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When I was growing up, we had "family night" every Sunday at 5_30pm. It was a joyous weekly event of playing with my cousins, chatting with the adults and having the occasional family brawl over topics on '60 Minutes'. Regardless, it was a time that we would all be together without fail sharing food and fun. Every woman in the family (of course none of the men in the McCord clan cooked unless it was something that could be burned on a barbeque grill) had their own special recipes and for one of my aunts, it was shepherd’s pie.
I'll be honest, I remember the first few times I walked up to the buffet line I would scrape off as much of the mashed potatoes and cheese for myself as possible, leaving the veggies and meat at the bottom for someone else to eat. I wasn't a picky kid, but I knew what I loved.
Lately, some of my girlfriends have been starting a new tradition of
Wednesday night dinner with some of the neighborhood families. Last week I decided to make shepherd’s pie to see if any of the veggies and meat would make it to the kids’ plates. I was kind of shocked. Of course Kenya ate almost every bite (I’m either blessed or cursed that this child will eat anything), but the other kids seemed to enjoy it too, peas and all.
Shepherd’s pie is such a great family dish because you can puree it up for a baby and the toddlers, big kids and adults can enjoy it in its solid form.
Packed with protein, veggies and carbohydrates, it really is an all-in -one meal. My version of shepherd’s pie is on the healthy side. I love mashed potatoes as much as the next person, but a stick of butter and heavy cream seems a little too rich for my blood for a stay-at -home meal, so I've played with it to keep the flavor, but reduce a lot of the fat. So, now everyone in the family can enjoy weelicious recipes, be healthy and leave the table with full bellies!

[amd-recipeseo-recipe:691]

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Shepherd's Pie (Makes 6-8 Servings)

Prep Time: 30 mins Cook Time: 30 mins

egg free

nut free

Ingredients

  • 4 Potatoes, russet or Idaho, peeled and cut into quarters
  • 1/3 Cup milk
  • 4 Tbsp Butter, divided
  • 1 Lb Ground Meat
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Carrot, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 Celery Stalk, diced
  • 2 Tbsp Flour
  • 1 Cup Beef Stock (or 1 bouillon cube dissolved in 1 cup of warm water)
  • 2 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 Cup Peas, defrosted if frozen
  • 1/2 Cup Cheddar Cheese, shredded
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water if you choose, about 1 tbsp. Add the potatoes and reduce heat to a simmer.
3. Cook for 12 minutes or until fork tender.
4. Drain potatoes and mash in a ricer or by hand.
5. Add the milk and 2 tablespoons of the butter and mash until smooth.
6. Heat a saute pan over medium heat. Brown the ground meat for 5-6 minutes and drain off the oil when finished. Place the meat aside.
7. Heat the olive oil in the same saute pan over medium heat and cook the onion, celery and carrot until soft and tender — about 4 minutes. Place the vegetable mixture with the meat.
8. In the same saute pan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the flour, stirring constantly making a roux.
9. When the roux is a golden colored paste, add the beef stock and worcestershire sauce, stir with a whisk to thoroughly combine.
10. Add the meat and vegetable mixture to the sauce and combine.
11. In several individual ramekins or a large casserole dish, place the meat and vegetable mixture.
12. Sprinkle the peas on top.
13. Spread the mashed potatoes on top of the peas.
14. Sprinkle the mashed potatoes with cheese.
15. Bake 30 minutes for the large casserole or 15 minutes for individual ramekins.
16. Let cool for kids. Serve warm for adults.
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Hi, I’m Catherine. Mama of three. A Kentucky girl living in California. Here’s what I know: all kids can be great eaters and mealtime must be easy. My passion is creating simple, healthy recipes that can be enjoyed by the whole family.

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13 comments

  • Blair

    What a coincidence. I was planning to make this for the adults tonight, and you have a kid version on the exact same day.
    When are you coming out with a book? I think you're fantastic!

    leave a comment

  • Cathy Hill

    Catherine. You are the best!! Thank you for the family night nod. I love the way you described it. In fact I just served Aunt Susan and Uncle John's Island Shepherd's pie last Sunday, and they seemed pretty happy to have it (although my version wasn't nearly as healthy as yours). Best of luck - Looks like Weelicious is a home-run. Love, Aunt Cathy

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  • Vicki

    I made this for my baby and hubby and got rave results! Substituted turkey and margarine instead of beef and butter, vegetable stock for the roux. My 18 month old gobbled it down. I had to keep him calm for 5 minutes while I cooled it from the oven in the freezer!

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  • Taren

    This recipe was awesome!! My 2 year old gobbled it up! This dish got a huge thumbs up from the whole family!

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  • Dawn

    I made this last night for my 18 month old daughter (and us too!) who won't eat meat and she actually got back a bit of the beef! She also ate the cheesy potatoes and picked out every single pea to eat one by one. We enjoyed it too. I just stumbled across your site and love it. I'll be back more often. We also try to eat as local/organic/naturally as possibly and there are some great recipes here. I am off to try the falafel recipe now.

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  • One Family. One Meal. Weelicious ™ Fast, Easy & Fresh Homemade Home Made Baby Food Babyfood Recipes, Toddler Food And Recipes For The Entire family!

    [...] with few teeth Fish in Parchment: You can make this with fish or chicken and puree for babies Shepherd’s Pie: Replace the milk with almond, rice or soy milk and pure for babies Sweet Potato, Apple & [...]

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  • James Tufano

    This is most definitely one of the better articles I have located on this subject. I would like to know if you have you looked into the other side of the subject of natural health? Personally, I think a solid case could be made either way, but please let me know if you know of more sources on the Internet that back up what you are proposing.

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  • Adina

    Made this last night, and I just realized I forgot the roux!
    My daughter was reading the recipe to me as I was preparing, and somehow missed that part, but guess what? It was still delicious! My pickiest who truly barely eats one serving, had three!
    TIP: To entice my little ones to eat the meat part as well (bc they def. prefer the mashed potatoes), I put the potatoes both on the bottom & the top with the meat in between, and they ate it all:)
    Now to see about that roux...

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    • Adina

      Just wanted to thank Catherine for her amazing vision. This website is inspiring! Was wishing for something like this for years, & was absolutely giddy to find this website. Thank you!!

      leave a comment

  • Jellyjello

    made this tonight and it was great!

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  • elfkind1980

    Can this be done with Sweet Potatoes?

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    • Catherine

      Yes! That would be so yummy! Same directions. You might need to cook the sweet potatoes a bit longer to get them soft enough to mash!

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  • Ndohmac

    Made with sweet potatoes and so yum!

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