Hunk of Meat Monday: Shepard’s Pie

My mother is 100% Italian and my father is 100% German. This means, growing up St. Patrick’s day was not a huge deal in our household. It wasn’t until college that I really “embraced” the spirit of the day. Tim on the other hand comes from a family of strong Irish ties; Grandmother Rita (Vaughn) Zweber is 100% Irish.

I love exploring new recipes at the same time teaching my children about their heritage. This St. Patrick’s day I vowed to make something “Irish.” And what is more Irish than Shepherd’s Pie?

Shepards pie via Zweberfarms.comphoto credit: rachel_bernadette via Flickr

What You Need:

  • 1 pound extra-lean ground beef, fresh or frozen (I used Zweber Farms pasture raised beef)
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion (for 1 cup chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
  • 1 cup frozen green peas (I used a frozen mix of corn, peas, beans and carrots)
  • 1 beef bouillon cube
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 package (20 ounces) refrigerated mashed potatoes, such as Simply Potatoes brand (I made homemade from 6 medium potatoes)
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (Use Organic Valley of course)

What You Do:

  1. Turn on the broiler.
  2. If the beef is frozen, run hot water over it so you can remove any packaging. Place the beef on a microwave-safe plate and microwave 3 minutes, uncovered, on high, to begin defrosting
  3. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a 12-inch cast-iron or other heat-proof skillet (see Note) over medium heat. Peel and coarsely chop the onion, adding it to the skillet as you chop.
  4. Add the beef (fresh or partially defrosted) to the skillet and raise the heat to high. Cook, turning and breaking up the meat until it is crumbled and browned and the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. While the meat is browning, stir in the ketchup, Worcestershire, and garlic.
  5. When the meat is browned, stir in the peas. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer.
  6. Meanwhile, combine the bouillon cube and water in a 1-cup glass measure. Microwave 1 minute uncovered on high to dissolve the cube. Stir the cornstarch briskly into the bouillon until well blended. Pour the cornstarch mixture into the skillet and stir well. Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally.
  7. Meanwhile, microwave the potatoes according to package directions, adding the butter. While the potatoes warm, stir the sour cream into the thickened beef mixture. Spoon the potatoes over the beef mixture, spreading them to within 1 inch of the skillet sides. Sprinkle the cheese over the potatoes and broil until the cheese is melted and bubbly, 2 minutes. Serve at once.

Serves 4

Note: If you don’t have a skillet that can withstand broiling, transfer the meat to a 9-inch square casserole dish before broiling in step 7.

My first attempt at Shepherd’s Pie was a hit. Our three year old didn’t eat it, but our two year old loved it. Ohh well, cannot win all. Tim and I both thought it was great and it was super easy for me. Best part, only one pan to clean up!

Fun Fact: The potato was established as a food crop in Ireland in 1780. This is after explorers brought them back from South America.


Zweber Farms is a 4th generation family operated organic dairy.  We are proud Organic Valley farmer members and sell our milk under that label. We also specialize in sustainably raised beef, pork and chicken and sell it directly to customers in Minnesota.Visit our website to learn more, Connect with us on FacebookTwitterand YouTube. Subscribe to our enewsletter

0 thoughts on “Hunk of Meat Monday: Shepard’s Pie

  1. Katie

    Fabulous Emily! I have never made Shepard’s Pie but a one pan meal is my kinda of recipe. Hope you are feeling well. Share some baby bump pics soon!