This dish is one that I grew up loving. My mom and I would have mother-daughter tea lunches in the town I grew up and one of my favorite things to order there is their Shepherd’s pie. I was craving it the other day and decided to figure out not only how to make it but make it dairy free and incredibly delicious–which I sure did! This dish will definitely be made in my kitchen many a times now!!
In trying to make this dish unique, it didn’t come to me at first when I was planning the dish but really came in two different ways:
First, when in the grocery store I saw this Kobe ground beef and I was inspired to make an elevated version of this classic with this fancier, tender beef.
Second, when I was finishing up making the cooked beef mixture I felt like it was just missing something and that something ended up being a little touch of dark brown sugar which just brought the whole flavor of the filling together so nicely!
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1/3 cup cup white onion diced
- 1/3 cup carrots diced
- 1/3 cup celery diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced (I like to used a zester)
- 1 pound ground beef I used Kobe—fancy!
- 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour or gluten free flour for gluten (eg arrowroot flour)
- 2 teaspoons tomato paste
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons freshly chopped rosemary leaves
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme removed from stem
- 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup fresh or frozen English peas
Dairy Free Mashed Potatoes
- 1 1/2 pounds yukon gold potatoes peeled
- 1/2 cup cashew milk or other unsweetened, non-dairy milk
- 2 ounces vegan butter I used Earth Balance
- Kosher salt to taste
- fresh parsley, chopped finely for topping
In a large heavy pot, preferably a dutch oven, add the canola oil on medium heat. Once hot, add in the onion, carrots, and celery. Occasionally stirring until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add in the garlic and stir until fragrant, about another minute.
Add in ground beef and using a wooden spoon, break up the beef into small pieces as it cooks all the way through. Once cooked, sprinkle flour over top and mix until combined.
Add in tomato paste, beef broth, and Worcestershire sauce. Mix until the tomato paste is well incorporated.
Add in salt, pepper, fresh rosemary, and fresh thyme. Let simmer on the lowest heat setting partially covered while you make the mashed potato topping.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
For the potatoes, peel and cut them into about 1-2 inch cubes. Place in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and then lower heat a little to let them simmer until a fork easily pokes through them, about 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes and add in cashew milk and butter and whip them with an electric mixer until there are no clumps. Season with salt until you're liking.
Uncover the beef filling and increase heat a little bit (still keeping it on low). Add in brown sugar and frozen peas. Stir until peas are warm.
Transfer beef filling to a heat safe dish, I used my cast iron skillet. Use the back of a wooden spoon to make sure the filling is evenly spread. Now top with the mashed potatoes and again make sure it's evenly spread. I like to give it one good back and forth motion with the back of a spoon across the entire top of the dish to create some texture (see photos below).
Bake for 20 minutes. Let cool for 2-3 minutes before serving (optional: top with parsley) and enjoy1