Here, a hearty filling of ground beef, carrots, peas and herbs is topped with creamy mounds of buttery mashed potatoes for a flavorful version of a shepherd’s pie. Drag the tines of a fork across the mash to give it texture, then dot a few small pieces of butter over the top to help it brown up nicely. If you prefer a thicker sauce, stir 1/3 cup (2 oz./60 g) flour into the filling when you add the beef back in.
- 2 lb. (1 kg) russet potatoes
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 2 lb. (1 kg) ground beef
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) pieces
- 3 celery stalks, cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) pieces
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2/3 cup (5 fl. oz./160 ml) white wine
- 1 1/2 cups (12 fl. oz./375 ml) chicken or beef broth
- 2 tsp. tomato paste
- 1 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh rosemary or thyme
- 1 cup (5 oz./155 g) frozen peas
- 4 Tbs. (2 oz./60 g) unsalted butter
- 1 1/4 cups (10 fl. oz./310 ml) half-and-half
- 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup (2 oz./60 g) grated Parmesan cheese
1. Peel and quarter the potatoes. In a saucepan over high heat, bring the potatoes in salted water to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain and keep warm.
2. Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 Tbs. of the oil. Add the beef and season with salt and pepper. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until browned, 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and discard the excess fat from the pan.
3. In the same pan over medium-low heat, warm the remaining 1 Tbs. oil. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook stirring occasionally, until caramelized, about 10 minutes. Add the carrots, celery and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are just tender, about 5 minutes. Raise the heat to medium-high, add the wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Stir in the broth, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and 1/2 Tbs. of the rosemary. Cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the peas during the last minute of cooking. Return the beef to the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the pan from the heat and cover to keep warm.
4. Meanwhile, place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 375°F (190°C). Transfer the potatoes to a large bowl and mash with a potato masher. Add the butter and half-and-half and stir until the mixture is well blended. Stir in the nutmeg and season with salt and pepper.
5. Spread the filling evenly in a 9-by-13-inch (23-by-33-cm) or 5-qt (5-l) capacity baking dish. Spread the mashed potatoes evenly on top. Sprinkle with the cheese and the remaining 1/2 Tbs. rosemary. Bake until the potatoes are lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes, then serve warm. Serves 6 to 8.
For this and more than 35 other ideas for sweet and savory pies, check out The Pie Cookbook, our all-inclusive guide to making pies by the cooks of the Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen.