If you have picky kids, then you know that you have to get creative with meals. I have one child who loves chicken pot pie, shepherd’s pie, and everything that falls in those categories. I have another who adamantly opposes anything like those recipes. So sometimes I use the same ingredients, mix them up a little, and everyone is happy. For example, instead of the classic shepherd’s pie casserole, I turned the recipe into shepherd’s pie twice baked potatoes.
The classic casserole is a mixture of ground meat, spices, and veggies topped with mashed potatoes. This recipe takes the same idea, but combines the mashed potato and meat mixture. That mixture is then baked inside the potato skins. The result is a delicious, creamy filling in a crispy potato skin.
The ingredient list for this recipe appears long, but almost all the items are staples that we keep on hand all through the winter. Our pantry is always stocked with root vegetables and dried herbs. We also keep our freezer full of meat, especially ground beef that makes for a quick meal because it can cook up so fast. Butter is another staple that I buy in major bulk from Azure Standard, because everything is better with butter!
Usually tomato paste is included in a recipe for shepherd’s pie. I substituted this for red wine, which gives a delicious, rich flavor. The wine is simmered into the meat and vegetable mixture, so all the alcohol is evaporated. If you prefer, the wine can be substituted for tomato paste.
This recipe uses celery and carrots for the vegetables, but peas and corn can also be added or substituted.
Also, this recipe calls for ground beef, but any ground meat will work well. Ground turkey, bison, yak, or even ground moose meat are all good substitutes.
It is important to allow the potatoes to bake until they are very soft and easy to cut. This way the insides can be scooped out easily to make the mashed potato mixture.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as our family does! Don’t forget to subscribe to my email list by adding your email into the blue box on the right side of this page, or at the bottom of the page if you are viewing this recipe on your phone. Happy cooking!
- For the potatoes:
- 6-8 russet potatoes (large baking potatoes)
- 7 tbsp butter or olive oil
- For the meat mixture:
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1/2 onion
- 4 carrots, chopped
- 5 stalks of celery, chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 lb ground beef (or another ground meat of your choice)
- 2 tsp dried parsley
- 1 tbsp dried thyme
- 2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
- 1/3- 1/2 cup red wine (or substitute tomato paste)
- For the mashed potatoes:
- 1 stick butter
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 1/3- 1/2 cup cream
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
- Rub each potato with a tablespoon of butter or olive oil, sprinkle liberally with salt, and poke potato all over with a fork or knife
- Bake potato for an hour, or until tender when poked with a fork
- While the potatoes bake, heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat
- When the skillet is warm, add butter to melt
- Add onions and carrots and cook for about 10 minutes
- Add celery and cook for a few more minutes
- Add garlic and ground meat. Break up the meat.
- Season with 1 tsp salt and pepper, spices, worcestershire
- Add wine (or stir in tomato paste). Let simmer 15-20 minutes
- When potatoes are done baking, remove from oven.
- Cut in half lengthwise and scoop out the insides of each potato.
- Add the stick butter, cream cheese, and cream. Mash well
- Add the meat and vegetable mixture to the mashed potatoes and mix together.
- Scoop the potato/meat mixture evenly back into potato skins.
- Sprinkle parmesan evenly over the potatoes and bake for another 10 minutes