Nothing strikes fear into the heart of a home cook more than the thought of making a pie. The crust alone is enough to make you want to give up and the filling can be tricky to get right, often coming out too thin or too thick. Unless it’s a shepherd’s pie. These potato-topped casseroles have all the comforting taste you’d expect from something made with pastry, but are substantially easier to make. Try one of these six variations for a meal that’s stress-free and 100% comforting.
1. Steakhouse Shepherd’s Pie
A trip to your favorite steakhouse wouldn’t be complete without a blue cheese-topped steak, a loaded baked potato, and at least one other side. While undeniably delicious, this feast can really put a dent in your wallet. Make Rachael Ray’s steak supper-inspired shepherd’s pie, featured on Food Network, for a meal that’s every bit as satisfying and much less expensive. For even more of a restaurant vibe, make some creamed spinach to serve on the side.
- 2 pounds Idaho potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
- ½ tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 slices bacon, chopped
- 2 pounds ground sirloin
- 1 onion, chopped
- ½ pound button mushrooms, quartered
- Black pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1½ cups beef stock
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 egg yolk
- 3 tablespoons sour cream
- 3 to 4 tablespoons chives
- 1 teaspoon paprika
Directions: Place potatoes in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, season water with salt, and cook until potatoes are tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Drain potatoes, reserving a ladle of the cooking liquid.
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and bacon. Cook until bacon is crisp, then remove to a paper towel-lined plate. Add beef to pan and cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and onions. Cook until tender, about 6 to 7 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, heat a small saucepan over medium heat and add butter. Once melted, whisk in flour and cook for 2 minutes. Add beef stock, while constantly whisking, until incorporated. Add Worcestershire and season with salt and pepper. Cook until thickened, about 6 to 7 minutes.
Pour sauce over meat. Turn broiler to high.
Beat hot potato liquid into egg yolk in a small bowl, Add potatoes back to same hot pot and let dry a bit. Mash potatoes with egg mixture and sour cream. Folk in blue cheese and chives. Season with salt and pepper, then spread over filling. Garnish with paprika and transfer to the broiler. Cook until top browns, about 2 to 3 minutes. Crumble bacon over top and serve.