I had never made shepard's pie before, but this turned out to be yummy. My daughter, the picky one, even ate all of her serving.
4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into pieces
1/2 to 1 cup milk
1 tbsp butter, optional
1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tbsp ketchup or tomato sauce
1 can cream of onion or cream of mushroom soup
1 cup frozen peas and carrots
ground pepper to taste
Boil potatoes 15 to 20 minutes, until tender enough to mash. Drain, add milk and mash with either a potato masher or a hand mixer; add butter at this time, if desired. Meanwhile, over medium heat, brown ground beef and cook onion. Drain and rinse fat from ground beef mixture. Add tomato sauce, cream of onion soup and vegetables and pepper; mix well. Place hamburger mixture into an 8 inch square pan or a 8 or 9 inch pie pan that you have sprayed with non-stick spray. Place mashed potatoes on top and spread evenly. Cook in a 400 degree preheated oven for 15 minutes.
I don't like cream of mushroom soup (I just can't palette mushrooms) so I used cream of onion instead. It is becoming easier to find, a few years ago I had to search for that ingredient. Using the frozen peas and carrots allows for crunchier and more flavorful vegetables. Canned peas are just big salt bombs and don't taste good in my opinion. I didn't use butter in my mashed potatoes, which might be why they didn't brown as well as they could have. I used leftover spaghetti sauce for my tomato ingredient, it tasted better than ketchup would have, but did get lost in all the other flavors. Perhaps if I had used a couple tablespoons more, I would have tasted it better, but this dish has enough flavors going on, it isn't a big deal to have a huge tomato flavor. I like to use a hand mixer to mash my potatoes, it makes them smoother than if I were to use a potato masher and I like creamy potatoes.
Flavor Rating: Great, both my husband and I had to have seconds.
Ease of Preparation: Moderate, start with the half cup of milk and add more as desired, if you've never made mashed potatoes before it takes a little bit to figure out how smooth you want them.