Step-by-step Shepherd's Pie

Enjoy a hearty meal with our recipe for this family favourite.

Economical (and tasty), this quintessential British mix of meat and potatoes proves that some meals are just as good the second time round. This interpretation of two meals in one invites a family of four to enjoy a garlic-and-thyme-rubbed roast one night then potato-topped beef and gravy the next.

2 lb (1 kg ) eye of round oven roast
1 tbsp (15 mL ) vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp (5 mL ) dried thyme
1/2 tsp (2 mL ) each salt and pepper
1/4 cup (50 mL ) all-purpose flour
3 cups (750 mL ) beef stock
Potatoes and Vegetables:
1 tbsp (15 mL ) vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 tsp (5 mL ) dried thyme
7 cups (1.75 L ) cubed peeled potatoes (about 2 lb/1 kg)
1 large carrot, peeled
1 cup (250 mL) buttermilk or milk
4 tsp (20 mL ) butter
1/2 tsp (2 mL) each salt and pepper
1 cup (250 mL) frozen peas

Get step-by-step instructions.

1. Place roast on rack in roasting pan. Combine oil, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper; spread all over top and sides of roast. Pour 1-1/2 cups (375 mL) water into pan.

2. Roast in 500°F (260°C) oven for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 275°F (140°C); roast until thermometer inserted in centre registers 150°F (65°C) for medium-rare, about 1-1/4 hours, or until desired doneness. Transfer to cutting board. Tent with foil; let stand for 15 minutes before carving half of the roast into slices.

3. Meanwhile, skim fat from pan juices; using flat whisk, whisk flour into juices. Place pan over medium-high heat; cook, whisking, for 1 minute. Pour in stock; bring to boil, whisking and scraping up any brown bits. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened, 2 minutes. Strain; serve all but 1-1/2 cups (375 mL) with sliced beef.

4. Potatoes and vegetables: Cut remaining roast into large cubes; coarsely chop in food processor and set aside. In large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat; cook onion and thyme until softened and golden, about 5 minutes. Add reserved gravy. Stir in chopped beef; simmer for 2 minutes.

5. In saucepan of boiling salted water, cover and cook potatoes and carrot until tender, about 8 minutes. Remove carrot; dice and set aside. Drain potatoes and return to dry saucepan; mash together with buttermilk, butter, salt and pepper until smooth.

6. Scrape beef mixture into 8-inch (2 L) square glass baking dish. Cover with carrots and peas; spread mashed potatoes over top. (Make-ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours; add 20 minutes to baking time.) Bake in 400°F (200°C) oven until filling is bubbly and potatoes are golden, about 40 minutes.

Per each of 4 servings of beef and gravy: about 195 cal, 27 g pro, 7 g total fat (2 g sat. fat), 4 g carb, trace fibre, 50 mg chol, 499 mg sodium. % RDI: 1% calcium, 16% iron, 6% folate. Per serving of shepherd's pie: about 537 cal, 35 g pro, 16 g total fat (5 g sat. fat), 64 g carb, 6 g fibre, 64 mg chol, 1,555 mg sodium. % RDI: 12% calcium, 29% iron, 63% vit A, 40% vit C, 29% folate.

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