Crispy Shepherd’s Pie


I saw the contestant Mary Beth last summer from the show The Next Food Network Star make her version of Shepherd’s Pie on the Rachel Ray show and I was immediately blown away by the elegant look of the dish and the extra steps she took to bring it up another notch. She wasn’t my pick for the winner but I do give her props for the recipe.

Believe it or not I have never had a shepherd’s pie in my LIFE (until last week of course). If you remember, I have mentioned how I was absolutely horrified of mashed potatoes when I was younger and the thought of a large casserole pan topped with those creamy potatoes just took my fear to a whole new level. I am older now and thankfully my tastes have changed allowing me to not only eat potatoes but LOVE them. However, although I like mashed potatoes now I wanted to follow in the steps of Mary Beth and do something different with the topping for the pie. A crispy cheesy topping of thinly sliced potatoes is considered “different” right?

A mixture of beef cooked with onions and prosciutto, corn and tomatoes gave the dish that extra flavor and the gravy was utterly delicious. The gravy simply could not be any easier than if you used store-bought. Beef broth, flour and a dash of my secret ingredient (beer) gives the filling just the right touch. It’s a gravy to end all gravy’s!

So if your kids have a mashed potato phobia like I once did then this easy one pot meal with the crispy topping is perfect for them!

Crispy Shepherd’s Pie
  • 1 pound of yukon potatoes, thinly sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
  • 1¾ pounds ground beef
  • ¼ pound of prosciutto
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 2 tablespoons parsley
  • ¼ cup shredded cheese (cheese of your choice)
  1. Preheat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add oil to pan with beef, prosciutto and onions. Season meat with salt and pepper. Brown and crumble meat for 3 or 4 minutes. Add chopped carrot and peas. Cook veggies with meat 5 minutes, stirring frequently. In a second small skillet over medium heat cook butter and flour together 2 minutes. Whisk in broth and Worcestershire sauce. Thicken gravy 1 minute. Add gravy to meat and vegetables.
  2. Place the meat mixture in the bottom of a greased 9x13 casserole pan. Toss the sliced potatoes with salt, pepper and a dash of olive oil. Arrange evenly on top of the meat mixture in 3 different layers. Sprinkle with the shredded cheese. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes then increase temperature to 400 and bake another 15 minutes until the potatoes are nice and golden, crispy brown.


  1. Katie

    Amazing. These look wonderful!

    08 . Feb . 2012
  2. Collette Osuna

    Ive never had this either!!! The recipe looks great, the photos even better!!! I really need to get cooking again soon!

    Happy humpday!

    A Lifestyle Blog where Fashion, Décor & Cooking “connect”

    08 . Feb . 2012
  3. Blond Duck


    08 . Feb . 2012
  4. Erica

    That looks fabulous!! Better than the traditional version. Love a bake with a nice, crunchy top!

    08 . Feb . 2012
  5. Bonnie

    I’ve never prepared nor eaten shepherd’s pie. That just might change with your recipe. It looks so deliciously comforting!!


    08 . Feb . 2012
  6. kitchen flavours

    This looks delicious! My kids, in fact, everyone in my household love potatoes! And I know that this will be a hit in my house!

    08 . Feb . 2012
  7. daphne

    Oh yum! crisp potatoes and mince- Seriously comforting! This must be a family favourite! Can’t believe you didn’t try this before 😉

    08 . Feb . 2012
  8. Maureen

    I love this! The first time I made it after moving to Australia I was told it wasn’t Shepherd’s Pie unless it had lamb in it (that’s where the shepherd comes in) I was told if you used beef it was a cottage pie.

    I looked at them and said, “so, are you going to eat or not?” We ate 🙂

    This is real comfort food and your dish looks really good.

    08 . Feb . 2012
  9. yummychunklet

    What a clever idea! It’s like having scalloped potatoes on top! Looks delicious.

    08 . Feb . 2012
  10. Melynda@Moms Sunday Cafe

    Always looking for something new to make with ground beef, and I can’t wait to make this dish, Thanks! I love mashed potatoes, but not on meat pie.

    08 . Feb . 2012
  11. StephenC

    My partner, Peter, loves making shepherd’s pie with mashed potatoes. I am not crazy about it. This version might float my boat.

    08 . Feb . 2012
  12. Shawn

    Wow, am I glad that you saw that episode! Your dish looks incredibly delicious…I’m loving the idea of a scalloped potato topping and I know that I’ll make it soon 🙂

    08 . Feb . 2012
  13. jo-lyn's cup cakes n' candies

    Yummy!! I love it! I like the idea of the sliced potatoes instead of mashed! =) Added to my recipe box!! Have you been to the new site?!?!?! I can’t keep everybody straight! =)

    08 . Feb . 2012
  14. Jessica @ Cajunlicious

    Amazing this does look very elegant and delicious!

    08 . Feb . 2012
  15. Greg

    I love this take on shepherd’s pie. Looks delicous.

    08 . Feb . 2012
  16. Donna @ The Slow Roasted Italian

    This version of shepherds pie looks delicious. I remember that episode. What was it that she piped on top? Carrots or sweet potatoes? It looked really special that way.

    08 . Feb . 2012
  17. Eva

    Now that is something I’ve not heard of before: Mashed Potato Phobia, Jessica! It’s so cute. This version with the scalloped potatoes sounds lovely, it looks like a great weeknight meal.

    08 . Feb . 2012
  18. Natalie Mason

    I love this spin on Sheppards Pie! I also have never made one before but now I want to! Looks so good!

    08 . Feb . 2012
  19. Torrie @ a place to share...

    I am adding this immediately to my MUST MAKE THIS WEEK list. Question- is there prosciutto in the recipe, like you mentioned in the post?

    08 . Feb . 2012
  20. Tina (PinayInTexas)

    I love shepherd’s pie…but your version looks stunning and a lot more delicious than all those I’ve tried!

    08 . Feb . 2012
  21. Three-Cookies

    Crispy shepherds pie with prosciutto – I think the British will swap their traditional recipe for this one:)

    08 . Feb . 2012
  22. Pure Complex

    I’ve never heard of a crispy shepherds pie.. but I’m happy I do now. This just looks so scrumptious. iI can see this being a hit with my family

    08 . Feb . 2012
  23. Marsha @ The Harried Cook

    How interesting… I have never used a topping like this on a Shepherd’s pie before, but it looks great! Must try it… Haven’t made Shepherd’s pie in years! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    08 . Feb . 2012
  24. Sheila

    What a great idea! Shepherds Pie is one of our go to meals, but I never thought of using anything but mashed potatoes! this looks really yummy.

    08 . Feb . 2012
  25. 2 sisters recipes

    Looks yummy and we make something like this, only we call it something else in Italian.
    great recipe , thanks for sharing!

    08 . Feb . 2012
  26. Reem | Simply Reem

    Love this Jessica…
    I have had shepherd pie may be once or twice but this looks fabulous….
    Girl I have to say u totally inspire me to be more active, I dont know how u manage such regular and delicious posts regularly with 2 little kids…
    Then again as I always say YOU ROCK!!!!
    Have a great rest of the week ahead…

    08 . Feb . 2012
  27. Mandy - The Complete Cook Book

    Can’t believe I have never thought of using anything other than mashed potatoes on top of shepherds pie before – love this new idea!
    🙂 Mandy

    09 . Feb . 2012
  28. valerie

    I love your pie! I so wanna try it!

    09 . Feb . 2012
  29. Nami | Just One Cookbook

    I have said many times but I love potatoes… I’m going to make this this weekend for sure. It sounds so easy, and boy I love potatoes!!!

    09 . Feb . 2012
  30. Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen

    Very kid friendly. There’s nothing more comforting than Shepherd’s pie.

    09 . Feb . 2012
  31. Joanne

    I’ve actually never had shepherd’s pie either. What is WRONG with me. This looks so tasty!

    09 . Feb . 2012
  32. Asmita

    We love shepherd’s pie at my place and I make it often using ground lean turkey and give it an Indian twist. I like the sliced potatoes on top and the addition of pancetta in yours. Looks lovely! Will have to try out your recipe next time.

    09 . Feb . 2012
  33. lena

    i dont have a phobia for mashed potatoes so i’m going to love this ! love it even more reading the words ” crispy cheesy”!!

    09 . Feb . 2012
  34. lena

    oh, you asked abt the wolfberries, they are also known as gojiberries and look like raisins, red in colour and it’s believed that it helps to improve one’s healthbeing in terms of blood pressure and eyesight.

    09 . Feb . 2012
  35. Lisa

    My boys don’t like mashed potatoes either, must be a kid thing. I’m thinking they may like this shepard’s pie. I know I like all the ingredients, esp. porscuitto! This is a lovely recipe since it’s a one pot meal.

    09 . Feb . 2012
  36. nancy at good food matters

    crispy slices of yukon golds would indeed be a delicious change-up for shepherd’s pie!

    09 . Feb . 2012
  37. Chaya

    I have never made a Shepherd’s Pie with sliced potatoes. Yours looks delicious and I think, I would like the slices, as much as I like the mashed potatoes.

    09 . Feb . 2012
  38. Liz

    Oh, wow, what a terrific version of shepherd’s pie….I think this will be my preferred topping from now on! SO yummy looking~

    09 . Feb . 2012
  39. Shea

    I love this idea of using potato slices to top shepherd’s pie–what a creative idea. That’s too funny that you used to hate mashed potatoes! I can’t imagine that!

    09 . Feb . 2012
  40. Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking

    I have never had a Shepards pie but this recipe sure makes me want to try one!!

    09 . Feb . 2012
  41. Sammie

    That looks like a winner!! I love Shepherds pie and yours looks soooo yummy! I would really love to try it!!

    09 . Feb . 2012
  42. sportsglutton

    Shepherds pie is an old favorite in our house and i like how you kept the potatoes sliced on top.

    16 . Feb . 2012
  43. geordie

    Looks ever its not sheperds pie its cottage pie or it would be if it was mashed potatoe’s, its a cross between cottage pie and tattie pot.tattie pot is done useing left over roast beef or what ever roast you have but beef is best and layers of sliced pototoe’s really good for any one who has not tried it….North East English dish

    01 . Oct . 2013

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