Pint-Sized Shepherd’s Pie

I got this idea when I was watching Nigella Lawson make these little chicken pot pies. She made them in a pair of medium sized ramekins topping them with Pillsbury grand biscuits. She popped the tin of biscuits and taking one to an floured surface proceeded to roll it out flat and used it to top the pie. Brilliant! I’ve since copied that idea and I’ve found the ‘Pillsbury’ solution to have a set of long legs using it for a couple of different cooking projects where a quick, little bit of dough was needed. But I digress as today’s cooking project focuses not on the dough, but I’m the individual portion piece. Today its Sheppard’s pie in wide stoneware mugs.


Here’s what you’ll need:


  • 1 pound of roast beef diced ( I usually use the ends which i buy at the deli counter at best yet market)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped (about 3 cups)
  • 3 medium carrots, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 pound white mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 1/2 pounds Yukon gold or creamery potatoes
  • 2/3 cup 1 percent lowfat milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter


In a large nonstick skillet cook the meat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer the meat to a plate. Drain any fat remaining in the skillet.


Heat the oil in the skillet over a medium heat. Add the onions and carrots and cook, covered, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 8 minutes. Raise the heat to moderately-high. Add the mushrooms and thyme and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are soft and their liquid has evaporated, about 8 more minutes. Return the meat to the pan. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in the broth, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper and bring to a simmer being sure to scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir in the peas.


Pour the mixture into four stoneware mugs.


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Scrub the potatoes and cut into 2-inch pieces. Arrange the potatoes in a steamer basket, and steam for 10 minutes. Are tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, about 15 minutes longer, then with a potato masher until smooth. Heat the butter, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a pinch of pepper and stir into the potato mixture.


Use these whipped potatoes to top the mugs and cook them in the oven for about twenty minutes. I like to serve these as an accompanying dish with hot corned beef sandwiches.

shepherd pie 2