessert. It is incredibly easy to make, and even easier to eat. My favorite part of making this as a child was dusting every bar generously with snowy white powdered sugar.  My favorite version of this dessert uses canned blueberry pie filling; I vastly prefer Libby brand over the store brand. You can make blueberry pie filling from scratch with sugar, cornstarch, bleberries, etc. but using the canned stuff is easy in a pinch and is much for nostalgic for me. Plus, I don’t notice a vast improvement over my homemade blueberry pie filling and the Libby brand; it just takes me longer to put this dessert together.  I have been known to whip up a pan of these Friday night and have them disappear by Saturday afternoon. Be warned, these things are addictive! Ingredients: 3 cups of all-purpose flour 2 cups of granulated sugar 4 eggs 2 sticks of