The term Cottage pie was first used in 1791 in reference to the lower income families who lived in rural dwellings called cottages. As potatoes were introduced as a hearty and edible crop for the poor, the term Cottage pie came to refer to a dish comprised of leftover scraps of meat of any variety, topped with mashed potatoes, and then baked to form a crust. The term Shepherd’s pie is has been used synonymously with Cottage pie, and both generally refer to a ground meat dish topped with mashed potatoes. A popular pub food, Shepherd’s pie is a hearty meal for a cold winter night.
There are many variations of the Shepherd’s pie dish, with versions including a potato crust, pastry crust, and even fish or tofu as a meat substitute. This traditional Shepherd’s pie recipe includes a variety of vegetables and ground beef. By using instant mashed potatoes, the preparation time is cut in half. Use flavored mashed potatoes such as butter and chive, or herb for added flavour.
Easy Shepherd’s Pie with Vegetables
- 1 lb of lean or regular ground beef
- 1 can of whole kernel corn
- 1 can of green beans
- 1 can of sliced mushrooms
- 1 medium yellow or white onion (Here are some great onion choppers for you!)
- 1 box of instant mashed potatoes, prepared as directed
- 2 cloves of garlic (Here are some great garlic presses for you!)
- 1 tablespoon dried vegetable seasoning
- 1 teaspoon dried dill
- 1 teaspoon olive oil (Here’s some olive oil dispensers you may like)
- ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large pot or wok, heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil over medium heat. Dice 1 whole onion and sauté in oil. Roughly chop garlic cloves and add to onions. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sauté until onions turn clear.
- Add 1 lb of ground beef into pot, stirring constantly to break up meat into a crumble. Continue to brown meat for approximately 6-8 minutes. Preheat oven to 325 F. Prepare instant mashed potatoes as directed.
- Open and drain water out of cans of corn, beans, and mushrooms. Add entire can of each into the ground beef. Mix well. Add dill and vegetable seasonings, stirring until thoroughly mixed. Lower heat to medium-low setting and stir for 4 – minutes until vegetables heated.
- Carefully pour meat and vegetable mixture into an 8” or 9 x 9” square glass or ceramic baking dish. Ensure mixture is level. Spoon mashed potatoes onto the top of the meat. Gently spread mashed potatoes to cover the entire surface of the meat. Top with grated cheddar cheese.
- Place in preheated oven for 45 minutes or until cheese is melted and top of potatoes is lightly crusted. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before slicing.
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