Best Classic Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

The Best Classic Shepherd’s Pie – AKA Shepards Pie or Cottage Pie. Ground Beef (or lamb) with vegetables in a rich gravy, topped with cheesy mashed potatoes and baked.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Piece of Shepards pie on a plate with layers of mashed potatoes and meat gravy with peas, carrots, onions, and corn


Meat Filling:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 lb. 90% lean ground beef -or ground lamb
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves -minced
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 cup frozen mixed peas & carrots*
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels

Potato Topping:

  • 1 1/2 – 2 lb. russet potatoes -about 2 large potatoes peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter -1 stick
  • 1/3 cup half & half
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese


Make the Meat Filling.

  • Add the oil to a large skillet and place it over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add the onions. Cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the ground beef (or ground lamb) to the skillet and break it apart with a wooden spoon. Add the parsley, rosemary, thyme, salt, and and pepper. Stir well. Cook for 6-8 minutes, until the meat is browned, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the Worcestershire sauce and garlic. Stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the flour and tomato paste. Stir until well incorporated and no clumps of tomato paste remain.
  • Add the broth, frozen peas and carrots, and frozen corn. Bring the liquid to a boil then reduce to simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Set the meat mixture aside. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Make the potato topping.

  • Place the potatoes in a large pot. Cover the potatoes with water. Bring the water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cook until potatoes are fork tender, 10-15 minutes.
  • Drain the potatoes in a colander. Return the potatoes to the hot pot. Let the potatoes rest in the hot pot for 1 minute to evaporate any remaining liquid.
  • Add butter, half & half, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Mash the potatoes and stir until all the ingredients are mixed together.
  • Add the parmesan cheese to the potatoes. Stir until well combined.

Assemble the casserole.

  • Pour the meat mixture into a 9×9 (or 7×11) inch baking dish. Spread it out into an even layer. Spoon the mashed potatoes on top of the meat. Carefully spread into an even layer.
  • If the baking dish looks very full, place it on a rimmed baking sheet so that the filling doesn’t bubble over into your oven. Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.


*If you can’t find frozen mixed peas and carrots, you could use 1/2 cup frozen peas and 1/2 cup frozen sliced carrots.


Lessons Learned

  • Start the potatoes first
  • Turn on the oven next

Roasted Chicken


  • 4 bone-in chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons Natural Infusions Roasted Chicken Seasoning
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 cloves of pressed garlic
  • 1/4 onion finely chopped


  1. Wash chicken breasts with water.
  2. Mix seasoning, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and onion.
  3. Marinade may be used immediately or for best results, combine immediately or for best results, combine ingredients in a bowl or resealable plastic bag and marinate 4 hours or overnight.
  4. Preheat grill to 400 degrees.
  5. Cook bone side down for 30 minutes turn and cook until skin is crisp — about 15 minutes.
  6. Chicken is done when juices are no longer pink.
  7. Enjoy.


Pastor Ryan’s Bronzed Sea Bass with Lemon Shallot Butter


  • 6 ounces sea bass 
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 whole shallot (Medium-sized, Minced)
  • 1 whole lemon (Zested And Juiced)
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • kosher salt
  • ground pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Season both sides of the fish generously with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat canola oil in a medium-sized oven-safe pan over high heat for a few minutes to let the oil get nice and hot.
    Once the oil has heated up for a couple of minutes, drop the sea bass into place and let it sit there untouched for two minutes. (Don’t overcrowd the pan, as this will kill our ability to create a tasty crust on the fish.) Sear over high heat for 2 minutes, then transfer the pan into the 375-degree oven WITHOUT FLIPPING THE FISH OVER. Set the timer to 8 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, begin making the lemon shallot butter sauce. Melting the butter over a medium-high heat. Add in the minced shallot and lemon zest. Cook over medium-high heat for a couple of minutes.
  4. When the shallots have become a little softer, squeeze in the juice of 1 lemon. Whisk together and reduce the heat to medium until you’ve got an incredible-smelling sauce.
  5. Once the fish has been in the oven for 8 minutes, remove it and let it rest for a moment before serving.


Lessons Learned

  • Maybe need to cook it a bit longer than 8 minutes.
  • Seabass is very good.
  • Not sure why but the shallots turned red

Instant Pot Wild Rice



  • Rinse Wild Rice: Gently rinse wild rice under cold water. Drain well.
  • Pressure Cook Wild Rice: Place 1 cup (185g) wild rice, 1.5 cup (375ml) cold water, a pinch of salt, and 1 tsp olive oil in Instant Pot Pressure Cooker. Close lid and pressure cook at High Pressure using Manual/Pressure Cook button for 15 minutes (Please see experiment chart for preferred texture). Turn off heat and Full Natural Release (~10 mins). Open the lid carefully.
  • Fluff & Serve: Fluff wild rice with rice spatula or fork, then serve with your main dish.


Lessons Learned

  • This worked
  • The rice was not dry and chewy

Lemon Garlic Marinated Grilled Pork Chops



  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup (85 ml) lemon juice (1 large or 2 medium lemons)
  • 1/4 cup (65 ml) olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper


  • 4 pork chops bone in , 2cm / 4/5″ thick about 280g/9 oz each
  • Oil, for cooking


  • Whisk Marinade ingredients in a bowl (or ziplock bag). Add pork. Marinade for 1 hr minimum, 3 hours ideal, 12 hours max (Note 3).
  • Take the pork out of the fridge 20 minutes before cooking.
  • Shake excess marinade off (but don’t wipe dry) and cook using preferred method.


  • Brush grills / plate with oil and heat on high until smoking.
  • Place pork on grills and cook the first side for 4 minutes until it is nicely charred. Turn and cook the other side for 3 minutes. Turn the porks on their side to briefly sear the fat side (see video). Transfer to plate, rest for 3 – 5 minutes then serve.


French Provençal Soup


Everyone will be asking for seconds of this delicious soup, packed with flavour and on the table in less than an hour!

French Provençal Soup


  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp Herbes de Provence
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 4 strips bacon, chopped
  • 4 small carrots, cut in half lengthwise
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced on diagonal
  • 1 cooking onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carton Campbell’s® Chicken Broth with White Wine
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped for garnish


  1. In bowl, combine flour with Herbes de Provence, salt and pepper. Cut chicken into bite sized pieces and add to seasoned flour; toss until evenly coated.
  2. In a large pot over medium heat, cook bacon for 5-7 minutes, stirring often, or until browned. With a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towel lined plate. 
  3. Return pot to medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook in remaining bacon fat, stirring often, for 3-5 minutes or until browned. Transfer to plate with bacon. 
  4. Add carrot, celery and onion to the pot; sauté 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until starting to brown. Pour in broth and scrape up any remaining brown bits form the bottom of pan. Return bacon and chicken to the pot.  
  5. Bring to simmer over medium high heat. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Serve garnished with chopped parsley. 

Lessons Learned

  • Chop the carrots

Crisp Gnocchi With Brussels Sprouts and Brown Butter

  • YIELD: 4 servings
  • TIME: 20 minutes

For a fantastic meal that can be ready in 20 minutes, toss together seared gnocchi and sautéed brussels sprouts with lemon zest, red-pepper flakes and brown butter. The key to this recipe is how you cook the store-bought gnocchi: No need to boil. Just sear them until they are crisp and golden on the outside, and their insides will stay chewy. The resulting texture is reminiscent of fried dough. Shelf-stable and refrigerated gnocchi will both work here, but the shelf-stable ones do crisp up a bit better.

Crisp Gnocchi With Brussels Sprouts and Brown Butter


  • 1 pound brussels sprouts (or cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower or even cabbage)
  • 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  •  Kosher salt and black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 1 (18-ounce) package shelf-stable or refrigerated potato gnocchi
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, sliced into 6 pieces
  • ½ teaspoon honey
  •  Freshly grated Parmesan, for serving


  1. Trim and halve the brussels sprouts. Using a vegetable peeler, peel thick strips of lemon zest, then coarsely chop. (You should have about 2 teaspoons chopped zest.)
  2. In a large (preferably 12-inch) skillet, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high. Add the brussels sprouts, season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper, then arrange the brussels sprouts in an even layer, cut-side down. Scatter the lemon zest over the top and cook, undisturbed, until the brussels sprouts are well browned underneath, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the red-pepper flakes, stir and cook until the brussels sprouts are crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl.
  3. In the same skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high. Break up any gnocchi that are stuck together, add them to the pan and cook, covered and undisturbed, until golden brown on one side, 2 to 4 minutes. Add the butter and honey, season with salt and a generous amount of black pepper, and cook, stirring, until the butter is golden, nutty smelling and foaming, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the brussels sprouts until warmed through. Serve with grated Parmesan.



  • Not bad.
  • Need to make the gnocchi CRISPY
  • Maybe add mushrooms next time
  • I need a kitchen scale to figure out what a pound of Brussels sprouts is
  • Cook the gnocchi without oil

Toni Tipton-Martin’s Pork Chops in Lemon-Caper Sauce

  • YIELD: 4 servings
  • TIME: 35 minutes

Here’s my favorite recipe in Toni Tipton-Martin’s excellent and invaluable “Jubilee: Recipes From Two Centuries of African American Cooking” (2019). It’s a remix of one that the chef Nathaniel Burton collected into his 1978 opus, “Creole Feast: Fifteen Master Chefs of New Orleans Reveal Their Secrets,” and one that Tipton-Martin glossed-up with lemon zest, juice and extra butter, a technique she learned from the restaurateur B. Smith’s 2009 collection of recipes, “B. Smith Cooks Southern-Style.” It’s a dish of smothered pork chops, essentially, made into something glorious and elegant. “The food history of blacks in America has been a story of the food of survival,” she told me in an interview. “We need to start celebrating the food they made at work.” —Sam Sifton

Toni Tipton-Martin's Pork Chops in Lemon-Caper Sauce


  • 4 bone-in pork chops (about 8 ounces each)
  •  Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 very small shallot, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 ½ cups chicken stock, homemade or low-sodium, if store-bought
  • 2 tablespoons drained capers
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest, plus 2 tablespoons juice
  •  Hot sauce (optional)


  1. Dry the chops with paper towels, and season aggressively with salt, pepper and the thyme. Swirl the olive oil into a large skillet, and heat over medium until the oil begins to shimmer. Add chops, and cook until well browned on each side and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer chops to a plate, and cover to keep warm.
  2. Drain the fat from the skillet, then melt 2 tablespoons of butter in it over medium heat until sizzling. Add the shallot and garlic, and sauté until the aromatics soften, reducing the heat if necessary, about 1 minute. Sprinkle in the flour, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Whisk in the wine and chicken stock, raise heat to high and bring the liquid to a boil, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Reduce heat to medium-high and cook, uncovered, until the liquid is reduced by half, 7 to 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in the capers, parsley, lemon zest and juice and hot sauce to taste (if you’re using it), and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter until it’s melted and the sauce looks smooth. Nestle the pork chops into the sauce, and allow them to warm up for a couple of minutes, then serve, pouring sauce over each pork chop to taste. Garnish with more fresh parsley.