Recipe: Sirloin Shepherd’s Pie

This is a seriously flavorful dish! Traditionally made with ground lamb, Mary kicked up the flavor on her family’s Shepherd’s Pie recipe yesterday evening by replacing the ground lamb with fresh ground sirloin. The resulting dish was so tender I had difficulty getting it out of the bowl in one piece so I could shoot a photo! Moist and rich, this was a perfect comfort food for the icy, snowy evening Michigan experienced yesterday.

Sirloin Shepherd’s Pie
Serves 6

1-1/2 lb ground sirloin
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup coarsely-chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp dried whole basil
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1 tsp dried whole oregano
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1 14-1/2 oz can whole tomatoes, undrained and unchopped
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp cold water
1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
4-1/2 cups baking potatoes, peeled & cubed (about 2 lb)
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/8 tsp Kosher salt
Olive oil
Non-stick spray

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and brown the ground sirloin, stirring often to ensure the meat crumbles. Drain the meat onto some paper towel and set aside. Wipe the drippings from the skillet, add a couple tablespoons olive oil and reheat over medium heat. Add the carrots, onion and garlic, then sauté until vegetables are tender but still crisp.

Add the browned sirloin to the skillet, along with the Worcestershire sauce, basil, 1/2 tsp salt, oregano, ground pepper, tomatoes and bay leaf. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover, lower the heat and allow it to simmer for 30 minutes.

While the mixture is simmering, place the cubed potatoes in a large saucepan. Add enough water to cover the potatoes and bring to a boil. Cook until the potatoes are fork-tender and then drain them. In a large mixing bowl, combine the potatoes, milk, Parmesan cheese, butter and 1/8 tsp salt. Beat with an electric mixture at medium speed for two minutes. Set aside.

When the meat mixture has simmered 30 minutes, remove it from the heat and remove and discard the bay leaf. Add the flour and water to a small bowl and whisk till smooth. Add this to the meat mixture, stirring in the peas as well.

Spray a 3-quart casserole or a large glass bowl with a thin layer of non-stick cooking spray. Spoon the meat mixture into the casserole dish or glass mixing bowl, spreading the meat mixture evenly and leveling the top with a spatula. Spoon the whipped potatoes directly on top of the meat mixture, also leveling the top of the whipped potatoes with a spatula. Sprinkle the top of the potatoes with a thin layer of shredded cheese. (Just about any kind of cheese will do but cheddar seems a favorite for this dish.) Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes. Let the dish stand at least 5 minutes so the cheese and potatoes can set up before using a spatula to serve.


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  1. Thanks for sharing a comfort food dish Mary prepared. I know I crave heartier food during the winter. Last nite was black bean soup & cornbread. Oh for some signs of Spring & fresh asparagus!

  2. Hi Dave!
    Back in November you posted a recipe for an Oriental Cabbage Salad. I made it for Thanksgiving and it was a hit! I now want to bring it to Owen’s 1st LPA meeting. Where can I find it?
    Cat (mother of Owen)

  3. JEP … grilled asparagus with Hollandaise sauce. I can eat that by the pound!

  4. Looks good! Maybe we’ll give it a try this weekend.


  5. Hi Cat! The only one I have is Chef Tad’s Braised Cabbage with Slab Bacon. If that’s not the right one, what you’re looking for is probably over at Steamy Kitchen.

    BTW, Owen’s got some great wheels! 😉

  6. Rebecca, the best sirloin for this is either from Sofo Foods on Monroe St. in Toledo, or one of the House of Meats location. It’s really good stuff!

    See” you in about an hour. 😀

  7. Looks yummy. I might make this over the weekend, but use 1/2 ground lamb, as I like the lammie taste in my SP.

    Did you really bake it in a mixing bowl?

    Here’s a good recipe for an asian slaw dressing:

    1/2 cup water
    1/2 cup sugar
    1 clove garlic, finely chopped
    1 small shallot, finely chopped
    1/4 cup fish sauce
    1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
    2 tablespoons lime juice
    Sriracha sauce to taste

    Bring the water to a boil, add the sugar and cook over low heat, stirring, until it dissolves completely. Stir in the garlic and shallot and cook 15 minutes more. Take off the heat and add the fish sauce, soy sauce, lime juice, and Sriracha. Mix well — taste and adjust seasonings accordingly and set aside.

  8. Hey actually this is a weight watcher recipe. 10 points per serving for a 6th of the recipe as shown.

  9. The fact I missed eating this dish brings me great pain.

  10. Well Zack, we can make it for you next time you’re up. Just give me enough warning so I can get the stuff for it!

  11. I found the blog with the Oriental Cabbage salad recipe in it. You posted it on March 24th 2007 (Chinese Food and a Trip was the name). It sounded good so I looked for it, I may have to try it soon along with this Shepard’s Pie.

  12. Oh my , this shepards pie looks so inviting. Next time u make some , pls invite me over !

    And yes i’d love to be linked up by you.

  13. Thanks Cyndi … I’d forgotten about that one. And I’d really liked it, too! Colette was one of the girls going to China with John, and I could have eaten a lot of that salad. 🙂

    Welcome Kate! You’ll find your link off to the right (which I need to reorganize somehow). That’s an amazing blog you have there. I love your photography, it’s extremely well-done. Of course, the food looks wonderful, too!

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