A Ten Dollar Meal: Shepherd’s Pie

Shepard's pie is great for using planned-overs.

Shepherd’s pie is great for using planned-overs.

Shepherd’s pie is a comfort food that originated in Great Britain. Since the English elite confiscated all the grain, the commoners resorted to using potatoes as a food staple. The Irish cooked meat and vegetables together with wine and Worcestershire sauce then put that in a pot lined (or not) with mashed potatoes. After covering the meat with potatoes it was baked ’till done.Today, it is still a warming comfort food which can be made with a variety of planned-over meats and vegetables. Like stews and one-skillet meals, there are lots of ways to prepare this basic meal and here is a generalized version.

Shepherd’s Pie

The Potatoes:      Planned-over potatoes are best for Shepherd’s pie but you can bake or boil fresh potatoes. If in a hurry, you could use instant potatoes but that busts your budget.

  • When the potatoes are cooked, remove the skin and begin to mash the potatoes with 2 forks or an egg beater.
  • To improve texture add a pat of softened butter and a little warm milk.
  • Add thyme, a pinch of sea salt and garlic powder to taste
  • Whip the potatoes. Add milk or butter as needed.

The Filling:(Meatless)

  • Gather about 3 C mixed vegetables. Planned-overs work well. 
  • Saute 1 whole onion and raw diced carrots first.
  • Add other vegetables and continue sauteing.
  • Add 1 T Worcestershire sauce and 1/4 C beef broth.
  • Cook until tender crisp.

Put it all together:

  • Pour the vegetables into a shallow baking dish.
  • Spread the potatoes over the top.
  • Bake in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes or until potatoes are nicely browned.