Thursday, December 5, 2019

Shepherd’s Pie with Mashed Potato Crust #recipe @LucyBurdette

LUCY BURDETTE: The arrival of fall was enough motivation to make this recipe for shepherd's pie, but the turnips in our garden (along with the beets, but that will be another recipe) needed their chance in the sun. And, in the Key West book I'm currently writing, some of the characters go to Scotland! (And honestly, this tastes much better than it photographs.) So Hayley's stepdad, Sam, makes this dish to send them off on the journey. This is a little bit fancy – fancy enough for company, but not a lot of trouble. Especially if you’re not fussy about the size of the dice, and therefore use your food processor to slice everything up, as I did.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 and 1/2 medium white or red onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine (I forgot this and didn’t notice the difference!)
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 cup green beans cut into 1 inch lengths

  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary 
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas or corn
For the topping:
Potatoes, about 5, peeled and chopped
2 Turnips, peeled and chopped
Milk or cream
Salt and pepper

Brown the beef. Set this aside on paper towels to drain. Sauté the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic in a little olive oil until soft. Add the flour and let this cook for a few minutes with the vegetables. Mix the tomato paste into a little of the beef stock so it doesn’t get lumpy. Add that along, with the Worcestershire sauce, the remaining stock, and a bay leaf. Simmer this until bubbly and beginning to thicken.

In a 9 x 13“ pan, layer the browned beef, followed by the vegetables and sauce, followed by the green beans and parsley. Set this aside while you finish the crust.

In a separate pan, simmer the turnips and potatoes in water until soft. (My turnips always need a little more time than potatoes so I start them simmering 5 or 10 minutes ahead.) Drain and mash with a tablespoon or two of both butter and milk. And salt and pepper to taste. Spread the mashed potatoes over the top of the beef and vegetables.

Bake in a 350 oven for 30 minutes or until browning and bubbly. 

Lucy Burdette writes the Key West food critic mystery series, featuring fiesty food critic Hayley Snow. Number 9, A DEADLY FEAST, is in stores and online everywhere. THE KEY LIME CRIME will be published next summer. 

"Hayley and Nathan make an appealing pair, and the food descriptions and Key West atmosphere are equally enticing—a sure bet to draw readers of foodie mysteries."


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I'm super-grateful to have my next book, THE KEY LIME CRIME (July 2020), available for pre-order!

You can order it at an independent bookstoreBarnes and Noble, Amazon, and anywhere books are sold!


  1. It’s been a while since I’ve made shepherds pie. I use peas instead of green beans and usually add some chopped up mushrooms. It’s one of those dishes where the leftovers taste just as good

  2. Shepherds pie Cottage pie Ground beef Ground lamb Green beans or peas
    It's all delicious.

  3. Yes peas are delicious too! You're right Libby, there's lots of wiggle room in this recipe.

  4. Shepherd's pie is one of our favorite cold weather dishes!

  5. I've never made Shepherd's pie, but I've eaten it, and it's delicious. Even reading the recipe makes me hungry for it.

  6. thanks ladies! hope you get a chance to enjoy it soon!