clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
shepherd's pie in a skillet with spoon

Easy Shepherd's Pie Recipe

  • Author: Brooke
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 15 1/2 cups 1x


Enjoy a cozy dinner with this easy shepherd's pie recipe.  It's a simple recipe made with gravy and ground beef in a cast iron skillet.  This classic comfort food is cooked on the stovetop, sprinkled with cheese, then baked in the oven to make it golden brown.  Your whole family will be asking for seconds!



For the Mashed Potatoes

  • 8 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cubed (1.52 kg)
  • 6 large garlic cloves, peeled, roasted and smashed
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons salted butter (42g)
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream (45 ml)
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (118 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

For the Meat and Veggies

  • 2 1/4 pounds ground beef, 80% lean meat (1.02 kg)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (15 ml)
  • 2 cups carrots, peeled and chopped (302g)
  • 2 1/2 cups yellow onion, chopped (360g)
  • 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 (133g)

For the Gravy

  • 4 tablespoons salted butter (57g)
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour (30g)
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted beef stock (354 ml)
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

For the Topping

  • 1/3 cup extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated (28g)
  • 1 large egg white
  • dash of smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon fresh parsley, chopped


Making the Mashed Potatoes

  1. Rinse, peel and cube the russet potatoes.  Put them a large pot of cold water.  Bring to a boil then simmer until fork tender, then drain.
  2. While the potatoes are cooking, preheat the oven to 425 F.  Peel the garlic cloves and toss with the olive oil in a small ramekin.  Put the ramekin on a baking tray and bake for 15 to 18 minutes.  Let cool, then smash with the bottom of a cup.
  3. Place the drained potatoes, smashed garlic, butter, sour cream, buttermilk, salt and pepper in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Whip the potatoes until they are smooth and creamy.  Adjust butter, sour cream, buttermilk, and seasonings according to taste, then set aside.

Cooking the Meat & Preparing the Vegetables

  1. Cook the ground hamburger in a 10-inch cast iron skillet set over medium heat, stirring occasionally until all the pink is gone.
  2. Drain off the fat by pouring the cooked meat into a colander placed over a bowl to catch the fat drippings.  You can also scoop up the hamburger with a large slotted spoon and place in a bowl then pour the fat from the skillet into a small bowl.
  3. Let the skillet cool for a couple of minutes, then wipe out the excess fat and remove any leftover hamburger with a spoon.
  4. Add one tablespoon of rendered fat back into the cast iron skillet and let it heat over medium-high heat.  Add the carrots and onions to the skillet and cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. 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.
  6. Stir in the cooked hamburger and the frozen peas and heat through over medium low heat.

Making the Gravy

  1. Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a small skillet set over medium heat.  Gradually add the 4 tablespoons of flour, whisking constantly, to make a roux.  Cook for two minutes, whisking constantly to cook the flour.
  2. Pour 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce into the beef stock and gradually whisk of 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 in the large cast iron skillet.  Mix well, taste, and adjust seasonings as desired.

Assembling the Shepherd's Pie

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  2. Stir the whipped potatoes until they are soft, then spread them evenly over the meat and veggie mixture in the skillet.  (Don't have an oven proof skillet?  Assemble in a 9x13-inch casserole dish.)
  3. Fluff the potatoes with a fork to make them textured, then brush them with egg white.  Sprinkle the grated cheddar cheese and smoked paprika evenly on top.
  4. Cook at 400 F for 20 minutes, then broil for 3 minutes until golden brown on top.
  5. Garnish with 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley.  Serve warm.


  • If you're planning on using leftover potatoes, make sure to reserve 3 1/2 to 4 cups.
  • Use a 9x13-inch pan or an oven safe Dutch oven if you don't own a cast iron skillet.
  • To get the texture you want, either mash, whip or rice the potatoes.
  • To catch drips that could bubble out, put it on a cookie sheet.
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Shepherd's pie, comfort food