Umami Recipes
Umami Recipes

Mom’s Recipes

Shepherd's Pie

6 servings


1 hour 45 minutes

total time


1½ pounds 90% lean ground beef

½ teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons salt, divided

2½ pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

¼ cup sour cream

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1-in chunks

¼ cup heavy whipping cream

4 oz bacon, diced (about 3 slices thick-cut bacon)

2 medium yellow onions, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup red wine

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons tomato paste

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1½ cups chicken broth

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Frozen diced carrots and peas

2 tablespoons finely chopped chives


Preheat the oven to 375°F and set an oven rack in the middle position.

Place the beef, baking soda, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and 1 tablespoon of water in a medium bowl. Mash with your hand to combine. Set aside for 20 minutes.

While the meat tenderizes, place the potatoes in medium saucepan and add just enough cold water to cover them. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until the potatoes are soft and fork-tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the potatoes and return to the saucepan. Place the pan over medium heat and stir the potatoes with a wooden spoon or potato masher until they are dry and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add the sour cream, butter, half & half, and the remaining teaspoon of salt. Using a potato masher, stir and mash the potatoes with the other ingredients until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Set the mashed potatoes aside.

Heat a 12-in oven-proof skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring frequently, until crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate, leaving the fat in the pan. Add the onions to the bacon fat and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and starting to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add the wine and increase the heat to high; bring to a boil, scraping any brown bits from the bottom of the pan, until the liquid is reduced by about half. Add the flour and stir until dissolved. Add the reserved ground beef mixture, tomato paste, and Worcestershire sauce; continue cooking on high heat, breaking the meat apart with a spoon, until the meat is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth; bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, and cook, scraping any brown bits from the bottom of the pan, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the thyme, pepper, carrots and peas, and reserved bacon, and cook until the peas are warmed through. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.

Dollop the mashed potatoes evenly over the filling. Use a rubber or offset spatula to spread the potatoes evenly over the stew and all the way to the edges of the skillet. Drag a fork across the top to make ridges. Place the skillet on a baking sheet or large sheet of foil to catch any drips and bake until the filling is hot, the topping is lightly browned, and the edges are bubbly, about 30 minutes. (For more color, turn on the broiler and broil for the last 5 minutes, or until the top is golden.) Sprinkle with chives and serve.

Note: If you don’t have an oven-safe skillet, you can transfer the meat mixture to a 2.5-qt casserole dish and then spread the mashed potatoes overtop.

Make-Ahead Instructions: The stew portion of the recipe can be made several days ahead of time and refrigerated. Before assembling the pie, reheat the stew, adding a little broth if necessary if it seems dry. The mashed potatoes should be made right before assembling and baking the pie.


Serving Size




Total Fat

33 g

Saturated Fat

15 g

Unsaturated Fat


Trans Fat



122 mg


1243 mg

Total Carbohydrate

50 g

Dietary Fiber

5 g

Total Sugars

7 g


33 g

6 servings


1 hour 45 minutes

total time
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