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Cheddar-topped Shepherd’s Pie

By December 16, 2013Food, Main Courses, Recipes


Happy Monday! Shepherd’s Pie is right next to Tator-tot Hotdish on my list of favorite winter eats. When you come down to it, they are pretty much the same thing, but hotdish still has my heart. Erica and I made this recipe a few weeks ago (I know, we are of course woefully behind on menu planning posts), but I thought I’d share the recipe anyhow since for many of us, we just got our first snow of the season.


Adapted slightly from Martha Stewart
2 pounds baking potatoes (about 4), peeled and thinly sliced (can also use sweet potatoes)
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 tablespoon coconut oil, such as safflower
6 medium carrots, halved lengthwise, quartered if large, and thinly sliced
6 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 cup almond purpose flour
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 pounds ground beef chuck
1 cup whole milk
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp white cheddar (6 ounces)


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place potatoes in a large saucepan, and cover by 1 inch with salted water. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer. Cook until potatoes are easily pierced with the tip of a paring knife, roughly 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Heat oil in a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium-high. Add carrots, celery, onion, and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, around 8 to 10 minutes. Add flour and tomato paste; cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add beef and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until no longer pink, around 6 to 8 minutes. Add 1 cup water and bring to a boil, and simmer for 1 minute. Set beef filling aside.
  3. Drain potatoes and return to pan. Cook over medium, stirring until liquid has evaporated and a thin-film covers the bottom of pan, about 1 minute. Remove pan from heat, add milk and 1 cup cheese. Process in a food processor, or mash until smooth; season cheddar-potato topping with salt and pepper.
  4. Pour beef filling into a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Drop dollops of potato topping over filling and spread to edges with a rubber spatula. Using a fork, make decorative peaks. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake until topping is browned and filling is bubbling rapidly, about 20 minutes (if topping and filling were chilled, increase to 35 minutes). Let stand 5 minutes before serving.


We might have underestimated in the area of baking dishes. Our pie bubbled over the edges quite a bit, but as you can see, we still had our old stove, so I didn’t really care. It was amazing, and I love how the mashed potato gets a little crisp over the top. Perfect comfort food with plenty of winter left for a repeat soon!