Fancy Shepherds Pie

I started with this recipe from Menu Musings, but I can’t ever leave anything well enough alone.  I am feeding a big family, so I beefed up the vegetables and sauce ingredients while keeping the meat portion the same.  Anything to make that meat stretch, right?  I didn’t do anything fancy to the mashed potatoes (no brown butter potatoes as found in the original recipe) aside from a bit of cream cheese, butter and milk.  We aren’t big wine drinkers, and I can’t tell a dry wine from a white wine from a red wine to anything else, so we keep a box of White Zinfendel in the fridge and use that every time wine is called for.  Including this. I turned this into two pies which fed my family of 8 and we still had leftovers.  When I asked my husband if he’d like me to heat up leftovers before he went to work, his response was “oh yes please, that was really good!”  That, my friends, means this recipe is a keeper.  So, without further babbling, here it is!

Variations:  I still can’t leave things well enough alone!  We recently did some more experimenting and discovered this pie is great topped with mashed sweet potatoes, bourbon in place of the wine and I was out of tomato paste so I just left that out when we tried these new variations.  Another hit.



  • 1.5lb ground beef
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic (give or take), minced
  • 8 carrots (give or take), finely diced
  • 1 cup wine of choice (we used white zinfendel)
  • 2c beef stock
  • 4tb tomato paste
  • 4 tb Worcestershire sauce
  • 4tb flour
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cans of peas, drained
  • Mashed potatoes (I cut up 6-10 medium sized taters)
  • Butter, cream cheese, milk to taste (for potatoes)


  1. Begin cooking your potatoes.  Peel and dice them, put them in a pot of cold water and bring to a boil.  Boil until soft.
  2. Brown your ground beef in a large skillet.  When it’s mostly done, add the onion and cook until it’s soft.  Add garlic and carrots and cook until the carrots begin to soften.
  3. Raise your heat to high-ish and let the pan heat a minute.  Then, add your wine.  It’ll sizzle and steam – it’s deglazing your pan.  Any brown bits that stuck to the skillet will lift off and incorporate into your meal.  Those bits have flavor!  Reduce your heat to medium high. Then, add beef stock, tomato paste, worcestershire sauce and flour.  Mix it all again and return to a boil.  Once boiling, let it cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquids thicken into a sauce.  Watch the skillet, as the sauce may begin to stick to the bottom of the skillet.  Once it’s thickened to your liking, pull it off the heat and set aside.  Stir in peas.  Taste and add salt and pepper it necessary.
  4. If you haven’t checked on your potatoes lately, now is a good time to do that.  Hopefully they have cooked and are soft.  Drain, return to the pot.  Add butter and cream cheese, mix them around a bit to melt.  Begin mashing.  Once potatoes are chunky and butter and cheese has melted, add enough milk to fluff the potatoes. Continue mashing until texture of your liking has been achieved.  Then you can get all fancy and pipe the mashed potatoes into cute little mounds or swirls on the top of your pie, or slap it on and smooth it out with a spatula.  Enjoy!!
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