Shepard’s Pie with Champ Mash
When it comes to classic comfort food many would agree that Shepard’s pie is a favorite. Over the years I have been served many different takes on what were all called Shepard’s pie, some with lamb and some with beef, others prepared with ground meat rather than with tender pieces. With St. Patrick’s day fast approaching, I thought I would look in to this traditional Irish dish that everyone calls Shepard’s pie and find out the real scoop.
Deciding what is or isn’t Shepard’s pie is actually quite easy. The traditional Irish dish is made with ground lamb, usually from a left over roast, although you will find it made with pieces of lamb and it is still called Shepard’s pie. If the dish contains beef, ground or chunks then is should be referred to as Cottage pie which is English. So our version of this dish is actually Cottage Pie and uses tender chunks of beef, carrots, and peas in a hearty sauce, and is topped with creamy champ mash for some added flavor. So what ever you call it, one thing is for sure, there is no confusion over how delicious it is!
Comfort food at its best. This version uses beef instead of lamb and is topped with creamy mashed potatoes loaded with green onions for extra flavor.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion diced
- 2 medium carrots peeled and sliced
- 1 ½ pounds beef roast*** or lamb roast cubed
- 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 sprigs fresh Rosemary
- 2 cups beef stock
- 2 tablespoons tomato puree
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 ½ pounds potatoes peeled and cubed
- ¾ stick butter
- ¼ cup milk
- 6-8 green onions thinly sliced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Cook onion and carrots until slightly softened. Remove vegetables from pan and set aside.
- Increase the heat to medium-high and add the other tablespoon of oil. Add the cubes of steak and cook turning to evenly brown all sides.
- Add the beef stock, tomato puree, and Worcestershire sauce to the skillet and stir to combine. Return onions and carrots to the skillet. Tie the thyme and Rosemary into a small bundle with kitchen string and add to the skillet. Bring to a mixture to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer partially covering with a lid. Simmer for about an hour or until the liquid has thickened.
- To make the champ mash for the topping, boil the potatoes in a large pot of water until fork tender. Drain potatoes and mash together with milk and butter until smooth and creamy. Mix in green onions and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Heat oven to 350°F and lightly spray an oven proof baking dish with non-stick spray.
- Pour the beef gravy mixture into the baking dish and top with the mashed potatoes. Sprinkle the top with fresh ground black pepper.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the tops of the potatoes have started to brown.
***Shepard’s pie is traditionally made with ground lamb. I used part of a beef roast for this dish, you could also use ground beef if you prefer. Shepard'e pie made with beef or ground beef is usually known as Cottage pie.