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Cast Iron Skillet Shepherd's Pie Recipe
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5 from 1 vote

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.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: European
Keyword: shepherds pie, skillet shepherds pie
Servings: 8 people
Author: Tania

Ingredients

The filling

  • 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

Other

  • 2 tablespoons melted butter for brushing
  • Chopped parsley for garnish

Instructions

  • Mashed potatoes: Make the mashed potatoes per the recipe instructions (links to my fluffy mashed potatoes recipe). This recipe makes about 5 to 6 cups.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Position rack in the middle of the oven.

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!

Notes

  • 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.