This satisfying Cast Iron Shepherd’s Pie will certainly make any meal a remarkable feast.
A dish with a tasty mix of meat and veggies topped with a creamy mashed potato layer is surely something your family will ask you to make again and again.
Craving for a savory pie with meat filling? This recipe is exactly what you need!
How do you keep the mashed potato from sinking in shepherd’s pie?
Excess moisture is the biggest culprit causing the mashed potato to sink in a shepherd’s pie. Once the potatoes are boiled and fully cooked, allow them to completely dry before mashing.
You should aim for a creamy mashed potato, but for this recipe, you’ll want to make it just a bit more dry than usual. This will allow the mashed potato to remain stable on top of the meat filling as the pie cooks in the oven.
Excess moisture can also come from the meat filling. This can happen when you don’t allow the meat filling to cool before topping it with the mashed potato.
Once the meat and vegetable filling are finished cooking, let them rest until there’s no visible steam. This steam can get trapped in the dish and create moisture that can cause the mashed potato to sink.
SAVE THIS RECIPE!
Enter your email below and I’ll send it straight to your inbox.
❤️ Why You’ll Love This Recipe
You will certainly love every aspect of this recipe from the point of making it, all through the time you get to enjoy it with the family.
- It’s a no-frills recipe that will result in a flavorful dish. While you will have to prepare several ingredients, this recipe comes with easy-to-follow steps to help you whip up a savory meal.
- It’s a dish bursting with flavors and an amazing blend of creamy mashed potato and juicy meat filling.
- This versatile recipe allows you to get creative in the kitchen. There’s a lot of room to experiment with different types of meat and other vegetables, and you’ll still come up with a delicious dish.
- It’s a savory feast for any occasion. If you’re having guests over, you can serve them a delightful dinner with ingredients that are easy to find.
- Perfect meal prep dish where you can get carbs from the potatoes, protein from the meat, and fiber from the vegetables.
In the mood for more recipes that are easy to make and also have potatoes and meat? Give this Air Fryer Chicken Breast and Potatoes recipe a try!
You’re going to need several ingredients to make this recipe, but the good news is they’re all easy to find.
- Russet potatoes: There are other types of potatoes that you can use, but I find that the starchiness of Russet potatoes makes it a perfect choice to make a creamy mashed potato.
- Ground beef: Don’t skimp on this ingredient and choose high-quality beef because it’s the main ingredient for the base of the shepherd’s pie.
- Beef broth: Choose a high-quality broth when using a store-bought kind. I recommend using an unsalted variant, so you have more control over the dish’s flavor.
- Carrots: Look for carrots with smooth skin without cracks that are rootless and plump. These indicate that the carrots are likely fresh and will add a rich flavor to the dish.
- Celery stalks: Celery with nice green leaves is a good sign that it’s fresh.
- Green peas: Frozen green peas will work great for this recipe; you don’t need to thaw them before cooking.
- Cheddar cheese: It’s a staple ingredient that adds a rich flavor, which complements the creaminess of the mashed potato.
- Fresh thyme: This herb’s earthy and slightly peppery flavor goes so well with most savory meat dishes!
See recipe card for complete list of ingredients and quantities.
- Russet potatoes: Yukon Gold is also a great choice for mashed potatoes because it has the right balance of starch and moisture.
- Beef: Traditional shepherd’s pie is made with ground lamb. If you want something different, you can use a lamb filling instead.
- Carrots: Vegetables with a sweet flavor, such as parsnips and butternut squash, will work as substitutes.
- Cheddar cheese: Non-dairy or vegan cheese options can be used to consider dietary restrictions and preferences.
🌈 Variations / Options / Add-Ins
Moms and home cooks will love this recipe because of its versatility. Here are some ideas you can try to give this recipe your own twist.
- Vegetarian: Instead of beef or other meat, turn this into an appetizing vegetarian meal using diced mushrooms or lentils.
- Low carb: Switch potatoes with mashed cauliflower, and you’re a step closer to enjoying a low-carb version of shepherd’s pie.
- Herbs and spices: Make this dish more aromatic and flavorful with other herbs like rosemary. Give it a little kick of spice with a few dashes of cayenne powder or chili powder in the meat filling.
- Panko: Kids and adults alike love a nice crunchy texture in their savory meals. Give this dish an added crunch by sprinkling some panko bread crumbs on top of the mashed potato before broiling.
Check out my Instant Pot version of this dish if you’re looking for a one-pot shepherd’s pie recipe!
🥄 Equipment Needed / Helpful Tools
You don’t need special kitchen tools to make a rich and savory shepherd’s pie, but having these pieces of equipment will make it easier to prepare!
- Cast iron skillet: The layer of mashed potato on top will form crunchy peaks when it’s blasted with high-temperature broiling in the oven. That makes a cast iron skillet the perfect vessel for this dish.
- Potato masher: If your family loves having mashed potatoes for dinner, then having a good potato masher will make your job easier.
- Vegetable peeler: You’ll have to peel several potatoes for this recipe, and a nice peeler will make the task go quicker.
🔪 How to Make Cast Iron Shepherd’s Pie
The moment you’ve been waiting for — it’s time to make shepherd’s pie!
Step 1: Prepare the potatoes
Peel and dice the potatoes after a thorough wash. Put the diced potatoes in a large pot and fill it with water.
Turn the heat on high. Once the water starts boiling, reduce the heat to medium and let the potatoes cook for 10 to 15 minutes.
Step 2: Cook the ground beef
Put the cast iron skillet over medium heat. When it’s hot enough, add the ground beef. Let it cook until all the meat turns a nice brown color, which should take about 5 to 6 minutes.
Set aside the cooked beef on a clean plate.
Step 3: Cook the vegetables
Cook the diced carrots, celery stalks, and onions in the same cast iron skillet. You can add some oil if needed.
Continue cooking the vegetables until they’re softened. Then add the fresh thyme, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Let it cook for another minute.
Step 4: Mix meat and vegetables
Put the cooked ground beef back into the skillet to mix with the vegetables. Then add the tomato paste and stir.
Step 5: Add green peas
Once the tomato paste is well incorporated, it’s time to add the green peas. If you’re using frozen peas, put them in a strainer and quickly wash them with cold water before cooking.
Step 6: Flavor the meat and vegetables
Add in the Worcestershire sauce, then mix well.
Step 7: Add the broth
Stir in the beef broth and mix the meat filling until everything is well incorporated. Turn the heat to medium-high until it starts to simmer.
Let it cook over medium heat until the liquid is reduced by half. Then, remove the skillet from the heat.
Step 8: Mashing the potatoes
Check the potatoes for doneness. They should be fully cooked once they’re fork tender. Then turn off the heat.
Transfer the cooked potatoes to a colander and drain completely.
Bring the potatoes back to the pot where you cooked them once there’s no excess water left. Using a potato masher, start breaking apart the potatoes.
Step 9: Add butter and milk to the potatoes
Once every piece of diced potato is mashed, it’s time to mix in the butter and milk.
Stir in the butter and milk using the masher until well incorporated. The potato should have a creamy consistency.
Step 10: Add the cheese
Put the shredded cheddar cheese into the mashed potatoes. You can keep using the same masher to stir in the cheese.
It’s okay if some cheese shreds break apart as long as they’re mixed well into the mashed potatoes.
Step 11: Layer the shepherd’s pie
Using the back of a large spoon or spatula, create an even layer of the meat and vegetable mixture in the cast iron skillet.
Turn the oven to broil.
Step 12: Placing the mashed potato
Put the mashed potato over the meat and vegetable filling. You can add one scoop at a time, starting around the edges of the skillet.
Then, gently spread the mashed potato until it’s an even layer.
Step 13: Broiling the shepherd’s pie
Place the shepherd’s pie in the oven for a few minutes until the mashed potato layer is slightly browned.
Step 14: Serve the shepherd’s pie
Scoop out a few spoonfuls of cooked shepherd’s pie to a plate. Garnish with a chopped fresh herb of your choice. Serve and enjoy!
❓ Recipe FAQs
Place any leftovers in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge. Shepherd’s pie kept in the fridge can last up to 5 days. If stored in the freezer, it can last up to 2 months.
Transfer the leftover pie to an oven-safe dish and let it warm at 350°F for about 30 minutes.
If you don’t have much time and need to whip up this savory dish, a good trick is to use a good-quality instant mashed potato.
These are my favorite dishes to serve with Cast Iron Shepherd’s Pie:
Ready to get cooking? Print off the recipe card below or toggle on Cook Mode to keep your screen from going dark while you follow along on your phone or tablet.
SAVE THIS RECIPE!
Enter your email below and I’ll send it straight to your inbox.
Cast Iron Shepherd’s Pie Recipe
- Large skillet or cast iron skillet
- 1 pound Russet Potatoes peeled and diced
- 1 pound Ground Beef
- 1 tablespoon Oil if needed
- 2 Carrots peeled and diced
- 2 Celery Stalks diced
- 1 Small Onion diced
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon Fresh Thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 Garlic cloves minced
- 2 tablespoons Tomato Paste
- 1 cup Frozen Green Peas
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 cup Beef Broth
- 2 tablespoons Butter
- 1/4 cup Milk to taste
- 1/2 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- Peel and dice potatoes and place in a large pot of water. Place over high heat until it starts to boil. Then reduce heat to medium and let the potatoes cook for about 10 -15 minutes or until they are fork tender.
- While the potatoes cook, place the cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the ground beef. Cook the meat for about 5-6 minutes until it’s well browned and there’s no pink meat left. Once done, transfer the cooked beef to a clean plate and set it aside.
- In the same skillet, add the diced carrots, celery stalks, and onion. Add some oil if the skillet’s surface becomes dry. Cook the vegetables until they have softened, then stir in salt, pepper, fresh thyme, and garlic. Let it cook for another minute.
- Add back the ground beef into the skillet, then add the tomato paste.
- Once tomato paste is mixed well with the beef, add the green peas.
- Now, add Worcestershire sauce and beef broth. Turn the heat to medium-high until it starts to simmer. Lower the heat to medium and let it cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Remove the skillet from the heat.
- Check the potatoes. Once they’re fork tender, that means they’re done. Turn off the heat and drain the potatoes until no water is left. Then put them back in the same pot. Mash the potatoes.
- Once all pieces are well mashed, add in the butter and milk and keep mashing until everything is well incorporated.
- Put the shredded cheddar cheese into the mashed potato. You can keep using the same masher to stir in the cheese.
- Using the back of a large spoon or spatula, create an even layer of the meat and vegetable mixture in the cast iron skillet. Turn on the oven to broil.
- Put the mashed potato mixture over the meat and vegetable filling in the cast iron skillet. Gently spread mashed potato until everything underneath is covered.
- Place the skillet in the oven and broil until the mashed potatoes are slightly browned.
- Serve and enjoy!