We have eaten Shepherd’s Pie, or Hamburger Pie, for many years. We’ve always had the easy version, ground beef, tomato soup, a can of green beans and mashed potatoes. However, I recently came across a post from Ellie’s blog, Homecooking in Montana. She had found and adapted a recipe from Gordon Ramsey, and I’ve adapted it even more.
1 1/2 lbs ground beef (or lamb)
1/2 large onion, diced
1/2 medium zucchini, grated (EDITED! Sorry, put 1 lg by mistake)
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp fresh thyme (I used 1/2 tsp dried)
2 cups beef broth (I made my own beef broth, so this is what I used)
1/4 cup cheddar cheese, finely grated
couple shakes of Parmesan cheese
Add Worcestershire sauce and tomato paste. Season with thyme and cook for about 1 minute. Add broth and simmer until 5-10 minutes or until sauce has thickened. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Transfer beef to a deep dish. You can use an 8×8 square pan, a casserole or you can make individual servings.
Spoon mashed potato on top of beef. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese and cheddar cheese. Place the dish on a cookie sheet in case it bubbles over while baking. Bake in a 375° F oven for 20 minutes or until top is brown and heated through. The sides may be bubbly.
Oh and just a little food history for you. Shepherd’s Pie was originally called Cottage Pie. I’ll quote from Wikipedia:
Cottage pie, also known as shepherd’s pie, refers to an English meat pie with a crust made from mashed potato and beef.
The term cottage pie is known to have been in use in 1791, when potato was being introduced as an edible crop affordable for the poor (cf. “cottage” meaning a modest dwelling for rural workers).
In early cookery books, the dish was a means of using leftover roasted meat of any kind, and the pie dish was lined with mashed potato as well as having a mashed potato crust on top.
The term “shepherd’s pie” did not appear until the 1870s, and since then it has been used synonymously with “cottage pie”, regardless of whether the principal ingredient was beef or mutton. There is now a popular tendency for “shepherd’s pie” to be used when the meat is mutton or lamb, with the suggested origin being that shepherds are concerned with sheep and not cattle, however this may be an example of folk etymology.