I meant to put this recipe up DAYS ago, but i just never got around to it, LOL .. SORRY! :) A lot of you wanted my dessert recipes first, lol, so i posted those up before this one. :)
This is my famous Shepherd's Pie recipe that everyone DIES for .. no joke, anyone who's ever tried this from me tells me it's Comfort Food at it's finest. Lol, of course there are a ton of other different styles of comfort food for other people -- this is a recipe that's adapted from an original British or Irish peasant dish. Some people like it traditional, but i've changed it each time i've made it and this is my official perfected recipe. :) We're talking cheesy, gravy-covered goodness, ya'll .. without further ado .. this is by far one of the best Shepherd's Pie recipes i've ever made .. and tried. :) and i'm not just saying that cuz it's my own recipe ... i have a big head about it because people blew up my confidence in it. :) haha ... no forreal though, i really think you'll love it. :)
Best Shepherd's Pie ... EVER.
(smothered in gravy)
What You'll Need:
(For the Shepherd's Pie)
- 1-2 lbs Baby Yukon Gold Potatoes
- 2 medium-sized Zucchini
- 1 cup chopped baby carrots
- 1/2 medium-sized Onion, chopped. (Save 1/4 of it for the gravy, see recipe below)
- 4-5 garlic cloves, chopped (save half for mashed potatoes)
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 large block of Pepper Jack cheese, cubed
- 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (for topping)
- 1 stick of butter
- Splash or 2 of milk
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Garlic Salt to taste
(For the Gravy)
- 2 tbsp of butter
- 1-2 tbsp flour
- 2 cups beef stock
- 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1/4 of chopped onions from earlier
- Salt & Pepper to taste + a little Garlic Powder :)
For the ground beef: you can choose any type you want, but i suggest ground chuck and around 80% lean or so. It has better marbling and will produce better "juice" :)
Gravy is OPTIONAL. I suggest it because it makes this SO MUCH BETTER. But i used to make it WITHOUT gravy and it was still super yummy. If you're lookin for a bad case of the itis, i'd make the gravy. ;) It will make the most out of this recipe, i promise you. :)
For the mashed potatoes: the reason i suggest YUKON GOLD potatoes is because they retain cheese and butter much better than your normal ol' spuds. It has a much creamier texture as well, which of course is a huge deal with mashed potatoes. So if you like your mashed potatoes rich like i do, use YUKON GOLD -- you'll thank me later. :)
What to Do:
- Wash your potatoes and cut them in half. The smaller ones (about the size of a gumball) can stay uncut -- you just want the potato pieces to be the same size so they cook evenly. Cook the potatoes until they are fork tender.
- Chop your zucchini and carrots into small "cubes".
- Chop your onions and your garlic as well. Remember to save 1/4 of the onions for the gravy later and about 1/2 of the garlic for the mashed potatoes later also.
- Heat up about 1 tbsp of olive oil in a skillet on medium-high heat.
- Saute your onions and half of the chopped garlic. Season w/ salt & pepper.
- Add in your ground beef and cook until browned. Season with salt, pepper and garlic salt to taste.
- Add in your carrots and cook halfway. Then add in your zucchini.
- Cook everything only until veggies still have some "bite" to it. It shouldn't take very long -- this will have an additional 25 mins to bake in the oven, so you don't want to overcook them.
- While all that is cooking, you can work on your mashed potatoes. :)
- Add 1 stick of butter (I know i know i knowwww), splash or two of milk, Salt, Pepper, Garlic Salt (all 3 to taste) and other half of chopped garlic (from earlier) -- mash everything together.
- Evenly lay your beef/veggie mixture in a 13x9 pyrex/glass baking dish.
- Evenly distribute your cubes of pepper jack cheese over the mixture like so.
- Layer your mashed potatoes on top of everything.
- Sprinkle the 1/2 cup of sharp cheddar on top of the mashed potatoes. Bake for 25 mins or until cheese is evenly melted (don't brown it!).
- While your Shepherd's Pie is baking, you can work on the gravy if you chose to make gravy. :)
- Melt 2 tbsp of butter in a small saucepan and saute the rest of the onions.
- Add the mushrooms and saute until soft.
- Add about 2 tbsp of flour and stir until "cooked" (until the flour isn't "powder" anymore and it's absorbed).
- Add 1 cup of beef stock. Allow the flour to absorb and then add the 2nd cup of stock. Whisk often and cook on medium heat until thickened. Add Salt, Pepper, and Garlic Powder to taste.
Your shepherd's pie should look like this once it's "done"!
This is what your gravy should look like ..
You can serve this WITHOUT gravy ...
Or make the most of it and serve it WITH gravy ... :)
I hope you like this as much as everyone else does ... LOL. I can honestly and safely say that this is one of my most requested dishes from all my friends and family .. among other things, hahaha. :) But this shit will put you in a major food coma with a bad case of the ITIS! :)