Did somebody say pie? While that word always grabs my attention, this Shepherd's Pie is a savory comfort meal using beef & vegetables in a thick, gravy-like sauce and topped with parmesan mashed potatoes. This version is made so much easier using holiday leftovers!
Leftovers - Yay or Nay?
Confession here: I'm not the biggest fan of leftovers. I'm usually grateful that my husband takes leftovers for his lunch at work most days leaving me with a clean slate. An exception to this rule is when I can create a new dish out of leftovers that is masked as a brand new meal. My Perfect Pot Roast is one of my favorite recipes of all time, especially at Christmas, and the leftover beef is just perfect for this Shepherd's Pie. Leftover mashed potatoes, which are usually another holiday staple, would be another time saver for this recipe.
No leftovers? No problem! I've included in this recipe the directions to make fresh mashed potatoes, and in a pinch ground beef can be used instead of leftover pot roast.
Parmesan Mashed Potatoes
If not using leftovers, you will need 4 medium-sized russet potatoes for the mashed potatoes. Peel them and cut into large cubes. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the potatoes. Be sure to add 1 tbsp. of salt to the water. This is your best opportunity to really season the potatoes. Boil for 15-20 minutes until tender. Drain the potatoes and place them back in the pot with butter, milk and parmesan cheese. Mash potatoes using a hand mixer or potato masher until smooth. The parmesan cheese takes these mashed potatoes to the next level! Set the potatoes aside while getting the pie filling ready.
Shepherd's Pie Filling
In a large skillet melt butter over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion and sauté 3-4 minutes until onion gets soft. Sprinkle over flour and cook another minute. This is essentially making a roux, which is equal parts fat (butter) to flour. Mix in tomato paste before adding beef broth and Worcestershire sauce. Whisk the sauce together and bring to a simmer for about 5 minutes until nice and thick. This part sauce, part gravy is going to be the perfect carrier for the beef and vegetables.
Mix in leftover beef, making sure it's shredded into small pieces, and frozen mixed vegetables. Stir well and heat 4-5 minutes before putting in the bottom of a 9 inch pie pan.
If using ground beef, season with salt & pepper and brown in the skillet along with the onion before continuing on with the sauce. The cooked ground beef can remain in the skillet while you make the sauce.
Next, spread the mashed potatoes evenly over the meat mixture, being sure to seal it well around the edges. Using a knife, poke a few holes around the top to ensure that steam can escape when cooking. Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 25 minutes. I like to turn on the broiler after 25 minutes and let the top get a little more color. As always, be careful using the broiler! Things are can from golden brown to burnt very quickly. I usually broil this Shepherd's Pie for no longer than 5 minutes.
Serve a generous helping of this Shepherd's Pie on it's own or with a simple side salad. This recipe is one my favorite ways to breathe new life into leftovers!
Perfect Pot Roast recipe found here.
- 2 tbsp. butter
- ½ onion chopped
- 2 tbsp. flour
- 2 tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 12 oz. bag frozen mixed vegetables
- 2 cups leftover pot roast beef * or 1# ground beef
- 4 medium russet potatoes **
- 3 tbsp. butter
- ½ cup milk
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese grated
- 1 tbsp. salt for boiling potatoes
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Peel and cube potatoes into a large dice. Add to boiling water and boil 15-20 minutes until tender. Drain and place back into pot. Add butter & milk and mash potatoes until smooth using a potato masher or hand mixer. Mix in parmesan cheese.**
- In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle over flour and cook another minute. Whisk in tomato paste before adding in beef broth & Worcestershire sauce. Bring mixture to a simmer and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes.
- Mix in leftover beef* and frozen vegetables. Heat through for 4-5 minutes. Place mixture in the bottom of a 9 inch pie pan. Top with mashed potatoes.
- Spread potatoes evenly over meat mixture. Using a knife, make a few vent holes in the top of the potatoes. Place in the oven and cook 25 minutes until top is golden brown. For more color on the top, turn on the broiler for no more than 5 minutes. Watch closely.
- If you prefer to use ground beef, season with 1 tsp. salt and ½ tsp. black pepper & brown the meat along with the onion before proceeding with the rest of the recipe.