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I had never eaten Shepherd’s Pie until one day about 8 years ago. I was watching the food network and Rachael Ray was fixing this amazing comfort food, I just knew I had to give it a try.  It was the perfect combination of creamy with veggies and mashed potatoes, so yummy!  Since that time, all those years ago, I have made a few different varieties of shepherd’s pie and come up with this version, which is by far my favorite.

I love that this recipe can be made and eaten immediately, or it can be put together a few days in advanced and baked when the “time is right.”  It also works great to use left over mashed potatoes to make this recipe, if you happen to have a few cups leftover (although I never seem too…)  The next time you want to fix a make ahead meal, or just need some good comfort food, give this recipe a try, it is a real winner!

Shepherd’s Pie

Adapted from Rachael Ray

  • 10-12 yukon gold or baby red potatoes
  • 4-6 slices of bacon, cut into 1/4-1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 Tbs. paprika
  • 1 Tbs. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
  • 2 Tbs. fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3-4 carrots, sliced
  • 4 ribs of celery, chopped
  • 1 large red or green pepper, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas
  • 2 Tbs. cornstarch
  • 2 Tbs. cold water
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup sour cream, divided
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 4 Tbs. butter
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 10-12 fresh chives, minced

Scrub the potatoes and quarter them.  Bring a medium pot of water to boil on the stove.  Reduce the heat to a simmer and put the potatoes in the water, cook until tender when poked with a fork, 15-18 minutes.

While the potatoes are cooking heat a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add the bacon and cook it until it is browned.  Add the ground beef  to the pan and break it up into small pieces.  Cook until the ground beef is no longer pink.  Season with meat with paprika, cumin, pepper, thyme, rosemary, and salt.  Add the onions, carrots, celery, pepper, and peas to the pan.  Cook for 5-10 minutes, or until the veggies have softened.

When the veggies are soft add chicken stock to the pan.  In a small bowl whisk together the cornstarch and cold water. Stir the cornstarch mixture into the veggies, meat, and chicken broth mixture.  Heat to a simmer.  Finally, stir in 1/2 cup of sour cream and combine.  Simmer over low heat.

In a small bowl beat the egg.  Using a cup of the potato cooking water, temper the egg by slowly whisking the cooking water into the bowl with the beaten egg.  Set the egg aside and drain the potatoes using a colander.  Return the potatoes to the pot and mash using a hand masher.  Mix in the remaining sour cream, garlic, butter, tempered egg, and  half the chives.  Mash the potatoes, adding a splash of milk if the mixture is too tight.  Taste and adjust the salt and pepper if needed.

Pour the meat and veggie mixture into a 9×13 inch pan.  Evenly distribute the mixture and then top with the mashed potatoes.  Make sure the potatoes get to the edge of the pan.  If you are eating right away bake at 375 for 15 minutes, or until bubbling, and then broil to lightly brown the top.  Garnish with the rest of the chives.  If you are baking at another time cover the shepherd’s pie with foil and refrigerate.  When you want to eat, bake the dish at 375 for 30-45 minutes, or until bubbling and heated through.