Winging It Weeknights Shepherd’s Pie

I don’t know about you, but I get caught more often than I care to admit with no answer to the 2 dreaded words; “when’s dinner?”. My typical answer is; “Don’t know, soon”. (They don’t believe me anymore).

Or worse yet, “What’s for dinner?”. Same answer.

Then there’s “When’s dinner?”. “Don’t know”.

“Oh. Well, what’s for dinner?”

“Don’t know”. 

That was tonight’s question and answer period.

I had gotten as far as taking 6 lbs of ground beef out of the freezer this morning, with a busy day and zero inspiration beyond that. 

This big batch recipe was thrown together after the above conversation. It’s not fancy, it didn’t have a recipe, but I recorded what I did to the best of my recollection.

This proves that quick, uncomplicated, nutritious, and delicious CAN be used in the same sentence. 

Suitable for the paleo (ok, there’s butter though….) and gluten free crowd as is, substitute mashed cauliflower for the potato if eating keto or avoiding starches and nightshades for any reason, and I apologize to the vegetarian and vegan crowd, but this recipe blog isn’t for you. However, special requests are welcome!

This made enough meat filling for 5 family sized shepherd pies, plus some leftovers for breakfast. Yes, breakfast in this house.

Meat Filling:

  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 2 tbsp pastured bacon drippings (yes, I save mine if from naturally raised, pastured pork).
  • 6 lbs grass fed ground beef (if NOT naturally raised and pastured, then drain fat)
  • 2 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • unrefined salt and pepper to taste (start with 4 tsp salt, 1 1/2 tsp pepper and adjust from there)
  • 3-4 large carrots, grated
  • 2-3 cups frozen sweet peas
  1. Saute onion in bacon drippings (or other heat stable fat) in large saucepan until soft and lightly browned.
  2. Add beef and crumble fry until cooked through.
  3. Add all seasonings, stir through.
  4. Add carrots and peas, stir through
  5. Cook for another 10-15 minutes.

Make your version of mashed potatoes or mashed cauliflower and layer the meat and mashed potatoes (cauliflower) in casserole. Top with shredded cheddar cheese and broil slightly as a bonus – I didn’t bother this time.

I only had 6 potatoes left in the house, so I cooked those and made 1 complete shepherds pie with 1/5 of the meat for dinner tonight, then froze the rest of the meat in 4 equal portions for future use. 

Serve with a side salad or steamed veggies.

This meat is delicious stirred into fried cabbage or a stir fry as well, then add it to a “leftover soup” later in the week.  🙂  

This went from “when’s dinner” to “dinner’s ready” in 30-40 minutes, plus 4 more meals ready to go for future day’s like this. 

Simplicity and big batches are my friend.


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