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#4599257 - 12/09/17 06:29 PM Shepherds pie advice
Camprunner Offline


Registered: 02/19/08
Posts: 1034
Loc: MA.
I plan to make shepherds pie for the first time this week I think my 9yo son will love it he likes his food mixed together esp if mashed potato is involved. My question is do I brown the meat before putting it in the pan? And if so do I totally cook the meat or just brown? Any other shepherds pie advice or recommendations?

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#4599260 - 12/09/17 06:32 PM Re: Shepherds pie advice [Re: Camprunner]
eljefino Online   content


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 32635
Loc: ME
Cook it in a fry pan, all the way. You don't want germs, and the stuff won't dry out in the oven thanks to all the fat.

I like to mix mine with cream of celery soup for the "bottom layer" but there's 100s of good ways of doing it.

Then I throw on a layer of mixed vegetables, then the potatoes, and cheese on top.

I've heard of creamed corn being used as well. Whatever!

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#4599283 - 12/09/17 06:52 PM Re: Shepherds pie advice [Re: eljefino]
RF Overlord Offline


Registered: 11/08/03
Posts: 3756
Loc: Cape Cod, MA
Originally Posted By: eljefino
I like to mix mine with cream of celery soup for the "bottom layer"
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#4599304 - 12/09/17 07:18 PM Re: Shepherds pie advice [Re: Camprunner]
StevieC Offline


Registered: 08/21/08
Posts: 17116
Loc: Ontario, Canada
I always cook it right through and then put it in the pan along with the cubed carrots, peas and top with mash potatoes before finishing it in the oven. Which reminds me I'm overdue for cooking it again. slobber

P.S. I whip some butter with some table salt (not a lot of salt but just enough) and then put pea size dollops this whipped butter/salt all over the top of the potatoes so when it's in the oven it melts the salted butter and it runs along the potatoes. It seasons them and also makes for great flavour. wink


Edited by StevieC (12/09/17 07:20 PM)
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#4599315 - 12/09/17 07:24 PM Re: Shepherds pie advice [Re: Camprunner]
Jarlaxle Offline


Registered: 02/02/12
Posts: 8163
Loc: New England
What they said. Also, from my mother's decades of experience.

DON'T get super-lean meat. 85% is about right.
DO use no-salt-added corn.
DON'T just pour off the liquid...put it in a sieve and let it drain completely.
DO mash the potatoes with a little extra milk. You want them just a LITTLE "runnier" than you usually make. (They dry out a bit in the oven.)
DEFINITELY DO put something on the rack under the baking dish. No matter how careful you are, it WILL drip a little.

And from me: when sent to get stuff for shepherd's pie, do make sure to check all labels. Do not assume that because you got both packages of meat from the same section, they are the same. If you do, you may end up with one pound of the correct (85% lean) ground beef, and one package of the world's greasiest ground beef (claimed 72%, my mother insisted it was more like 65%). Remember: there is never a statute of limitations on MOM.
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#4599329 - 12/09/17 07:34 PM Re: Shepherds pie advice [Re: Camprunner]
sleddriver Offline


Registered: 02/06/10
Posts: 4601
Loc: Central Texas
This is a great hearty cold-weather dish. The recipe I used was from Cook's Illustrated. Very tasty.

Definitely brown the meat FIRST, both for safety and to develop flavor.

Brown here meaning cook as you're using hamburger.

If the top is covered in potatoes, rake with a fork and brown under the broiler for a few minutes AFTER cooking.
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#4599337 - 12/09/17 07:38 PM Re: Shepherds pie advice [Re: sleddriver]
SatinSilver Offline


Registered: 01/24/08
Posts: 10157
Loc: OH

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#4599341 - 12/09/17 07:43 PM Re: Shepherds pie advice [Re: SatinSilver]
Mr Nice Offline


Registered: 09/12/04
Posts: 21191
Loc: Orlando, FL
Originally Posted By: SatinSilver


I need to try that recipe. Thanks.

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#4599372 - 12/09/17 08:31 PM Re: Shepherds pie advice [Re: Camprunner]
Bandito440 Offline


Registered: 02/13/12
Posts: 3854
Loc: NEUS
This is a favorite of mine. Yes, brown the beef in a pan at medium-high heat, but save the crusty bits. Deglaze the pan with a small amount of red wine or stout beer; add that bit back into the recipe.

Mix a bit of dairy in with the potatoes, but not watery milk. Use sour cream, heavy cream, or cream cheese (my preference).

Traditionally, shepherds pie is lamb, while the beef version is known as cottage pie.
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#4599377 - 12/09/17 08:45 PM Re: Shepherds pie advice [Re: SatinSilver]
eyeofthetiger Offline


Registered: 11/18/17
Posts: 683
Loc: South Carolina
Originally Posted By: SatinSilver


That recipe has a severe lack of seasoning. I'm talking about rosemary, thyme, and sage.

The basic idea is simple. Cook each layer seperatly, then put them together for the final baking.
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#4599402 - 12/09/17 09:33 PM Re: Shepherds pie advice [Re: SatinSilver]
AZjeff Offline


Registered: 01/14/11
Posts: 2635
Loc: PV Az
Originally Posted By: SatinSilver


Shocked she doesn't include 3 cloves of garlic. No better way to ruin a good dish.

Made a sheperd's pie with Thanksgiving leftovers, turned out so well it might be a new tradition.
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#4599633 - 12/10/17 08:19 AM Re: Shepherds pie advice [Re: Camprunner]
JLawrence08648 Offline


Registered: 01/20/17
Posts: 234
Loc: NJ
All are good suggestions, put them all to use. A few more, cube cook the potatoes in milk, cream, and chicken broth, just to cover, letting the liquid soak in, then mash putting seasoning in. When it goes in the oven, sprinkle crushed sour cream onion potato chips on top. I also like to use a single pie crust for the bottom, phyllo dough is a nice addition, even for the top for something different.

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#4599635 - 12/10/17 08:21 AM Re: Shepherds pie advice [Re: Camprunner]
eljefino Online   content


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 32635
Loc: ME
When I make my mashed potatoes I stick about 1/4 stick of butter in and enough milk I can sculpt the stuff. You don't want chunky mashed potatoes. Wallpaper paste for the win!

I drain some of my beef fat. More will sweat out in stage II.

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#4599647 - 12/10/17 08:31 AM Re: Shepherds pie advice [Re: Camprunner]
ZZman Offline


Registered: 03/17/08
Posts: 5780
Loc: Michigan
Brown it says the wife. She also then cooks it in Lipton onion soup mix with water for flavor. Then puts it together.


Edited by ZZman (12/10/17 08:33 AM)
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#4609407 - 12/20/17 03:03 PM Re: Shepherds pie advice [Re: ZZman]
ffhdriver Offline


Registered: 06/26/07
Posts: 424
Loc: Near Mobile
I've never liked this. IMO it's a bad tasting combination of ingredients.

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