Birthday Boy’s Shepherd’s Pie!

Ok, to be completely correct, this was a Cottage Pie as it was made with beef…and being of Scottish background I need to be correct about these things! This past Wednesday was The Boy’s birthday and all he wanted was his favorite dinner and a cake. Easy peasy! And boy did we luck out with this recipe for the pie (though I made WAY too much of both the pie and the cake…what is wrong with me?!). The Boy even said it was better than the pies he’d made with the “authentic English spice packet.” (yup…those exist) So I’d say this is definitely worth a try! Also, I got The Boy a digital camera for his birthday so some of the pictures you’ll see in this entry and the cake entry are taken with his fancy pants, brand new, touch screen, itty bitty, digital camera (and yes, I may have stolen it to take some of the pictures. Shut up, it’s a touch screen camera! How cool is that?!)

Read on for the recipe and photos…

Ingredients (makes two pie dishes worth)

1.5 lb lean ground beef (we used 90% lean ground sirloin)

3/4 cup yellow onion, diced
3/4 cup celery, diced
1/2 cup carrots, chopped
1 1/2 tbsp garlic, minced

1 tsp fresh thyme plus 1/2 tsp dried thyme (soaks into the meat a bit better)
3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (just to be clear, it’s pronounced Wustshur sauce, hehe)

1 tbsp vegetable oil

2 cups frozen veggies (we used corn and pies…about half and half)

1 1/2 cups beef gravy (we found a 99% fat free jar at the store)

3 cups mashed potatoes (takes about 8 little yellow potatoes, some heavy cream, margarine, and salt + pepper)
Shredded cheddar cheese
Salt & Pepper to taste


  • Prepare your mashed potatoes first! (get the water boiling and the potatoes peeled and in – they can boil while you start the rest. Add heavy cream and margarine to desired consistency and then season).
  • Preheat oven to 375F.
  • Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet (and I mean LARGE) and cook onions, celery, carrots, and garlic until translucent but not browned. Remove to separate bowl.
  • Add the meat and brown. Discard any fat and grease.

  • Add the onions, celery, carrots, and garlic back to the pan and stir well.
  • Add the Worcestershire sauce and thyme and cook for about a minute.
  • Add the frozen veggies and gravy and let cook for 2 – 3 minutes.
  • Taste and season with salt and pepper (you may want to add a bit more thyme and/or Worcestershire sauce).

  • Spread into pie dishes and top with mashed potatoes.
  • Shred cheddar cheese onto the top of the potatoes.
  • Bake in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes (NOTE: make sure you put a tray beneath them in case they bubble over!!)
  • Turn the broiler on LOW and place the pies right beneath it for about five minutes or until the tops are browned and crispy (but not burnt!).
  • Allow the pies to cool 5-10 minutes before serving.
  • Enjoy with your loved ones!! Also, this freezes very well so you can always freeze extras in individual portions and have dinner or lunch at the ready at any time!

2 Responses to “Birthday Boy’s Shepherd’s Pie!”
  1. Susan says:

    I always knew that pies (and dessert) were really part of the vegetable group!

  2. Pam says:

    And what was the cake???????

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