Lightened Up Quick Shepherd’s Pie

My sister swears this is a cottage pie because it uses ground beef and not ground lamb, but I’m thinking maybe it’s a cow pie. No, that can’t be right. Oh, well, sharing:

What I’m Eating

You know I just love the sort-of rhyme of what I’m eating and what I’m reading that I use for my blog headings. Technically, I’m not often eating what I’m sharing on this blog, but I do want to share recipes that I or my friends and family make, whether I eat them or not. And I don’t want to change the heading. Because I love it.  Just clearing that up if you wonder why I keep calling it “What I’m Eating.” When I’m not actually eating it. And I didn’t eat this one.

Shepherd's pie hot out of the oven.  It's covered in cheese and delish
Brown and Bubbly and Cheesy Shepherd’s Pie

I made a lightened version of Shepherd’s Pie for John this week.  It’s right up his alley with hamburger and mashed potatoes.  It’s up my alley because it tastes better the second day. And I cook once and he eats twice.

Disposable foil pan I use for all my casserole dishes.
Disposable Foil Pan

I am sure this is not all that earth friendly, but when I make casseroles, I use these disposable foil pans I buy in bulk from Costco.  They have similar at the dollar store, but I think these end up being cheaper.  Here’s why they work for me: 

  • They are plenty roomy for large batch recipes
  • They are malleable enough so I can bend up the tips just a bit and put into my countertop toaster oven
  • We can cover them with the same foil they baked in and store in the fridge
  • There is NO clean up (which is actually the main reason)
Pampered Chet Mix 'N Chop
Pampered Chef Mix ‘N Chop

Do you know what this crazy tool is?  It’s from Pampered Chef and it’s called a Mix ‘N Chop.  We seem to use a lot of ground meat in our recipes and I used this gadget a lot.  It crumbles up big hunks of meat and it’s safe for non-stick pans.

I’m not an affiliate of Pampered Chef but I linked for convenience.

Light and Easy Shepherd’s Pie

  • ¾ pound ground beef
  • 15 oz can tomato sauce, plus ¼ can of water
  • ¼ of an onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • ½ cup frozen green beans or any other frozen vegetable you have on hand
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • ½ tsp oregano

Mashed Potatoes

  • 3-4 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • ½ milk or half and half (or buttermilk for a lighter version)
  • 1/3 cup sour cream (optional)
  • 2 Tbs butter (or a light butter)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Paprika
  • ½ cup light shredded cheddar
Browning hamburger and vegetables for shepherd's pie
Browning hamburger after I’ve crumbled with my Pampered Chef

Brown hamburger with onion and carrots, about five minutes over medium high heat.  Add frozen vegetables and the remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes.  Vegetables will become soft and the mixture will begin to thicken a bit.

While hamburger mixture is simmering, boil potatoes until soft (15-20 minutes) and mash with milk, sour cream, butter, salt and pepper.

Shepherd's Pie assembled and ready to pop
Shepherd’s Pie Assembled and Ready to Pop in the Toaster Oven

Place meat mixture in a casserole dish, spread mashed potatoes over top as evenly as possible.  Top with cheddar and sprinkle with paprika.

Bake at 400 until top is browned, about 30 minutes.

Kentucky Derby

If this would have been a normal first Saturday in May, we would have been celebrating the Kentucky Derby. I just love the Derby and a BFF who lives in Louisville, Andrea. So many good memories. Well, what I can remember of the 80s, anyway.

A couple of years ago we visited Louisville and stayed at the historic and famous Brown Hotel. They in turn have a famous open-faced turkey sandwich called the Hot Brown. I have linked the recipe which is around 100 years old and has appeared in publications and cookbooks for many years, never losing its appeal.

Well, I think I’ll go mix myself up a mint julep and follow the virtual Derby activities. It beats cleaning the house again!

Have a great weekend.

1 Comment

  1. Hello Corine, thank you for the shepherds pie recipe. I have never had it nor made it. But now I am! Before, we can’t find ground beef too. That sandwich looks good too! Beautiful weather here today, in the low eighties. Nice!

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