This post is sponsored by the NC Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services. I received monetary compensation, as well as free product, in exchange for sharing my experience visiting a local grass-fed beef farm. Thank you, Ray Family Farms, for hosting my visit and providing the inspiration for my shepherd’s pie recipe.
I believe the best dishes start with love and this shepherd’s pie has got it in spades. With its savory beef and veggie filling topped with decadent mashed potatoes, it’s best served when the weather’s cold and you’re craving a stick-to-your-ribs comfort food dinner.
About the Beef
And the recipe I’m sharing today started with a visit to a beef farm. I was invited to tour Ray Family Farms — a family-owned farm not far from where I live — where I learned about locally produced beef and Ray Family Farm’s herd of Belted Galloway cattle.
There are benefits in supporting locally produced beef. Chad Ray, along with his family, put a lot of thought and care into their products starting with cattle who wander in the pastures munching on grass on their 200-acre farm. The animals are well-cared and live a stress-free life, which in-turn makes for a superior product.
There are many reasons to choose grass-fed beef, but meeting Chad and his family and seeing first hand how the animals are cared for, and the hard work and passion required to operate a family farm gave me a whole new appreciation for local growers and their products. It’s not often we get to meet the people who provide our food and it’s something I want to continue to support.
How to Make Shepherd’s Pie
Technically, if we want to be picky about these things, a traditional shepherd’s pie is made with lamb, but where I’m from (oh, hi, Wyoming!) everyone always called a savory beef and veggie filling topped with mashed potatoes “shepherd’s pie”, so I’m sticking with it. Please send my apologies to the food police 😉
- I used the ground beef I got at Ray Family Farms. The beef is cooked in a skillet along with onions, garlic, and carrots until the vegetables are tender and the beef is cooked through.
- A little beef stock and Worcestershire sauce, along with the pan juices, are thickened with some flour to make a gravy as it all simmers.
- I used frozen peas and, because they don’t need a long cook time, I added them to the beef and other veggies after they has some time to cook in the gravy.
- Boiled potatoes are mashed and mixed with some cream and butter to make a dreamy, fluffy topping for the shepherd’s pie. The peaks and ridges take on a beautiful golden color after sitting under the broiler for a few minutes.
- I like to use my cast iron skillet to make the filling so after I spread the mashed potatoes over the top, it can go straight into the oven. Any oven-proof skillet will work or you can transfer the filling to a baking dish, too.
What People are Saying about this Shepherd’s Pie Recipe
Since I shared this recipe in January 2017 it’s been repinned thousands of times (pin it on your boards!) Here’s what people on Pinterest are saying:
“Great recipe, very simple and delicious 👌🏼”
“This was amazing definitely will be a staple in our home”
Check the comments for more reader reviews and, if you make it, be sure visit this post again to leave a comment and rate the recipe! I also have a lightened-up shepherd’s pie inspired by this recipe!
More Beef Recipes
Traditional shepherd’s pie is made with lamb, but this version uses ground beef. It’s classic comfort food and a favorite cold weather dinner. This recipe feeds four hungry people but can stretch to feed six if you have other things (i.e. salad, veggies) on the side.
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ½ large yellow onion, diced (about 1 cup)
- 4 large carrots, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 pound ground beef
- 3 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1/3 cup beef stock
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 4 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2 inch chunks
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, cubed
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the potatoes and boil them for 10-15 minutes or until fork tender.
- While the potatoes are boiling, melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the onions and carrots and cook them until they start to soften, approximately 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic and beef, using a spatula to break it up as it cooks. Add 1 teaspoon of salt.
- Sprinkle the flour over the top of the beef and stir. Add the beef stock and Worcestershire sauce. Let it simmer until the juices thicken.
- Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot. Mash the potatoes to break them up. Add the butter and heavy cream. Continue mashing until the potatoes are smooth and the cream and butter is incorporated. Season with the black pepper and 2 teaspoons of kosher salt.
- Add the peas and parsley to the beef and vegetables and stir to combine. Top the beef with the mashed potatoes and spread them into an even layer. Sprinkle the grated Parmesan over the top of the potatoes.
- Turn the oven to broil. Place the skillet on a sheet pan (in case anything bubbles over the edges of the skillet) and place it under the broiler. Keep and eye on it and once the potatoes start to take on some golden edges, remove it from the oven and serve.
- Category: Main Course
- Calories: 794
- Fat: 51.1g
- Carbohydrates: 52.1g
- Fiber: 9.2g
- Protein: 32.7g
More Information about North Carolina Grass-Fed Beef
If you live in the Raleigh area and would like to visit Ray Family Farms check out their website for store hours. Not in the Raleigh area? Visit the Got To Be NC website to learn how you can support local growers all across North Carolina. Many farms sell direct to customers or check out the list of farmer’s markets near you.
Looking for more delicious beef recipes? Check out posts from my fellow NC bloggers who also participated in this project:
- Beef Marsala Pot Pie | Baldwin Family Farms from Big Bear’s Wife
- Chile-Braised Short Rib Tacos | Moore Brothers All Natural Beef from Nourish and Nestle
- Simply Perfect Prime Rib Roast | Ninja Cow Farm from Life of a Ginger
- Shepherd’s Pie | Ray Family Farms from Girl Gone Gourmet
- Back to Earth Tacos | Back to Earth Farm from Jenn on a Mission
- Beef Lettuce Wraps | Hickory Nut Gap Farm from Pantry Doctor
- Bring it on: GotToBeNC Organic GrassFed Beef | Proffitt Family Farms from Heidi Billotto Food
- Bourbon Beef Chili | Newsome Farm from Nik Snacks
- Got To Be NC Beef Hearty Chili | Summerfield Farms from The Army Mom
- Sweet and Spicy Grass-Fed London Broil | Baldwin Family Farms from Pastry Chef Online