Shepherd’s Pie is not typically my thing. We don’t eat a lot of potatoes as a family (we’re more into pasta and rice) and a pool of ground beef with corn in a strange gravy just doesn’t get me overly excited. However, if you make them individually inside a potato and switch up some of the ingredients, somehow it becomes the best meal to make this week!
Trust me, these stuffed potatoes are amazing. I brought one in for lunch to work today and left it unattended for a couple of minutes in the kitchen while I was out searching for my phone. I came back to find 3 colleagues salivating over it and warning me they might eat it if I didn’t hurry up and consume it first. Note to self: do not leave food in the kitchen unattended!
Seriously, though, these are definitely worth making, whether for a weeknight with your family or for a weekend dinner with friends. Just serve it with a salad to balance out your plate and you’ll be set!
If you decide to try this out and LOVE your own shepherd’s pie, then just use that recipe and make it inside the potatoes instead. In fact, Rachael Ray uses mushrooms and no celery at all in hers.
Shepherd’s Pie Stuffed Potatoes (adapted, barely, from Rachael Ray’s Look and Cook)
Note: There is a lot more filling than you need. There are at least 2 servings left of potatoes and ground beef filling, so you could make a mini Shepherd’s Pie for later or just keep it on the side for guests who are still hungry!
What you need:
4 large russet potatoes, scrubbed clean
1 medium onion or 2 small onions, chopped (divided)
1/2 red pepper
1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup or so red wine (optional)
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
1 1/2 cups beef stock
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp paprika
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded cheese (a mixture of what you like)
What to do:
Preheat the oven to 400F. Put the potatoes on a baking sheet and drizzle with some oil and salt. Bake for about an hour or until tender. Remove from the oven and let cool a bit (you can even do this ahead – just make sure to warm up the mashed potatoes later when you put it all together).
Heat about a tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add half of the chopped onion along with the pepper and saute until soft (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat, put in a bowl and set aside to cool a little.
While everything cools a little, add the ground beef to the frying pan and brown for a few minutes. Pour on the red wine (if using) and let it cook off a bit. Then add the rest of the chopped onion and the celery and saute until the veggies are tender. Add the garlic in the last minute or so of cooking.
Move the meat / vegetables to the edges of the pan and put the butter in the middle to melt. Sprinkle the flour on top and mix to make a roux. Then whisk in the beef stock, mustard, soya sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a bubble and mix the whole pan together, letting the sauce thicken a bit.
When you’re ready to put everything together, cut a thin layer off the top of each potato and scoop out the flesh into a large bowl. Add the paprika, sour cream, 1/2cup of cheese and the sauteed onions and pepper. Mash / mix to combine. This is your topper.
Fill each potato shell with the meat mixture. Top with the mashed potato mixture. Then sprinkle more cheese on top. Stick the potatoes into the oven under the broiler for a few minutes to brown the cheese on top.