Rachael Ray’s 30-Minute Shepherd’s Pie Is What Winter Needs Right Now

Quick, easy, and quite likely to rank as one of the best versions of Shepherd’s Pie you’ve ever tasted, Rachael Ray’s take on the classic comfort food comes together quickly. The Food Network star’s ultimate wintertime dish will feed — and please — a crowd.

Celebrity chef Rachael Ray tosses a salad during a 2019 Food Network event
Rachael Ray demonstrates a recipe at a 2019 Food Network event | John Lamparski/Getty Images for NYCWFF

Rachael Ray’s 30-Minute Shepherd’s Pie is a quick, hearty meal

There are few casserole dishes associated with a satisfying winter’s meal more than Shepherd’s Pie. Bursting (traditionally) with lamb, vegetables, gravy, and topped with mashed potatoes, it’s the perfect all-in-one meal.

Ray’s version of the classic savory pie features potatoes, sour cream (or softened cream cheese), an egg yolk, cream, olive oil, ground lamb or beef, carrot, onion, butter, flour, beef stock or broth, Worcestershire sauce, frozen peas, paprika, and fresh parsley.

In an episode of 30-Minute Meals (see video below), the popular cook said of the dish, “Honestly, this is such a crowd-pleaser. Little kids love this dish; of course, what’s not to like? And it’s so much quicker than original Shepherd’s Pie because Shepherd’s Pie was designed to use up the pot roast. You have to make the pot roast first.

“Then, traditionally, it was combined with kidneys. Now me, I love kidneys, I will eat anything. But this dish I designed to go more in keeping with what people like to eat today, with ingredients you can find in a regular grocery store.”

Find the full recipe, video, and reviews on Food Network’s site.

How Ray gets this meal done in 30 minutes

Ray starts by browning the ground beef and chopping up the onion and carrots (“The smaller you chop your veggies, the quicker they’re going to cook”). The vegetables are cooked along with the meat and seasoned with salt and pepper.

In a separate pan, butter is melted and combined with flour. Then, one cup of beef broth or stock is whisked in to make a gravy, followed by Worcestershire sauce. Add the peas, still frozen, to the ground beef mixture (“If you don’t like peas, yes, you can leave them out”).

Ray now mixes the gravy with the meat mixture and transfers it into a casserole dish. A blend of the sour cream (or softened cream cheese) and the egg yolk is stirred into the cooked potatoes. Mash the potatoes and spread them out over the meat in the casserole dish. A dusting of paprika is added for decorative effect, and the dish goes under the broiler: “Keep it about six to eight inches from the broiler or until it’s just golden all over the top.”

A sweet potato version of Spicy Shepherd’s Pie from Rachael Ray

Ray’s Shepherd’s Pie recipe has well over 500 reviews on Food Network’s site

Reviewers on the site squabbled about whether Ray’s recipe is really Shepherd’s Pie if it’s not made with lamb; argued over some home cooks’ use of packaged mashed potatoes; and claimed the recipe actually takes 40 minutes to prepare. Still, overall, the popular cook’s casserole recipe is a hit with Food Network fans.

“This was delicious and very easy ….new staple in my kitchen… the gravy makes such a difference in flavor…. Home run Rach!!,” one reviewer wrote.

Another said, “I have tried many recipes for Shepard’s [sic] Pie, but this was the best. A great use for leftover mashed potatoes, and the other ingredients I either had on hand in the pantry or the freezer. There were no leftovers when I served it. This one is a keeper.”

For a stick-to-your-ribs dinner that won’t disappoint, give Rachael Ray’s 30-Minute Shepherd’s Pie a go.

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