Beef Shepherds Pie

Plate the Shepherd's Pie (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Beef Shepherds Pie. What’s better on a cold wintry night? Shredded beef, red wine, beef stock, onions, peas, and carrots topped with cheesy mashed potatoes. It’s a great way to use beef and mashed potato leftovers from another meal!

Beefy Shepherd's Pie with a Cheesy Mashed Potato Topping (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Beefy Shepherd’s Pie with a Cheesy Mashed Potato Topping (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

One of my husband’s favorite dishes is Shepherd’s Pie, also known as Cottage Pie. I wondered about using shredded beef this time, instead of my usual smoked chicken in my Succulent Smoked Chicken Shepherd’s Pie or the usual ground meat in the traditional beef or lamb version.

Beef Shepherd's Pie hot and bubbling from the oven (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Beef Shepherd’s Pie hot and bubbling from the oven (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

For Christmas, my husband roasted a lovely prime rib of beef. We had a lot of leftover prime rib, so I froze some of it. Also, I had a few cups of mashed potatoes left over from another meal earlier this week. Shepherds Pie for an evening meal during this seemingly unending Winter sounded good to us.

Beefy Shepherd's Pie with a nice cheesy crust on the mashed potatoes  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Beefy Shepherd’s Pie with a nice cheesy crust on the mashed potatoes (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

I used some of the pre-cooked prime rib in this recipe. You could use an uncooked pot roast. Just be sure to sear the pot roast in oil until all sides are browned, but not cooked through. If you substitute uncooked pot roast, you’ll likely need to increase your simmering time so the meat cooks and becomes tender and succulent.

A slab of cooked prime rib from a previous meal (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
A slab of cooked prime rib from a previous meal (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Slice some onions lengthwise.

Slice some onions lengthwise  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Slice some onions lengthwise (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Warm some olive oil in a Dutch oven on the stove.

Warm olive oil in a pan  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Warm olive oil in a pan (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Add the sliced onions and let them sweat a bit and slightly caramelize.

Add the sliced onions to the olive oil  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Add the sliced onions to the olive oil (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Sweat the onions and let them slightly caramelize  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Sweat the onions and let them slightly caramelize (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Place the prime rib slab on top of the onions.

Place the prime rib over the onions  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Place the prime rib over the onions (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Add beef broth and some dry red wine to cover the meat.

Add the beef stock  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Add the beef stock (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Add some dry red wine  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Add some dry red wine (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Cover and simmer for a few hours until the meat starts to fall apart. You can help it along as it softens by separating it with a fork.

Prime rib is starting to fall apart  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Prime rib is starting to fall apart (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Keep simmering until the beef falls apart  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Keep simmering until the beef falls apart (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
The liquid has evaporated from the meat  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
The liquid has evaporated from the meat (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Get the onion, carrot and peas ready. Dice the onion and carrot. Set the peas aside in a bowl.

Onions, peas and carrots (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Onions, peas and carrots (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Warm some butter in a non-stick skillet. Saute the onion and carrot until they soften.

Saute the onion and carrot  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Saute the onion and carrot (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Add the peas and stir to warm through.

Add the peas  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Add the peas (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Add 2 cups of the red wine braised beef to the vegetable mixture and warm through.

Add the red wine braised beef  to the vegetables (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Add the red wine braised beef to the vegetables (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

In another pan, warm some mashed potatoes. Stir until warmed through.

Warm the mashed potatoes  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Warm the mashed potatoes (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Transfer the beef vegetable mixture to a large greased ramekin. Spoon the warmed mashed potatoes over the beef vegetable mixture.

Spoon the mashed potatoes over the beef mixture  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Spoon the mashed potatoes over the beef mixture (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Smooth the mashed potato topping with a spatula. Sprinkle with some shredded cheeses.

Sprinkle the top with shredded cheeses  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Sprinkle the top with shredded cheeses (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
The Shepherd's Pie is ready for baking  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
The Shepherd’s Pie is ready for baking (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

And bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour.

Bake the Beef Shepherd's Pie until the top is browned and bubbling  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Bake the Beef Shepherd’s Pie until the top is browned and bubbling (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

When the Beef Shepherds Pie is bubbling on top and the internal temperature is at least 160 degrees, remove it from the oven.

Bubbling top on the Shepherd's Pie  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Bubbling top on the Shepherd’s Pie (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Let the Beef Shepherds Pie sit for a few minutes to cool slightly.

Beefy Shepherd's Pie is ready to cool  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Beefy Shepherd’s Pie is ready to cool (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

When the Shepherds Pie has cooled slightly, plate it.

Beefy Shepherd's Pie is ready to eat  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Beefy Shepherd’s Pie is ready to eat (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Plate the Shepherd's Pie  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Plate the Shepherd’s Pie (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Healthy Serving of Beef Shepherd's Pie  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Healthy Serving of Beef Shepherd’s Pie (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

My Shepherds Pie is more of a stew than a pie. You won’t be able to cut pie slices out of it. But the flavors are there, rich and inviting. Comfort food at its best.

Our dog Atticus is keeping watch on the Shepherd's Pie plating process and hoping for a taste  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Our dog Atticus is keeping watch on the Shepherd’s Pie plating process and hoping for a taste (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Enjoy!!

+++++

From the kitchen of A Food Lover’s Delight….

Beef Shepherds Pie

Ingredients:

2 T olive oil
2 medium onions, peeled and sliced lengthwise
1 lb slab cooked prime rib (you can use uncooked beef pot roast, just be sure to season with salt and pepper on all sides, and then sear it in some oil until brown on all sides but not cooked through — you will need to increase your overall cooking time)
8 c beef broth
4 c dry red wine, divided
2 T butter
1 medium onion, peeled and diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 c green peas, thawed if frozen
2 c mashed potatoes
1 c shredded cheese (use sharp cheddar, Monterey Jack, or a mixture of the two)

Method:

1. In a Dutch oven, on the stovetop, warm the olive oil over medium heat.
2. Add the onions to the pan and saute until they are translucent and slightly caramelized.
3. Place the prime rib slab on top of the onions.
4. Add the beef broth and half of the red wine.
5. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, covered, for several hours or until the beef falls apart.
6. When the beef is starting to shred, and you can use a fork to help it along, add the rest of the red wine.
7. Simmer the shredded beef a bit longer, uncovered, until the liquid has evaporated. Remove the Dutch oven from the heat, cover, and set aside.
8. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
9. In a skillet, warm the butter.
10. Saute the diced onion and carrot until soft.
11. Add the green peas, stir, and warm through.
12. Add 2 cups of the red wine-braised shredded beef and stir. Set aside.
13. In another skillet, warm the mashed potatoes.
14. Transfer the beef and vegetable mixture to a greased large ramekin or baking dish.
15. Spread the mashed potatoes over the beef and vegetable mixture. Smooth the mashed potatoes with a spatula.
16. Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the mashed potatoes.
17. Bake for an hour, or until the top is browned and bubbling, and the internal temperature is 160 degrees.
18. When the Shepherds Pie is done, remove it from the oven and let cool for a few minutes.
19. Plate the Shepherds Pie, being sure to get some of the cheesy mashed potato topping on each of the servings.
20. Enjoy!

Serves 6 as a main course. Offer with a side salad such as my Simple Cucumber Salad and some crusty bread.

Variations: Use browned ground beef or lamb instead of using the wine-braised shredded beef. Add other vegetables to the mixture. Use a different cheese such as Havarti or Swiss. Mix the cheese into the mashed potatoes, then top the beef mixture, and use a fork to make pretty swirls in the mashed potatoes.

Leftover Beef Shepherd's Pie will reheat well  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Leftover Beef Shepherd’s Pie will reheat well (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Get your own Le Creuset Dutch Oven:

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