One Pot Shepherd’s Pie

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When I was young, mom used to make Tater Tot Casserole loaded with hamburger, cream of mushroom soup and frozen veggies. Naturally, I carried on the tradition for our seven kids, which they all loved! Over time, we’ve tried to eat healthier fare so I re-created the casserole using homemade mashed potatoes and beef broth instead of Tater Tots and Cream of Mushroom soup.

Lately I’ve been developing recipes using one pot, which has made my husband very happy since he usually does the dishes when I cook. Normally Shepherd’s Pie would require a pot for boiling  the potatoes, a frying pan for cooking the hamburger and a casserole dish for baking. This is why I love my Lodge Cast Iron Dutch oven…from stove to oven to table, all in one pot!

First I cook the potatoes and set those aside. Then I drain the water, add some olive oil and cook the onion, garlic and meat. While that’s coming together I mash the potatoes. Back to the pot I go to add spices, beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, milk (with cornstarch for thickening the gravy) and veggies. Lastly I spread the mashed potatoes on top and pop it in the oven.

A big bubbling pot of Shepherd’s Pie, fresh out of the oven, really hits the pot, I mean spot! What’s at the root of this food? Flavorful and delicious, Shepherd’s Pie, guaranteed to make your favorite meat and potato-lover very happy!

One Pot Shepherd’s Pie

For the mashed potatoes:

  • 5-6 medium potatoes
  • ½ cup warm milk
  • 1-2 T butter
  • Spices to taste (seasoned salt, pepper and garlic granules)

For the filling:

  • 1 T olive oil
  • ½ medium onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ½ pound ground beef
  • 1 tsp garlic granules
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt or seasoned salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 can beef broth
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 heaping T corn starch
  • 1 ½ cups frozen pea/carrot mix

Peel and chop potatoes. Place in pot and cover with water; bring to a boil; cook until tender. Drain water and place potatoes in a mixing bowl. Add milk, butter and spices. Using a hand mixer or potato masher, mix until smooth. Add more milk as needed for additional creaminess.

Preheat oven to 350º. Warm pot on medium/high heat, add olive oil, onion; stir and sauté for 2-3 minutes; add ground beef; crumble and cook until no longer pink. Add spices and beef broth; stir to combine. Whisk corn starch into cold milk. As beef mixture begins to simmer, add milk/corn starch mixture; stir and continue to simmer until sauce thickens. Remove pot from heat; sprinkle frozen carrots and peas over meat, then spread mashed potatoes on top of frozen vegetables. Sprinkle with seasoned salt or paprika. Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbling.

Serve with your favorite vegetable and salad.

Root Notes

  • You can substitute ground turkey or chicken for the ground beef but I personally think the beef is perfect in this dish.
  • For chicken, use 2 cups pre-cooked or cut 2 chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces; sauté with onion and garlic in olive oil for 5-7 minutes or until cooked through. Then add all the other layers as outlined in the recipe, substituting chicken broth for beef broth.
  • Any kind of frozen or canned vegetables would work. Sometimes I use green beans and/or corn.
  • Tater Tots sure taste good but alas, their ingredient list is not Family Food Roots friendly! From the Ore Ida website: potatoes, vegetable oil blend (soybean and cottonseed), salt, yellow corn flour, dextrose, sodium acid pyrophosphate (to retain natural color), dehydrated onion, sodium acid sulfate, natural flavor.
  • A good Family Food Roots tip is if you can’t pronounce an ingredient or have to Google what it is, DO NOT BUY that food item!
  • If you don’t have a large pot, just use a smaller one for the potatoes, a frying pan for the meat and a casserole dish for baking.  

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