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Slow-Cooked Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd's pie is to the British as meat loaf is to Americans, so when I was a young child living in the U.K., I had it almost once a week. This is my go-to recipe when I'm longing for the sights and smells of my mother's kitchen. Turns out people here love it just as much! —Mari Sitkiewicz, Downers Grove, Illinois
  • Total Time
    Prep: 35 min. Cook: 5-1/4 hours
  • Makes
    5 servings


  • 2 pounds medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup 2% milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper, divided
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1-3/4 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/3 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley


  • Place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 10-15 minutes or until tender. Drain, then shake potatoes over low heat for 1 minute to dry. Mash potatoes, gradually adding butter and enough milk to reach desired consistency. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.
  • Add tomato paste; cook for 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms, carrots, broth, wine, Worcestershire sauce and thyme. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, until most of the liquid is evaporated. Stir in peas. Season with remaining salt and pepper.
  • Transfer beef mixture to a greased 4-qt. slow cooker. Spread mashed potatoes over top. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or until bubbly. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover and cook 10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Just before serving, sprinkle with parsley.
Bake option: Transfer cooked beef mixture to a greased 8-in. square baking dish. Spread mashed potatoes over top. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 30-40 minutes or until bubbly and topping is lightly browned. Sprinkle with parsley.
Nutrition Facts
1-1/2 cups: 419 calories, 19g fat (9g saturated fat), 79mg cholesterol, 746mg sodium, 35g carbohydrate (7g sugars, 4g fiber), 24g protein.

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  • agclaud
    Sep 13, 2017

    I made this with ground Lamb (as Shepherds Pie should be) and because I had them, pre bought mashed potatoes from Costco. It was perfect that I could assemble this before I left for rehearsal and know that my family would have a delicious meal waiting for them when they got home. I'll definitely be making this again...maybe next time with a cauliflower mash topping!

  • knscuba
    Jan 26, 2017

    Very good. Too much work for a crockpot, I did the oven bake option. I do not have time to put this together before I leave for work in the AM. I will definitely make this again. I had to make a couple substitutions. I used pizza sauce for the tomato sauce and a can of french onion soup for the beef broth. Will do it that way again.

  • VictoriaCross
    Mar 8, 2015

    I chose the baking option. I made two minor adjustments (at least minor in my mind). Instead of Yukon Gold potatoes, I used PEI potatoes and left the jackets on for the mash -- extra fiber and extra flavour. With the bake option, this recipe took about an hour from start to finish. It is delicious and my Long Suffering Spouse enjoyed it very much. I think the white wine is important -- the mushrooms absorb it and it gives them a distinct flavour. I would also recommend being sure to use fresh carrots. In the bake option, they remained toothsome. Yes, I agree it should be cottage pie rather than shepherd's pie. Good, sensible, economical healthy food!

  • Erasmus1943
    Mar 5, 2015

    The sauce was delicious! I substituted red wine for white, and I used lamb stock instead of beef stock. I also added onions and lots of garlic to the mashed potatoes (because that's how I like my potatoes!)My only gripe (and it was a BIG one) was that the dish ended up as one sticky morass of beefy potato mush. The beef and the potatoes ended up cooking together in the crock pot and becoming one indistinguishable mess. The result was still edible (and somewhat tasty!) but it definitely wasn't shepherd's pie.Next time I'll try the "bake" option - I bet it'll turn out well!

  • Feed-me-again
    Mar 5, 2015

    Shepherds pie is made with Lamb not ground beef, Cottage pie is made with beef

  • WaywardCreations
    Jan 21, 2015

    This recipe is SO GOOD! Next time I will skip the cheese, as I am not used to it on my shepherd's pie. Boyfriend raved about it!

  • Gartersnake
    Sep 2, 2014

    Very good! I left out the wine and thyme. Tasty and easy to make. Will put it on a favorite's list. Nice family dinner.

  • LePetiteChef37
    Aug 12, 2014

    I really enjoyed this recipe, thank you!!!

  • claybration
    Mar 2, 2014

    Can't go 5 stars only because I haven't actually tried it yet but it reads delicious!! Thank you for a real recipe without canned soups and veggies (shudder).