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Easy Shepherd's (Cottage) Pie

Need a fast, easy, and inexpensive meal for the week? Try this easy Shepherd's Pie... or is it Cottage Pie? Well, if you're using lamb, then it's Shepherd's Pie. But if you're using beef, then it's Cottage Pie. I don't eat lamb, so we used ground beef, but the recipe that we used from the Food Network called it Shepherd's Pie so that's what we're calling it here. Whatever it is you prefer, I hope you enjoy it!

(Note: This recipe has been modified and shortened to to make it faster and to use ingredients that we had on hand. Like most, our time is limited and we want to make meals healthy and easy for week nights! Modifications of ingredients are in bold. You can find the full original recipe here.)

Ingredient List

For the potatoes:

- 1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes

- 1/4 cup half-and-half (We used regular 2% milk, healthier!)

- 2 ounces unsalted butter

- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

- 1 egg yolk

For the meat filling:

- 2 tablespoons canola oil (we did not use this)

- 1 cup chopped onion (can use onion flakes if that's all you have)

- 2 carrots, peeled and diced small (I think we used more because we like carrots!)

- 2 cloves garlic, minced (can use garlic in a jar)

- 1 1/2 pounds ground lamb (again, we used ground beef)

- 1 teaspoon kosher salt

- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

- 2 teaspoons tomato paste (did not use)

- 1 cup chicken broth

- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (we didn't have this on hand, so we used a combination of sweet BBQ sauce and soy sauce...and I think it was pretty good!)

- 2 teaspoons freshly chopped rosemary leaves

- 1 teaspoon freshly chopped thyme leaves

- 1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels (didn't use these)

- 1/2 cup fresh or frozen English peas (can substitute for canned peas)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

1. Peel the potatoes and cut to make them easier to boil. Place in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Set over high heat, cover and bring to a boil. Drain the potatoes in a colander. Mash the potatoes in a bowl using hand-held blender and then add the half and half (milk), butter, salt and pepper and continue to mash until smooth. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce (or whatever you have on hand like we did). **Note, the original recipe called for the Worcestershire sauce to be mixed in with the ground beef mixture, but we thought it was easier this way** Stir in the yolk until well combined (we forgot this step, so it's really not necessary!).

2. While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the filling. Brown the ground beef. Boil sliced carrots until tender. Add the onion and garlic and stir to combine. Mix ground beef, carrot mixture, and pepper and cook until browned and cooked through. Sprinkle the meat with the flour (optional) and toss to coat, continuing to cook for another minute. Add the tomato paste, chicken broth, rosemary, thyme, and stir to combine (all optional). Bring to a boil.

3. Add the corn and peas to the beef mixture and spread evenly into an 11 by 7-inch baking dish. Top with the mashed potatoes, starting around the edges to create a seal to prevent the mixture from bubbling up and smooth with a rubber spatula. Place on a parchment lined half sheet pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 25 minutes or just until the potatoes begin to brown. Remove to a cooling rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Bakes: 25 minutes

Makes: 8 servings

We had plenty for left overs the next couple of days! I hope you enjoy!

P.S. because Cottage Pie isn't very photogenic (really, it looks like meatloaf and mashed potatoes all mixed together. Not attractive!), I've decided to include a picture from one of my travels to Ireland! It really is as beautiful as they say.

Thank you for reading!


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