Cast Iron Skillet Shepherd's Pie
Comforting and hearty, this Skillet Shepherd's Pie is a family dinner favorite. Made with beef, veggies, tomato sauce, and a homemade fluffy mashed potatoes recipe.
Servings: 8 people
- Olive oil for pan
- 1 pound ground beef (or beef stew meat cut into 1/4 inch cubes)
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves (or 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme)
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 cubes beef bouillon, dissolved in 1 tablespoon hot water (see note)
- 1 cup fire-roasted diced tomatoes (about half of a 14 oz can)
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup beef broth, plus more as needed
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen vegetable mix (carrots, peas, green beans, corn)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons melted butter for brushing
- Chopped parsley for garnish
Make the filling
Heat about 2 tablespoon of olive oil in an 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. In batches, cook the beef until browned and cooked through, about 6-8 minutes. Drain excess fat. Transfer the cooked beef to a plate and set aside.
Reduce to medium heat. To the same skillet, add a few more drizzles of olive oil and cook the onions and garlic until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the thyme and paprika, and cook for another minute. Return the beef to the skillet and combine.
Add tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and the dissolved beef bouillon. Cook and stir until incorporated. Add in the diced tomatoes, along with some of its juices. Combine.
Sprinkle the flour over the mixture, and stir to combine. Add beef broth and bring to a simmer, stirring until thickened. If too thick, add more beef broth. Stir in the frozen mixed vegetables and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper if needed. Turn off the heat.
Assemble the pie and bake
Spoon the mashed potatoes over the filling. Brush with melted butter. Decorate the mashed potatoes by creating patterns with a rubber spatula or run a fork around (like in the pictures). You can also pipe in the mashed potatoes through a large decorative piping tip. Note: if you're using cold mashed potatoes, reheat them before assembling to make it easy to spread and to give them a head start.
Place the skillet on a large sheet pan in case some of the filling spills over. Bake for about 20-25 minutes until browned and bubbly. Then broil for about 1-2 minutes until golden brown, making sure it doesn’t burn.
Remove from oven and let it cool for 5 minutes. Garnish with thyme or chopped parsley. Enjoy!
- Special equipment: 10-inch cast iron or oven-proof skillet, pastry brush, large sheet pan.
- Beef bouillon: 2 cubes is equivalent to about 1 teaspoon.
- Cook the beef in batches: This will help with better browning. If you overcrowd the pan, the beef will steam instead.
- Frozen vs. fresh vegetables: Both work fine. I used frozen veggies to make it quicker.
- 3 make-ahead options: 1) Make the mashed potatoes and the filling, let cool completely, and refrigerate in airtight containers for up to 2 days until ready to assemble the pie. Reheat both before assembling. 2) Make the mashed potatoes and the filling, let cool completely, and freeze in freezer-friendly containers for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, reheat both components, and assemble the pie. 3) After baking the entire pie (you'll need a baking dish instead of a skillet for this option), let it cool completely. Wrap tightly with aluminum foil and freeze for up to 2 months. Reheat for 1 hour or so in a 350 degree F oven.