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Recipe

Shepherd’s Pot Pie

Servings: 8 to 10

In this classic British staple, red wine adds a deep mellow richness to a hearty beef filling. The creamy mashed potato topping, seasoned with sour cream and Parmigiano, is brightened with peas, but they can be omitted from the topping and added to the filling. This recipe also will make four generous individual pies or five slightly smaller pies.

Ingredients

For the filling

  • 2 Tbs. grapeseed or other neutral cooking oil
  • 1-1/2 cups finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1-1/4 lb. ground beef
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-1/2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 cup lower-salt beef broth
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 cup canned diced tomatoes with their juice
  • 2 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. chili sauce
  • 2-1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp. light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. finely chopped dried rosemary
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the topping

  • 4 cups peeled, coarsely chopped russet potatoes (about 1-1/2 lb.)
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 2 oz. (4 Tbs.) unsalted butter, at room temperature; plus 1 Tbs. melted
  • 2 Tbs. sour cream
  • 6 Tbs. warm milk or half-and-half
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Preparation

  • On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a circle approximately 13 inches in diameter. Transfer the dough to a standard (not deep dish) 9-1/2-inch pie plate. Gently tuck the pastry into the pan without stretching it, then fold over the edge and crimp. Refrigerate the pie shell, 30 to 45 minutes.

Make the filling

  • Heat the oil in a medium Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the beef and garlic, and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up any large pieces of beef, until no longer pink, about 7 minutes.
  • Drain off most of the fat in the pan. Return the pan to the heat, stir in the flour and paprika, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the broth, wine, and tomatoes and their juices, and bring to a simmer. Stir in the tomato paste, chili sauce, Worcestershire, brown sugar, thyme, rosemary, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and cool completely.
  • Position two racks in the oven, one in the bottom third and the other in the center. Heat the oven to 400°F. Place the pie shell on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. Spoon in the filling, and smooth with a spoon. Bake on the lower oven rack until the crust begins to brown, about 25 minutes.

Make the topping

  • Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine the potatoes with enough well-salted water to cover by a couple of inches. Add the peas. Bring to a boil, then cook at a low boil until the potatoes are tender, about 12 minutes. Drain thoroughly, then transfer back to the saucepan. Add the softened butter, sour cream, and about half of the milk. Using a hand masher, mash thoroughly, adding more milk as needed to make a not-too-loose mixture. (If the mash is too loose, it could spread and fall off the pie.) Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover the potatoes.
  • After 25 minutes, remove the pie from the oven. Spoon a generous mound of the mashed potatoes over the surface. Drizzle with the melted butter, then sprinkle with some of the Parmigiano. Lower the oven temperature to 375°F. Put the sheet on the center oven rack and continue to bake until the cheese is golden and the pie is bubbly, about 35 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool for at least 25 minutes before serving.

Tip

The filling should be thoroughly cooled before adding it to the pie shells so that the heat of the filling doesn’t melt the butter in thepastry before the crust has a chance to set in the oven.

Reviews

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Reviews

  • jtmickey | 03/13/2018

    I am an avid fan and subscriber of Fine Cooking with a complete set of magazines going back to issue No. 1.

    I will be trying this recipe tonight but have one small compaint to the editors and proof readers of the magizine. In your photo there is no sign of any peas having been mashed into the potatoes and, in the meat mixture showing between the pie crust and the potato topping peas are clearly visible. Not a big deal but for me a minor irritation. Do they go in the meat mixture or in the potato mash?

    I also agree with the above review, this would be Cottage Pie as Shepards Pie would normally contain lamb.

  • Drokthwart | 02/26/2018

    Wonderful but not Shepherd's Pie; that would contain lamb. This is Cottage Pie -- made with beef and delicious. Just sayin' ...

  • momcooks42 | 01/29/2018

    So delicious! Perfect comfort food. I have always used corn starch in my pot pie but the flour worked beautifully. I added the peas to the filling

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