Okay, yes, it’s basically Shepherd’s Pie, but there are two key differences: 1) proper Shepherd’s Pie is made with lamb (technically if you use beef it’s Farmer’s Pie, fish it’s Ocean Pie. I wonder what a chicken, pork one would be?) 2) “streusel” topping!
I love Shepherd’s Pie-esque dishes because they’re a great way to use up leftovers. It’s also super versatile, which is something I really appreciate in a recipe.
So the basic components of a Shepherd’s Pie-type dish are: Meat, typically ground; vegetables; and mashed potatoes.
Feel free to use any kind of meat (or even textured vegetable protein!) you like/have on hand. You can also use boxed or store bought mashed potatoes if you’re not up for making homemade ones on the fly, or use this recipe to finish up leftovers!
5 small potatoes (about 2 cups diced)
4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon minced garlic (optional)
1 pound ground beef
1 tablespoon seasoning salt (optional)
10 ounces frozen vegetables (or leftover cooked vegetables)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (optional)
cheddar cheese, grated (optional, but, do you really want to skip cheese?)
salt and pepper to taste
Make your mashed potatoes. (Dice potatoes – they cook faster if they’re in smaller chunks. Put them in a pot and fill the pot with water. Bring to boil and let the potatoes cook for about 20 minutes. Strain out the water and put the potatoes back in the pan. Add butter and mash the potatoes. I leave the milk out in this recipe so that the potatoes get nice and crispy in the oven later.)
If you’re using it, add your garlic to the mashed potatoes. It adds an extra spark to this dish. It may seem a bit overpowering at this point, but it will mellow when combined with the beef and vegetables.
In a large skillet brown your beef (or other ground protein) with seasoning salt.* Set the meat aside separately from your potatoes.
Preheat your oven to 350°F.
Cook your frozen vegetables in your large skillet with Worcestershire sauce.*
Grate your cheese! I used about a cup, but I really like cheese.
Now we layer! You can do this any way you like, as long as there are layers and the top is mashed potatoes (you don’t even HAVE to do that, but then it’s even more distantly related to Shepherd’s Pie). Here’s how I did it:
Spray a 7×11 inch pan with non-stick spray. Spread half of the mashed potatoes in the bottom of the pan and up the sides. Add your ground beef, making sure the layer is flat. Add half of the cheese you grated on top of that. Put the cooked vegetables over the cheese. With your hands squish the remaining mashed potatoes in your hands like streusel and sprinkle over the top. Cover it all with the rest of your cheese! Sprinkle about half a teaspoon of pepper on top.
Pop the Farmer Cobbler (or whatever) into the oven for about thirty minutes until the cheese is melty and the potatoes are golden.
Serving Suggestion: Goes great with a side of green salad!
*I really like seasoning beef with seasoning salt and Worcestershire sauce. I feel like they amp the beefiness. If you don’t care for them, don’t have them on hand, and/or are using a different protein, substitute them with salt and pepper