Comfort food should be exactly as the label suggests – comforting. You want a meal that is easy to prepare and one that will hit the spot without anything fancy or elaborate.
You want a meal that is comforting and hot, one that gives you everything you are looking for in terms of nutrient and ingredients – you want meat, vegetables, and a fragrant sauce that goes over everything to add the final touch.
So essentially, you want and easy Sheppard’s pie with its ground beef and vegetable fillings, and can be paired with a savoury gravy if you choose. That’s why today we are going to learn how to make an easy Sheppard’s pie that everyone in the household will enjoy.
Sheppards pie recipe with Ground Beef or Ground Turkey?
This recipe calls for either ground beef or ground turkey so you might be wondering what would be the better alternative for your dish. Well either one is a great meat to use in a Sheppard’s pie but ultimately, the choice is yours.
Ground beef tends to have a slightly higher fat content, leading it to be a moister meat when it comes to recipes to the point you might have to drain it off after frying. To avoid this – you have to choose the lean or extra lean option in the grocery store. Ground beef is full of nutrients, however, that the body requires for fuel and good physical health. It is heavier on the stomach than the ground turkey but when it comes to adding taste to your dishes? The ground beef wins each time.
Ground turkey is a leaner meat and contains a lot of natural vitamins, as well as nutrients, that the body requires for fuel. It contains slightly less protein than ground beef but it also contains less fat and calories. For the healthier option? Ground turkey is the winner but you might need to spice it up a tad bit more!
Another option as well is to use ground tofu or meat alternative if you practice a vegetarian lifestyle.
What Pairs Well with Sheppard’s Pie?
Generally, Sheppard’s pie is a main dish and not a side dish, which means you might want to think about what to add as a side when serving this one. Sheppard’s pie, however, is the type of dish that doesn’t require a side unless you want to incorporate more vegetables into the meal. In that case? You can pair it with a small side salad.
Another option? Fresh baked bread with fresh butter is always a winner
Ingredients you’ll need for Sheppard’s Pie:
- 4 cups of prepared mashed potatoes – homemade or instant, both work well in this recipe
- 2 tablespoons of butter or margarine
- 1 small to medium onion, chopped
- 2 cups mixed vegetables – fresh, frozen, or canned work just fine in this recipe
- 1 ½ pounds of ground beef or ground turkey – whichever the preference
- ½ cup of beef broth – use no salt added if preferred
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Dry parsley
How to make the Sheppard’s Pie:
Step 1: Cook onion
Assemble all ingredients before starting to prepare the dish. Chop the onion, prepare the vegetables (drain water from the can, peel the fresh, etc.). Preheat the oven to 400° to allow the heat to build before putting the finished dish in the oven for baking. Using a medium-sized frying pan on medium to high heat, sauté the onion in the butter until it is tender and can be easily pierced with a fork. Don’t overcook the onion as you want it tender, not soggy. Don’t drain any of the butter or juices from the onion of out the frying pan as you will need this for the next step in the recipe.
Step 2: add meat
Add the ground beef or turkey into the frying pan. Stir constantly to brown and cook the meat while integrating the onion into the meat. Allow the onion to fully mix with the meat and the taste of the butter/onion to go through to add flavour.
Step 3: cook meat until done
Once the meat is thoroughly cooked and brown – drain any excess juices or fat from the mixture as you don’t want it to penetrate the vegetables which can lead to soggy ingredients.
Step 4: add veggies
Slowly add the vegetables into the frying pan. Do not dump them all at once but slowly add them in to prevent them from clumping together on the top of the meat. Stirring the vegetables, allow them to tenderize and warm through without overcooking and becoming mushy. You want crisp vegetables that are not raw but are not completely cooked either.
Step 5: add wet ingredients
Once the vegetables have been tenderized and warmed through – you want to add the wet ingredients. Slowly stir in the beef broth covering the meat and vegetables entirely.
Step 6: final steps
Add in the Worcestershire sauce and stir until it has been absorbed. Turn the heat to low and allow the mixture to simmer for about 10 minutes. Keep it uncovered to prevent a buildup of condensation. While the mixture is simmering – spray a baking with non-stick spray. Remove the mixture from the heat source and pour enough into the dish to cover the bottom.
Step 7: ready for bake
Add a layer of mashed potatoes on top of the meat mixture. Alternate between the meat mixture and the mash potatoes until both are completely used up but make sure that the TOP layer is mashed potatoes.
Step 8: bake
Bake the layered dish in the oven for about 40 minutes or until the mashed potatoes are a nice golden-brown color. Don’t go over the 40 minutes because it could burn the meat and potatoes, ruining the overall taste. Let stand for about 10 minutes before serving and then enjoy!