~ Serving American home cooking on the Upper West Side Since 1981 ~

Recipe Of The Month: Shepherd’s Pie

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serves 8


The Final Product: Home made Shepherd's Pie

The Final Product: Home made Shepherd’s Pie

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 6 stalks celery, chopped finely
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 bay leaf


  • 4 pounds ground beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons red wine
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 1/4 cups ketchup


  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • paprika for sprinkling


  • 5 to 6 pounds Idaho potatoes
  • 1/2 cup warm milk
  • 4 tablespoons butter, cut up
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • pinch of nutmeg


Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Mashed Potatoes

Fill a large bowl with cold water and a pinch of salt. Cutting out blemishes first, peel potatoes. Cut the potatoes in a large pot or stockpot and cover with fresh water with salt. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer potatoes 20 to 30 minutes, or until very tender when pierced with a fork.

Drain potatoes and rinse with warm water to remove the starch. Drain again. Return to cooking pot, and allow to cool for only 5 minutes, or they will become sticky. Mash potatoes. When mashed, push potatoes to one side of the pot. Dent the potatoes in several places with a spoon handle to allow steam to escape (this helps to lighten the potatoes). Place pot over medium heat until is melted and milk is scalding. Remove pot from heat and stir all ingredients vigorously to combine.

Set aside mashed potatoes when ready

Vegetable Mixture

Put the olive oil into a skillet over low heat and add all the vegetables and spices. Sweat them for 15 minutes, or until translucent. Put the cooked vegetables into a large mixing bowl.

For the Meat Mixture

In the same skillet, put beef, pepper and salt and cook over medium heat. Use a large fork to separate the meat to remove any large clumps. After the meat starts to stick to the bottom of the skillet, add the tomato paste and wine to deglaze it. When the liquid has almost completely reduced, add the Worcestershire sauce, bay leaf and ketchup. Cook for another 15 or 20 minutes, or until the meat is slightly browned.

Final Assembly

To assemble the pie, put the meat into a large baking dish, skimming off excess fat until only a thin layer remains. Spread out the meat evenly, then top with the vegetable mixture. Spread the mashed potatoes over top, making striations on the surface with a fork. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and paprika. Bake for 15 minutes at 375 degrees, then reduce the heat to 325 degrees, and cook for another 20 minutes.

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