Katie’s Shepherd’s Pie

May 19th, 2014

Katie's Shephards Pie 1

Our weather went from 90 degrees to a cool 50 degrees this week.  We lit a fire in the fireplace early one morning.  The cool weather made me hungry for comfort food again.  I have made several versions of shepherd’s pie or in this case, cottage pie since it uses ground beef instead of ground lamb.  But Katie from the What Katie Ate blog calls this recipe shepherd’s pie anyway.  I have to say it is the best version I have ever tried.  Why,… you may ask?

Katie's Shephards Pie 2V

It starts with roasting garlic cloves in the oven to be incorporated into the mashed potato topping.  The aroma begins the anticipation of the meal to come.  It continues with the extra flavor that is added to the ground beef mixture.  Tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, steak sauce, barbecue sauce and freshly grated nutmeg all conspire to give the beef richness as well as a deep red color.  The topping is liberally sprinkled with fresh Parmesan cheese.  It came out of the oven bubbly and golden brown.  We loved it.

Katie's shephards pie 4 good

You will too.  Even if you have to wait for the next cold snap, it is worth adding to your favorites file.

Cottage Fireplace

We won’t be seeing this again for a while.


1 Tablespoon olive or canola oil
1 onion finely diced
3 large cloves garlic, crushed
1 1/4 lbs. lean ground free-range beef
2 cups beef broth
1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons steak sauce
3 tablespoons barbecue sauce
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
4 sprigs thyme, leaves picked, plus extra sprigs to garnish
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Roasted Garlic and Cheesy Mash Topping:
3 large cloves garlic, unpeeled
Sea salt and ground white pepper
5 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
1/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons plain greek yogurt
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan, plus extra for sprinkling

To make the topping, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Place the three whole garlic cloves on a baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes or until soft.  Remove and allow to cool, then squeeze out the soft flesh and discard the papery skin.

While the garlic is roasting, half-fill a large saucepan with cold water, season with a good pinch of salt, then add the potatoes.  Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-high and cook at a rolling simmer until the potatoes are cooked through and soft in the middle when pierced with a knife.  This is important if you want a really creamy mash – if they are even slightly firm in the middle you’ll never get smooth mash, as there will be tiny lumps dotted throughout.

Drain the potatoes, then tip them back into the pan and break up with a potato masher.  Pass the potato through a potato ricer until completely smooth.  Add the milk, yogurt, parmesan and cooled roasted garlic and mix together well.  Season generously with salt and pepper, then set aside (or, if you’d like a decorative topping, transfer to a large icing bag fitted with a 1/2 inch star-shaped nozzle and set aside until required).

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large, deep skillet or saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion and fry for 5 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for a further 5-7 minutes.  Add the ground beef and stir well, breaking up any lumps with the back of a wooden spoon.  Cook until the beef is nicely browned, (drain off fat if any accumulates) then add the broth, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, steak sauce, barbecue sauce, nutmeg and thyme leaves and stir everything together.  Season with salt and pepper and cook for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened.  Spoon the mixture into a 6 cup capacity baking dish.

Pipe or spoon the mashed potato over the filling and sprinkle with extra parmesan and pepper.  Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the potato is golden brown.  Sprinkle over a little more parmesan, if liked, scatter over extra thyme sprigs and serve hot.

Printable recipe

9 responses to “Katie’s Shepherd’s Pie”

  1. Pondside says:

    We always have some cool days in June and this will be perfect. I’ve already printed the recipe so that I don’t have to go looking for it!

  2. Penny @ The Comforts of Home says:

    That sounds really good. I have been craving shepherds pie for some time. It is still a little cool today, so I might have to make this tonight!

  3. Mary says:

    I have Katie’s cook book – it’s gorgeous – but have yet to use it! I used to love Shepherd’s Pie growing up – always with lamb of course in England (with beef we called it Cottage Pie), but alas, now I no longer eat any type of meat I can’t indulge, unless of course I could try one of those veggie ‘faux meat’ mixes – maybe I’ll try that!
    Looks delish Penny – hope you enjoy the cooler days because you know it will be HOT again soon. Perfect here and I’ve just come in from the garden – was given some plants yesterday and needed to tuck more sunflower seeds in the ground – the ‘accidental’ ones which have sprouted from the dropped bird seed are growing so decided to buy proper seeds and see if I can create a little bit of Provence this Summer – right here!

    Hugs – Mary

  4. Sam Hoffer says:

    What an attractive dish and roasted garlic mashed potatoes as a topping sound divine. Mother Nature provided a Blackberry Winter for us over the weekend and our temps at night dipped down into the 30’s. Burr…definitely time for comfort food. We must have been on the same track. I made Boeuf Bourguignon and French Onion soup.

  5. cheri says:

    Love the cookbook What Katie Ate, I’ve been eyeing this particular recipe, but the weather turned here before I could make it. Great looking dish!

  6. Larry says:

    With all those meat sauces and the garlic mashed potatoes, I can believe it is the best version you’ve eaten and I look forward to trying it. I’d rather have the 50* morning requiring a little fire than the 90* days. After being hot up to now, it’s been in the high 70’s here in Charleston the past several days and I’m enjoying having the coach open verses the AC.

  7. Karen (Back Road Journal) says:

    Even though they say May has been warmer than normal here in New Hampshire we haven’t had many days even hit 80. Yesterday it was 60 with 20 MPH winds and your shepherds pie would have been perfect. Love your beautiful room with the fireplace. 🙂

  8. Lemon Tart says:

    It has been extremely hot here, 102°, but when it gets cooler again this will be on the menu.


  9. Susan says:

    Our weather has been doing the yo-yo thing too. One day almost 90 and
    then back to 50s and 60s. Glad to hear we aren’t alone 🙂 I am
    definitely going to safe this recipe for our next cold snap! It sounds
    really delicious and a perfect comfort food for a cool night.

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