Skillet shepherd's pie is a classic comfort food for meat-and-potato lovers.  This recipe is made special by the garlic whipped potatoes and mouthwatering gravy.

Prep Time: 1 hour
shepherd's pie in a cast iron skillet

Skillet Shepherd’s Pie

Skillet shepherd’s pie is the ultimate comfort food for meat and potato lovers.  My cutie pie Bookworm Beth shared with me about a character in a British Henty book she was reading yesterday that was “mightily fond of the pleasures of the table.”  Can you relate to that comment?  My girls and I are mightily fond of this skillet shepherd’s pie and with one taste you will be too.




This British inspired recipe has roasted garlic in the creamy whipped potatoes and a flavorful gravy that will make this dish anything but boring.  The traditional peas and carrot are thrown inside for color, nutrition, and taste.  To top it all off, a generous sprinkle of extra sharp cheddar cheese is added for all the cheese lovers out there.  Skillet shepherd’s pie might take a while to make, but I guarantee you it will be well worth it.

shepherd's pie in a cast iron skillet

Skillet Shepherd’s Pie

  • Author: Brooke
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 15 1/2 cups
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: British


Skillet shepherd’s pie is a classic comfort food for meat-and-potato lovers.  This recipe is made special by the garlic whipped potatoes and mouthwatering gravy.


For the Roasted Garlic Whipped Potatoes

  • 8 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 6 large garlic cloves, peeled, roasted and smashed
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

For the Meat and Veggies

  • 2 1/4 pounds ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 teaspoons garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon ground savory
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup frozen peas

For the Gravy

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups beef stock (reserve 1/2 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

For the Topping

  • 1/3 cup extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 egg white
  • sprinkle of smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon fresh parsley, chopped


Making the Roasted Garlic Whipped Potatoes

  1. Rinse, peel and cube the russet potatoes.  Put them a large pot of cold water.  Bring to a boil then simmer.  Cook until fork tender.  Drain.
  2. While the potatoes are cooking, preheat the oven to 425 F.  Peel 6 large garlic cloves and place in a small ramekin.  Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon olive oil over top, and mix it in by hand to coat each clove.  Put the ramekin on a baking tray.  Bake for 15 to 18 minutes.  Let cool then smash with the bottom of a cup.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the drained potatoes, smashed garlic, butter, sour cream, buttermilk, salt and pepper.  Turn the stand mixer on and whip the potatoes until they are smooth and creamy.  Adjust butter, sour cream, buttermilk, and seasonings according to taste.  Set aside.

Cooking the Meat & Preparing the Vegetables

  1. In a large cast iron skillet, cook the ground hamburger over medium heat, stirring occasionally until all the pink is gone, roughly 8 minutes
  2. While the hamburger is cooking, cook the chopped carrots in a medium skillet for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Drain off the fat by pouring the cooked meat into a colander placed over a bowl to catch the fat drippings.  You can also spoon out the hamburger with a large slotted spider spoon and place in a bowl then pour out the fat into a small bowl.
  4. Let the skillet cool for a couple of minutes, then wipe out the excess fat and remove any leftover hamburger with a spoon.
  5. Over medium high heat, add one tablespoon of rendered fat into the cast iron skillet and let it heat up.  Add the carrots and onions to the skillet and cook for 3 minutes stirring occasionally.
  6. Add the garlic and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook until fragrant, roughly a minute.  Add the rest of the spices and stir until well combined.
  7. In the cast iron skillet, add the cooked hamburger and the frozen peas, stir, and heat through over medium low heat.

Making the Gravy

  1. In the same skillet you used for the carrots, melt 4 tablespoons of butter over medium heat.  Gradually add the 4 tablespoons of flour, whisking constantly, to make a roux.  Cook for two minutes while constantly whisking.
  2. Pour 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce into the beef stock and gradually whisk 1 cup the stock into the roux.  Keep whisking for a minute or two until the gravy has thickened.
  3. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of beef stock and stir.  If needed, add the 1/2 cup of filtered water to thin out your gravy.  Once your gravy is the consistency you like, pour it over the hamburger veggie mixture that is in the large cast iron skillet.  Mix well.  Taste and adjust seasonings.

Assembling the Shepherd’s Pie

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  2. Stir the whipped potatoes with a big spoon until they are a soft, then spread them evenly over the meat and veggie mixture in the skillet.  Fluff them with a fork to make them textured.
  3. Brush your potatoes with egg white.
  4. Sprinkle the grated cheddar cheese and smoked paprika evenly on top.
  5. Cook at 400 F for 20 minutes or until browned to your preference.
  6. Garnish with 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley.
  7. Serve warm.


  • All of this recipe can be made in advance the night before or the morning of your dinner event.  Just increase the final cooking time and keep an eye on it when you want to bake it.

Keywords: Shepherd's pie, comfort food







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