Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Prepper's Pantry: Shepherd's Pie

With the weather starting to get colder in much of the United States, the desire for comfort food grows. In previous Prepper's posts I've talked about soups and stews, chili, and most recently lasagna. All these dishes are distinct, yet they also all have in common a tendency to be hearty, possibly even heavy; are generally served hot; and can provide us with plentiful leftovers. The recipe for this post is no exception. 

Shepherd's Pie is one of my favorite fall and winter comfort food, although since my version uses beef instead of lamb, it's really more of a Stockman's or Cottage Pie. Any meat or meat substitute can be used, however. 

As this is a family recipe, I don't really have precise quantities. I tend to make it to fit the baking dish, which is usually either a glass 8x8 casserole dish, or the same deep 9 x 13 metal dish I use for lasagna.

Shepherd's Pie

Filling Ingredients

  • Ground beef (3-5 lbs)
  • 2-3 6-oz cans Tomato paste
  • 1-2 lbs Frozen or otherwise preserved vegetables (peas, carrots, corn, green beans, etc)

Topping Ingredients

  • 3-5 Potatoes
  • 4-8 oz Butter
  • 1-2 cups Milk and/or sour cream (measurement is total)
  • Salt & pepper to taste

  1. Brown and drain the ground beef.
  2. Mix in the tomato paste and frozen vegetables.
  3. Spray an oven safe baking dish with non-stick spray and pour in the filling.
  4. Boil the potatoes until soft then drain.
  5. Mash and add butter, milk (and/or sour cream), and salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Cover the top of the filling with an even layer of potatoes.
  7. Bake at 350° F for 45 minutes, or until the potatoes are nicely browned, and the filling is bubbling up around the edges.

Alternate Biscuit Topping


  • 2 cups Self-Rising Flour (White Lily preferred)
  • (Or 2 cups regular flour, 3 tsp baking powder, ½ tsp salt)
  • ¼ cup Crisco shortening or 1 stick butter - softened
  • ¾ cup buttermilk or 2/3 cup milk


  1. Place flour in a large bowl. Cut in shortening (or butter) with pastry blender or two knives until crumbs are the size of peas.
  2. Add buttermilk, stirring with fork just until flour is moistened.
  3. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface.
  4. Knead gently 5 to 6 times, just until smooth.
  5. Form over top of the filling.
  6. Bake as above.

The first piece always comes out messy.

This dish is best served hot while looking out the window at unpleasant weather.

Keep warm, and eat hearty.

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