It’s hard to imagine a combination more comforting than meaty stew and mashed potatoes. Shepherd’s pie, also called cottage pie, is a classic British dish with a history that spans three centuries. Originally designed as a way to use up leftovers, the dish is rather time-consuming if constructed from scratch. Making the dish in the slow cooker streamlines the process, transforming a usually fussy meal into a weeknight wonder.
Like most classic dishes, shepherd’s pie has lots of variations. Some versions are made with lamb, others with beef. Vegetables may be a simple combination of peas and carrots or more extravagant array including corn, mushrooms, or turnips. Sometimes the sauce is tomato based, but I prefer it simple and savory, like a gravy. My version keeps it economical with ground beef while adding fresh herbs for a decadent flavor.
Pro tip: This recipe works well with other ground meats and starchy vegetables. Try substituting the ground beef with turkey or lamb, and replace the potatoes with parsnips or sweet potatoes.