The recipe for the best homemade shepherd’s pie is here!

Too dry, too bland, too rustic…

The detractors of shepherd's pie find a thousand and one faults in it. Besides, you may be one of those who keeps in mind the idea of ​​a rather filling canteen dish. It's true that, poorly prepared, shepherd's pie tends to resemble a sort of meat and potatoes mush. It is therefore difficult to throw stones at you (Pierre). And yet, with a few tips, we assure you that this dish, as family-friendly as it is generous, has everything to please. Let yourself be guided.

Our tips for a successful shepherd’s pie

A very soft puree

So that it does not dry out during cooking in the oven, which could spoil the whole dish, it is essential that the puree is quite creamy.
As in the recipe for homemade gratin dauphinois, the success of the shepherd's pie depends on the choice of potatoes. So be sure to choose a variety with floury flesh like Bintje or Caesar to make your mash. Once they are cooked, mash them using a potato masher or vegetable mill. On the other hand, forget the mixer because it could make the puree too elastic. Then, just add milk or cream (or a mixture of both), a little butter and season.
The extra touch: flavor your puree with a good pinch of grated nutmeg, it will be even tastier.

A mixture of meats

Beef can sometimes seem a little dry, especially when cooked in the oven. This is why we advise you to use a mixture of 2/3 ground beef and 1/3 sausage meat. The advantage of the latter is that it will provide more fat to your preparation, making it softer.
A mom's tip to adopt for a successful shepherd's pie.

The recipe for homemade shepherd’s pie

Preparation: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 50 minutes

For 6 persons

  • 1 kg Mona Lisa potatoes
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 shallot
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 tbsp. tablespoon of olive oil
  • 500 g minced pork and beef
  • 20 cl of red wine
  • 1 tbsp. tablespoon of tomato paste
  • A few sprigs of parsley
  • 20 cl of milk or liquid cream
  • 1 knob of butter
  • 1 pinch of nutmeg
  • 100 g grated Gruyère cheese
  • Salt and pepper

Heat a large pot of salted water.
Peel the potatoes, cut them into large pieces.
Once the water boils, add the potatoes and cook for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, peel the onion, shallot, garlic and carrot. Slice them, cut the carrot into cubes.
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Add the onion, garlic, shallot and carrot, sweat for 5 minutes.
Add the meat, brown for 2 minutes. Deglaze with red wine, simmer for 10 minutes. Add the tomato paste, season, remove from the heat.
Chop the parsley, mix it with the meat.
Line the bottom of a gratin dish with the minced meat, collecting all the juice.
Once the potatoes are cooked, mash them with a potato masher. Add the milk gradually. Once you have obtained the desired consistency, add a knob of butter.
Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Cover the meat with mashed potatoes, sprinkle with grated Gruyere cheese.
Bake for 20 minutes at 200°C.

Alternative: If you don't like red wine, you can replace it with the same amount of white wine or beef broth.


Shepherd’s pie with duck confit

A little more expensive, this variation of the traditional mince is irresistible.
To make it, simply replace the ground meat with 4 confit duck legs previously shredded. Use their fat to brown your aromatic garnish then add the duck meat. Brown it for a few minutes then continue with the recipe as usual. However, be careful not to add too much salt, the duck legs are already salty enough.

Vegetarian shepherd’s pie

In the vegetarian shepherd's pie, the meat is replaced by 250 g of mushrooms and 250 g of cooked lentils.
Start by slicing the mushrooms. Brown them in the frying pan with the usual garnish. Deglaze with 15 cl of red wine and 2 tbsp. tablespoon of soy sauce, simmer for 5 min. Add 2 tbsp. tablespoons of tomato paste and smoked paprika. Season to your liking, cook for another 5 minutes.
Once your mushrooms are cooked, mix them roughly with a few sprigs of parsley. You should get a stringy consistency with chunks. Mix the mushrooms with the lentils, pour everything into the gratin dish. Then continue the recipe.
For a vegan version, use soy milk for the puree and replace the gruyere with breadcrumbs.

A puree that changes

Not a fan of potatoes? Why not replace it with sweet potato or squash puree? In addition to bringing a mild, slightly sweet flavor to your dish, it allows you to take advantage of fall vegetables. You can enjoy a butternut and pulled pork hash or a sweet potato and pork chuck hash.

Did you know ?

Shepherd's pie owes its name to Antoine Parmentier, a nutritionist during the time of Louis XVI. If he is not the inventor, the dish having appeared in the 20th century, it was nevertheless named in his honor for having popularized the potato. Indeed, after discovering this tuber, during his years of detention in Prussia, he praised its merits to the king. Convinced of its nutritional virtues and of having found a remedy for the food shortages plaguing France, he carried out numerous works in favor of its cultivation. Until now accused of numerous evils, such as spreading disease, Antoine Parmentier thus allowed the potato to gain its letters of nobility.

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