This is a modified family recipe. I’ve been eating shepard’s pie since I was itty-bitty. It’s one of my favorite comfort foods. The way I make it, it’s super quick. It takes a bit to bake but you can be off doing other things while baking. You can make this with instant potatoes, but it’s just not as good. You can also use leftover mashed potatoes, just add a bit of milk or water to thin them before baking. You can also assemble this the night before and bake it when you get home.
3 or 4 large potatoes or 6 or 7 smaller potatoes
1/4 cup dry milk powder (or about 1/2 – 3/4 cup of milk)
butter, salt and pepper to taste
1 lb ground beef
1 envelope of brown gravy mix
1/2 bottle of beer (Guinness is the best) or 3/4 cup of water
Peal and cut potatoes. Put in a pot with cold water and a bit of salt. Cook until softened, about 5 to 8 minutes. Before draining, reserve 1 cup of cooking liquid. Return potatoes to the stove, on medium heat to cook off any remaining water. I like to dry out my potatoes a bit which makes them fluffier.
Add the dry milk powder and a few tablespoons of butter. Mash with a potato masher or a hand mixer. Add some of the reserve cooking water until desired consistency. Remember that you are going to bake these so I usually add a bit more liquid that I would for normal mashed potatoes.
While the potatoes are boiling, cook the ground beef in a skillet. When no longer pink, add salt and pepper, a splash of Worcester and a squeeze of Dijon. Add the gravy mix. Stir the mixture together. Add the beer or water and stir again.
While the potatoes and beef are cooking, microwave the corn for 3 minutes.
Add the beef mixture to a casserole dish. I use a round or square casserole dish. Spread it out to make the layer level. Add corn on top of the beef mixture then top with potatoes. If your casserole is really full, you may want to put it on a sheet pan covered with foil so there are no messes in the oven. Bake at 350 for 30 to 45 minutes. I bake it for 45 because I like my potatoes a little crisp on top.