It was an unforgettable adventure for us Herd girls– full of good memories, new friends, scary driving, and traditional English food. My Aunt Margaret, of Fresh Strawberry Pie fame, is not only a good cook, but also a genealogy expert. She planned the trip for us to visit and explore locations where some of the Herd family use to live near Sedburgh, England.
In addition to fish and chips, we got to sample another British favorite, Shepherd’s Pie. Since then, whenever I have pot roast leftovers, I have trouble deciding if I will make Shepherd’s Pie or Vegetable Beef Soup. They are both great ways to recycle shredded beef. Although many people use ground beef, I much prefer pot roast or roast beef. Seems more authentic, although in reality, there probably isn’t much about this recipe that is anything like the traditional way Brits would prepare this dish. If you are English, I would love to hear how you make yours.
Please note the recipe below includes instructions for the mashed-potato topping but in real life I usually use mashed potato leftovers.
- 1.3 pounds potatoes
- ½ cup milk
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper
- ¼ cup chopped, fresh, or frozen onion
- 4 ounces chopped, fresh, or canned mushrooms
- 1 cup frozen peas and carrots
- 1 package (.87 ounce) brown gravy mix mixed with 1 cup water
- 2-3 cups leftover beef roast, fork-shredded or one package 17 ounce beef roast au jus (My grocery store sells Hormel, which is good.)
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- Freshly-ground pepper
- Spray butter.
- Cover potatoes with water and boil until tender. Drain.
- Mash potatoes until relatively smooth. Heat milk and butter in microwave for 1 minute. Add to potatoes. Season to taste with salt and white pepper.
- Preheat large skillet and spray or brush with thin coating of vegetable oil. Saute onions until soft. Add mushrooms to onions and continue to saute until browned. Add peas and carrots.
- In separate bowl, prepare gravy mix and water. Add to skillet along with beef and thyme. Stir and simmer until mixture begins to thicken. Season with freshly ground pepper.
- Pour meat mixture into greased 1-1/2 quart casserole dish. Carefully spoon mashed potatoes on top and swirl. Sprinkle with paprika and spray with butter.
- Bake in 350 degree F oven for 20-25 minutes or until potatoes are golden on top and beef mixture is bubbly.
Mushrooms are optional but add to the meaty taste and texture.
If you have it, smoked paprika is nice on top or leave it off completely.