Nothing says “cozy” to me quite like shepherd’s pie as the temperatures drop and snow starts to fly. Feel free to add more vegetables to the mash or the sauce—any sort of root vegetable would be delicious and appropriate. Fair warning—you’ll probably want to take a nap after eating this comfort food, so plan your day appropriately!
1 onion, diced
3 large carrots, diced
½ tsp dried thyme
2-3 tbsp tomato paste
2-3 tbsp flour (a gluten-free all-purpose blend will also work)
1-2 cups water or beef broth
½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
1.5 lbs ground beef, browned with fat drained off
5 potatoes, peeled and cubed
2-4 tbsp butter, room temp
½ cup warm milk
Sautee veggies in a little oil or butter until softened. Salt and pepper to taste. Stir in tomato paste, and when that is mixed in, add flour or other thickener and cook for about 1 minute. Add a cup or two of beef broth or water, depending on how much gravy you want to have. Cook until thickened, add a few shakes of Worcestershire sauce, and add your cooked ground beef. Taste and season as needed. Pour into an appropriately-sized pan, remembering to leave space for the mashed potatoes on top.
Boil potatoes until tender in salted water (do this while the sauce and filling are cooking). Drain, stir in butter, followed by milk, and mash until creamy. Season potatoes to taste (I usually use seasoning salt). Dollop mashed potatoes on top of veggies and meat and carefully spread to cover the entire top of the pan. Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes, or until filling is bubbling.