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Tonight’s Dinner: Spectacular shepherd’s pie

Shepherd’s pie is a simple casserole that usually consists of mashed potatoes, ground beef, peas and carrots. But adding a bechamel sauce and some puff pastry makes this version rich, cheesy and out of this world.

Casseroles are one of the greatest dinner options ever created. All the ingredients get mixed together, thrown into a large casserole dish and baked in the oven to create a rich, delicious meal the whole family will love. One of the classic casseroles is a shepherd’s pie. While I’ve made a few different kinds, they’re all basically the same in that each pie has a layer of some kind of ground meat, a layer of mixed vegetables and then it’s topped with a thick blanket of mashed potatoes. But a few weeks ago, The Chew put together a shepherd’s pie that was unlike anything I’d ever seen. Yes, it had those three basic layers, but then Carla and Clinton added another five to make it extra special. That’s right, this was a shepherd’s pie with eight layers, each one better than the last, creating a pie that wasn’t just awesome, it was delicious too.

Spectacular shepherd’s pie

Serves 8


  • 1 stick butter, divided
  • 2 russet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 cups cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
  • 1/4 cup stout beer
  • 1 sheet puff pastry, cooked according to package directions.
  • 2 cups peas
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 pound fingerling potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 cup French fried onions


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line the bottom of a greased 3-quart baking dish with the thinly sliced potatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and set aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until tender, about three minutes. Add the lamb and cook until browned, about seven minutes. Pour the lamb mixture over the sliced potatoes in the casserole dish.
  4. Melt two tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour until smooth. Whisk in the stout, milk and one cup of cheddar cheese until incorporated and the cheese is melted. Whisk for another minute or two until the sauce is thick. Pour the cheese sauce over the lamb mixture in the casserole dish.
  5. Lay the piece of puff pastry over the lamb and cheese mixture in the casserole dish.
  6. Melt two tablespoons of butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the carrots and cook until tender, two to three minutes. Add the peas and cook for two more minutes. Pour the carrots and peas on top of the puff pastry.
  7. While the peas and carrots cook, place the chopped fingerling potatoes in a large pot of salted boiling water. Cook the potatoes until tender, 15 – 20 minutes and drain. Add the cream, four tablespoons of butter, salt and pepper and mash with a potato masher to desired consistency. Spread the mashed potatoes over the peas and carrots in the casserole dish.
  8. Sprinkle the remaining two cups of shredded cheese over the mashed potatoes and bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese has melted. Sprinkle the French fried onions over the baked casserole and serve.

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