Traditional Shepherd's Pie with a Twist
Traditional Shepherd's Pie made with a personal twist
- 300 g pork shoulder
- 1 medium onion
- 1 carrot
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1/2 cup Marsala wine
- 1/2 cup white vermouth
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 cup milk
- 5 Champignon mushrooms
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 cups frozen peas
- salt and pepper to taste
- 500 g potatoes
- 100 ml milk
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 thyme stem
- salt to taste
- 100 g Cheddar cheese
- Cast iron pot
- Meat grinder
- Chopping block
- Wooden spoon
- Ovenproof dish
- Potato masher
Traditional Shepherds Pie is a British recipe that can easily be added to the list of perfect comfort foods. It is rich, creamy, and simply perfect. This is why I make it every time after a hard week or on a rainy day.
However, I like to make a twist or two when preparing this dish. By doing so, I ensure I end up with the best shepherd's pie recipe for my family and me. So let's find out how to make shepherd's pie, the nerdy method.
- I am a person who likes to buy a piece of meat and grind it at home. If you are like me, then this is the first step you have to take. However, you can very well go with store-bought minced meat.
- You will need a thick pot, preferably a cast-iron one. Put it on medium heat and place the meat into it. Let it char a little before adding the chopped onion. Cook it for a couple of minutes until it becomes golden. When this happens, add the chopped mushrooms and stir, letting them cook for 6-7 minutes.
- When it comes to shepherd's pie seasoning, I suggest you add them at this point along with tomato paste and the sliced carrot.
I heard about people asking if shepherd's pie goes with beer gravy, and I don't see why not. However, I want to do things a little bit differently. This is why I use the same liquids as when making the ragu for my Bolognese Pasta - Marsala wine, vermouth, milk, and chicken stock.
- Pour the liquids into the pot and stir to combine all those beautiful flavors. Turn the heat to low and let it reduce itself for 2 hours or so. If needed you can add more water during the process.
- When this happens, add the frozen peas to the party. Mix well to combine.
- Kill the heat and let it sit till you finish the potato part.
- Peel the potatoes and boil them whole with a tablespoon of salt. This should take around 20 minutes. Poke them with a fork to make sure they are soft and cooked through.
- Put the milk and the butter in a saucepan along with the thyme. Let them heat up until the butter is completely melted.
- Drain the water in which you've boiled the potatoes. Mash the potatoes, and using a strainer, pour the milk mixture on them. Stir until everything is perfectly blended. Taste and add more salt if needed. However, keep in mind that this is a shepherd's pie with cheese, so the cheddar will bring some salt to the game.
- Take an ovenproof dish. The first layer you will going to add to the dish is the meat ragu. Top it with the mashed potatoes, and then grate the cheddar cheese.
- Place the dish in the preheated oven at 180°C for 20 minutes.
- When ready, take the dish out of the oven and leave it at room temp for 20 minutes before serving it. It will be easier to cut and take out.
This easy shepherd's pie recipe is just a remake of the original version, which doesn't contain pork. In many cooking books, this recipe is linked to cooking in an economical way using leftover food.
I personally freeze the remaining ragu and use it for other occasions, such as this nameless dish that has some moussaka resemblances.
Finally, if you also have the shepherd's pie vs cottage pie dilemma, let me tell you that it is just a matter of the meat you use. The traditional shepherd's pie is made with lamb, while the cottage pie contains beef.
* I personally like pork for this dish because it is juicier, but if you want to go traditionally all the way, you can replace the meat as you seem fit.
** Don't forget to tag us on Instagram when making this dish.
Nutrition Facts / Serving
- Calories 536
- Total Fat 23 g
- Cholesterol 15 mg
- Sodium 1104 mg
- Potassium 895 mg
- Total Carbohydrate 45 g
- Sugars 10 g
- Protein 34 g