This is my version of the Pioneer Woman’s fantastic Shepherd’s pie. Warning snobby comment to follow. Shepherd’s pie should only be named as such if it contains lamb, and Cottage pie usually applies to one made with beef. So – I love you Pioneer Woman, but no! Your recipe and mine are all about that beef. 😉
For the beef and vegetable layer:
1 lb. ground beef
1 1/2 c. chopped yellow onions
3/4 c. chopped carrots
2 celery sticks cleaned and minced
1/2 c. frozen corn kernels
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. flour
1 tsp. thyme
1 clove garlic minced
1 c. beef stock
1 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp of tomato paste
Salt and pepper
For the mashed potato layer:
2 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into large cubes
2 large leeks, cleaned and finely shredded (I sometimes use scallions instead)
1/2 c. heavy cream
1/4 c. milk
3 tbsp. butter, softened or melted
1 c. grated cheddar cheese or more – I tend to cover that bad boy with cheese.
Salt and pepper
PW says it serves four, I say it serves six.
Preheat oven to 425ºF.
Peel and cut potatoes into large cubes and place them in a pot filled with cold water. Place on the stove set over high heat and bring to a boil. Cook for about 15 minutes. Test potatoes with a fork for tenderness. Drain potatoes in a colander and allow them to cool.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, then add beef. Brown beef until fully cooked. Soak up excess beef fat with a paper towel, then add onions, celery, and carrots. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper, then cook for 10 minutes, until soft.
Add the corn, and cook for 2 minutes. Add butter to the pan and toss around until fully melted, then stir in flour, thyme leaves, and garlic. Stir for 1 minute, until flour disappears. Add beef stock, cook for a minute or two until broth thickens into a light sauce. Remove pan from heat and transfer beef and veggie mixture to an 8×8 baking dish.
Back to the potatoes! Add the three tablespoons of butter to a pan and let it get melty. Add potatoes and use a fork or potato masher to mash the potatoes, then stir in cream and milk. Make any necessary seasoning adjustments with salt and pepper. Spread mashed potatoes on top of the beef and veggies in the 8×8 baking dish. Sprinkle with grated cheese.
Bake cottage pie for 20–25 minutes, until mashed potatoes are golden brown and crispy on top. Serve and enjoy!