A long long time ago, I was honored to bring a huge batch of Shephard’s Pie to a Reading by the Hearthside by my beloved late friend, Raven Grimassi. This amazing evening was hosted by the none other then Robbi Packard, Proprietress of The Robin’s Nest and just an incredible person/witch/leader/woman/activist…the list goes on. In my chat with her on my Podcast Series, Conversational Witchcraft, she confided it me that she never got to partake in the meal that night and has always wanted to try my Shephard’s Pie…well, my friend…hear you go! It’s a little labor intensive, but oh, so worth it!
For the topping:
5 pounds yellow potatoes
1 cup milk (or veggie broth)
6 Tablespoons butter (or Dairy Free butter alternative)
Salt & Pepper to taste
For the Filling
2 Pounds lean ground beef
1 white onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1 can (4oz) tomato paste
1 cup beef stock
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dried thyme (or 1 Tablespoon fresh)
3 whole bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried rosemary (or 1 Tablespoon fresh)
1 8oz package frozen peas
1 8oz package frozen corn
Salt & Pepper to taste.
Fill a large sauce pot with water and set on the stove at medium/low heat. Wash and peel the potatoes. Cut the potatoes into cubes and place them in the water. Bring to a boil. Periodically test the potatoes with a fork while they are boiling. When a fork can be inserted easily, and the potatoes begin to fall apart slightly remove from heat and drain the potatoes. In the same pot add milk, butter, salt and pepper. With an electric mixer on low, whip the potatoes until creamy and all ingredients are incorporated. If the potatoes are too dry add more milk and/or butter by the Tablespoonful until desired texture. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large, deep skillet cook ground beef, onions, carrots and garlic together until meat is no longer pink and opinions are soft. Add the corn starch and stir until dissolved. Add beef stock, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, bay leaves and rosemary. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 20 minutes or until liquid has reduced by half. Uncover and stir in frozen peas and corn. Pour mixture into a large glass or ceramic baking dish (13×9 inches)
Top with mashed potato topping being sure to cover the top completely or the filling will bubble and spill out. Place the baking dish on a cookie sheet to prevent spillage in the oven. Cook at 400 degrees for 30 -45 minutes until the top is golden brown.