In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, I’m sharing my version of Shepherd’s Pie, a hearty meat pie, topped with mashed potatoes. At my house, whenever leftover mashed potatoes are around, you can bet Shepherd’s Pie will be on the menu soon. Cheesy, warm and full of vegetables, the flavors are familiar and clean-up is easy. It’s a meat and three in one! Using a cast iron skillet makes the job super simple.
Shepherd’s Pie has been around for centuries, and there are a ton of variations on the recipe. Traditionally, the dish is made with lamb, garden peas and corn. Because ground beef, and even venison, is more readily available, they are common meats to use in the South.
When it comes to cheeses, sharp cheddar and fresh Parmesan cheese make a winning combination. Parmesan gives it a salty bite and works wonderfully with creamy potatoes. I love hearing the timer sing and pulling this comforting skillet out of the oven, perfectly browned on the top and bubbling around the sides. From stovetop to oven, this recipe is ready to eat in 35 minutes.
For a fun twist, perfect for picnics, try making mini-shepherd’s pies. The step-by-step recipe is available on my food blog. I baked these for a co-worker picnic last spring in Savannah’s Forsyth Park, and they were a huge hit! Store bought pie crusts make a warm, flaky crust and help keep the filling together.
The pies are baked in a muffin pan to create the most delicious bite.
You can find our entire festive menu and more St. Patrick’s Day recipes, like my green mint chocolate chip cookies, orange marmalade thumbprint cookies or Irish mojitos by visiting SomeKindaGood.com.
Now, for an old Irish blessing: "May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind always be at your back, may the sun shine warm upon your face and rains fall soft upon your fields, and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hand."
Parmesan Shepherd's Pie
1-2 cups mashed potatoes
1 pound lean ground beef or venison
1 medium onion, chopped
Crushed red pepper flakes
½ cup frozen corn kernels
½ cup English peas
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. tomato paste
1 cup beef broth
1 tbsp. Worcestershire
½ cup Parmesan
½ cup sharp Cheddar
In a cast iron skillet, saute ground beef and onion until beef is brown. Add seasonings: garlic salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes and dried oregano. Sprinkle the meat with the flour and toss to coat, continuing to cook for another minute. Add the tomato paste, beef broth, Worcestershire and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer slowly 10 to 12 minutes or until the sauce is thickened slightly. Add frozen corn and peas and cook until incorporated. Top mixture with grated Parmesan cheese. Gently spread leftover mashed potatoes evenly over the top. Sprinkle with remaining cheddar cheese. Dot with butter. Bake at 425 for 25 minutes until hot & bubbly. Let cool five minutes before serving. Enjoy!
Rebekah Faulk Lingen-felser is the author of “Some Kinda Good,” a culinary TV personality and food enthusiast. She writes about Southern, coastal cuisine, locally sourced and in-season. Connect with her on social media by liking Some Kinda Good on Facebook, or follow @SKGFoodBlog on Instagram and Twitter. To learn more, visit RebekahLingenfelser.com.