shepherd’s pie

various dates

This is a classic Belgian / French recipe (Hachis Parmentier) worth trying. It is very easy to make and quite good. It consists of 3 layers: (ground) meat, something vegetable and mashed potatoes on top. I used leeks with béchamel sauce, but you can use almost anything for that second layer, even fruit. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but feel free to experiment to find an agreeable combination.

a. shepherd’s pie with pre-cooked ingredients


Shepherd's pie isn't really a pie in the sense of pie with a crust. It is a layered stew, a casserole that is baked in the oven. What you get on your plate is a mish-mash of everything you put in it, like with any other 1-skillet stew. The ingredients don't have to be pre-cooked, but that sure reduces the baking time.


This is what you need for 6-8 servings:

  • 1 lb. ground beef or shredded chicken
  • 2 medium onions, chopped small
  • 4 ft. leek whites, cleaned, sliced in rounds
  • 6 medium potatoes, peeled
  • ½ cup of breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup grated melting cheese
  • 2 cups béchamel sauce
    oil, flour, milk
  • 1 egg
  • nutmeg
  • S&P
Pic1: shepherd's pie, served


Pic2: before cooking
Pic3: after cooking


Layer 1:

Layer 2:

Layer 3:


b. leek shepherd's pie


Almost identical as the above recipe, but on a smaller scale.
This one barely filled a shallow pie dish with a crescent dough crust on the bottom and optional on top as well.



Pic4: layer 1: crescent or puff pastry dough, cooked ground meat
Pic5: layer 2: cooked leek whites, no bechamel
Pic6: layer 3: mashed potatoes


Pic7: add cheese
Pic8 bake
Pic9: baked


c. shepherd's pie with raw ingredients


This shepherd's pie is just about the opposite of one above. This one uses raw ingredients instead of pre-cooked, minced meat instead of ground, mixed frozen vegetables instead of cooked leeks, and scalloped potatoes instead of mashed. The outcome and presentation are different, yet also very satisfying.


This is what you need for 6-8 servings:

  • 1 lb. tender roast, minced
  • 4-6 potatoes, diced
  •  1 lb. vegetable mix
    here broccoli & carrots
  • 3-4 cups Mornay sauce
    = béchamel with egg and cheese
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup mild melting cheese, grated or chopped
  • S&P
Pic10: shepherd's pie


Pic11: raw meat, frozen vegetables
Pi12: scalloped potatoes


Pic13: before cooking, needs a bit more sauce to fill the holes below
Pic14: after cooking

D. double shepherd's pie


Two different shepherd's pies at once, identical except for the vegetable layers. And those vegetables make them very different dishes. Good thing that this can be frozen after it has been cooked or we'd be eating this for weeks.

And I learned something new.


This is what you need for 8+ servings:

  • 2 lbs. ground meat
  • vegetables + spices to add to the meat mix
  • vegetables of your choice for 2nd layer
  • 2 quarts mashed potatoes
  • 1 lb. melting cheese
  • S&P, nutmeg, spices of your choice
Pic15: shepherd's pie with Normandy mix vegetables


The pictures tell the story.

Preparing the meat mix:

Pic16: S&P, 2 eggs, non-pareil capers
Pic17: onions & bell pepper mix, spices
Pic18: hot sauce

Shepherd's pie with Normandy veggie mix:

Pic19: meat on the bottom
Pic20: Normandy mix vegetables
Pic21: mashed potatoes and cheese on top

Shepherd's pie with lettuce / spinach mix and mushrooms:

Pic22: meat &lettuce / spinach mix
Pic13: stewed mushrooms
Pic24: mashed potatoes and cheese on top


Pic25-27: I baked these @ 350 ºF for 60 minutes, then broiled for 10 more minutes to brown the crust.

Serve and enjoy

Pic28: three layers
Pic29: served
Pic30: refrigerate or freeze leftovers


Pic31+32: three layers
Pic33: sauced