Marcus Shares His Rainy Day Shepherd's Pie Recipe!

All the rain this weekend has me holed up in the kitchen doing some serious "comfort food" cooking! One of my FAVORITES is a classic Shepherd's Pie. Ground meat, mixed with a rich, savory sauce and topped with mashed potatoes and cheese? Sign me up! A true Brit won't allow me to call this a "Shepherds Pie" since I used ground beef instead of lamb but "Cottage Pie" doesn't sound as "homey" to me. There are a few steps to this dish and some assembly required but it is actually pretty simple and KILLER for leftovers.'s GLUTEN FREE! Enjoy!

Photo: Marcus D.


YIELD: 6-8 Servings
Prep Time: 30-45 minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes



  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1.5 lbs Ground Chuck
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 large onion
  • 8 oz sliced mushrooms, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh rosemary
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 4 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 cup chicken or beef stock
  • 1/2 cup parm cheese
  • 1/2 cup gruyere cheese
  • Salt and pepper


  • 4 Yukon Gold Potatoes
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream or milk
  • 3 tbsp butter(softened and cubed)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup parm or gruyere cheese
  • 1/3 cup sour cream or creme fraiche


For Potatoes:

  1. Peel potatoes and cut in half lengthwise twice. Cut into thirds.
  2. Add potatoes to medium pot and cover with water.
  3. Bring potatoes to a boil and salt the water. Cook on medium high heat for 7-10 minutes until they are tender and can be pierced with a fork. Drain with a colander and turn off the heat. Using a ricer, add potatoes back to the pot adding cubed butter intermittently and covering with more potato. After adding all the butter, add the cream/milk and stir till combined. For thinner potatoes, add more milk. Don't make them too thin (remember it's a topper)
  4. Mix in 2 eggs
  5. Mix in sour cream/creme fraiche. Stir in gruyere cheese.
  6. Season to taste and set aside.

For Filling:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Preheat a medium pan on medium to medium-high heat and add olive oil
  3. Add in the beef, pressing it in and sear for 3 minutes. Flip and repeat on the other side.
  4. After searing both sides, mash with a potato masher until fine and season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook until evenly browned. Remove ground beef from the pan into a bowl and set aside leaving beef fat in pan.
  5. Add mushrooms to pan with beef fat and allow to sear on one side. Season with salt and pepper after mushrooms start releasing their moisture(about 2-3 mins). Stir mushrooms and continue cooking.
  6. Grate in carrot, onion, and add diced garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the vegetables get soft. Re-add ground beef. Add tomato paste and cook for a couple of minutes while stirring until caramelized.
  7. Add red wine, worcestershire sauce, rosemary and thyme, stir to deglaze the pan and reduce until liquid almost completely evaporated.
  8. Add beef stock and season to taste. Cook on medium for 1-2 mins.
  9. Add frozen peas and stir. Cook till the peas are nice and hot
  10. Add meat/vegetable mixture to a 9x11 greased pyrex pan.
  11. Top with potatoes and gently cover pan from the outside-in using a spatula.
  12. Sprinkle parm and gruyere cheese over the top of potatoes. Fork the top of the pie to create peaks.
  13. Let cook in the oven for about 20 minutes until the cheese is browned on top. If the cheese doesn't brown, raise the oven rack a place under the broiler (500) for about 5 minutes. Be sure to keep an eye on it, it will burn quickly.
  14. Remove from oven and let sit for 20 minutes to set before serving.

Chef Notes:

  • You don't NEED a potato ricer BUT it will make your mashed potatoes lighter, fluffier, and guarantee no lumps. Consider it a "tool of refinement" and get yourself one. Thank me later.
  • If you want a little more texture in your dish, feel free to dice up your carrots and onions instead of grating them in. I've found my daughter will eat more if I "hide" the vegetables.
  • Make sure you reduce the red wine step to almost nothing. You want the wine essence with none of the liquid.
  • This dish is GREAT "day-of" but MASTERFUL if you make it a day ahead of time and reheat for dinner the next night.

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