Poor Man’s Shepherd’s Pie

Sort of an oxymoron, since the traditional Shepherd’s Pie used inexpensive cuts of meat from what they had on hand . . . lamb, but today lamb is an expensive extravagance. Beef, however, will do almost as well.


2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, diced
3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
1 rib celery, sliced

1 bell pepper, chopped

1 14 oz. can Ro-tel tomatoes, undrained

1/2 cup red wine
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves garlic, diced
1/2 pound white mushrooms, roughly chopped

1 pound lean ground beef (go ahead and use lamb, if you want to splurge)

Seasoning to taste

Mashed Potatoes:
1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled quartered
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup milk
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup grated Parmesan, optional

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

Boil the potatoes in enough water to cover until soft; about 15 minutes. While the potatoes are cooking, place the olive oil and butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When butter has melted, add the onion, carrots, celery, and bell pepper; sauté about 5 minutes. Add the Ro-Tel, wine, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, mushrooms and ground beef and continue to sauté until the beef is browned; about 6-7 more minutes.

While the beef is browning, drain the boiled potatoes and transfer to a mixing bowl. Add in the salt, milk, and butter. Mash until smooth, then stir in the parsley and pepper; set aside.

Carefully transfer the meat and veggies to a large casserole dish (or you can leave it in the Dutch oven, if it’s oven-proof) and spread the mashed potatoes over the top. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the top. Place in the oven, and cook, uncovered, until potatoes are browned; about 40-45 minutes.

Remove from oven and let sit for about 10-15 minutes before serving.