You can make mashed potatoes, right? And you can brown ground beef? Boom! You can make shepherd’s pie. It’s one of the easiest, coziest and most adaptable suppers around, according to 225 food writer Maggie Heyn Richardson. All the things you love about one-pot or sheet pan cooking ring true about shepherd’s pie, it’s a self-contained meal that checks the protein, veggie and carb boxes. It’s also the kind of crowd-pleasing comfort food that can be easily modified to fit your preferences.
In its classic British form, shepherd’s pie is made with leftover roast lamb, cooked down in a gravy with onions, peas and carrots. It’s famously topped with mashed potatoes and baked slightly until the potatoes are browned. No surprise, most American recipes these days feature ground beef, although plenty of them also feature ground lamb.
But from that basic foundation, you can go in a variety of directions with it. Add mushrooms and red wine to make it extra savory, swap out the mashed potatoes with mashed sweet potatoes for a healthier version, the list goes on.
Read on for all of Maggie’s ideas on how to jazz up the basic shepherd’s pie, from a story that originally ran in the October 2019 edition of 225 Dine.