When it comes to the “meat-and-potatoes” of comfort food, there’s one dish we think puts it together the best: Shepherd’s pie. With a juicy ground meat filling and a topping of fluffy mashed potatoes, it’s a dish more than 160 years in the making and an all-in-one meal that’s all at once simple and satisfying. Here are some of our favorite ways to make this classic dish.
Though it closely resembles a traditional recipe for shepherd’s pie, Food Network Magazine’s dish includes smoked bacon for an extra burst of umami. For the mashed topping, the recipe adds turnips for a depth of earthy flavor.
Though we think of a shepherd’s pie as having any meaty filling, lamb is the traditional meat of choice for the English – a dish with a beef-based filling is referred to as cottage pie. Valerie Bertinelli’s take on the dish adds an herbaceous quality by infusing the saucy filling with bay leaf, mint and sage.
Combine the two traditional meaty bases with a filling that’s half-beef, half-lamb and all amazing. The filling is cooked with a healthy dose of Irish stout because (as we’ve mentioned in the past) beer belongs in your food as much as it does in your glass.
Beer makes another appearance with Damaris Phillips’ recipe for Porter and Vegetable Shepherd’s Pie. She also spices and brightens up the mashed potato topping with pepper Jack cheese, cream cheese and sour cream.
If you want to tone down the stick-to-your-ribs quality of the dish, use lean ground turkey and lean ground beef.
Chorizo might not have been at hand for the dish a century ago, but it is now. Add fun flavor to the dish with some spicy sausage in the ground beef filling.