Best 5 Shepherd's Pie Recipes

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Chicken pot pie may get most of the credit for being a savory twist on a classically sweet idea (fruit filling + buttery crust), but shepherd’s pie — or cottage pie, as it’s sometimes known — can play the meaty pie game too. Instead of a biscuit or pastry crust like the chicken version, however, traditional shepherd’s pie is topped with … wait for it … a thick blanket of creamy, smooth mashed potatoes. Combined with the warm and hearty filling featuring ground meat and bright vegetables, these hefty potatoes guarantee comfort food. Read on below for Food Network’s top-five takes on this satisfying supper from some of your favorite Food Network chefs, including Rachael Ray, Alton Brown and Melissa d’Arabian.

5: Shortcut Shepherd’s Pie: The secret to this fuss-free recipe is opting for frozen potato tots in place of the usual mashed potato topping. “Using potato tots instead not only saves you time but makes for a crispy topping that’s a nice contrast to the beef filling,” the chefs in our Food Network Kitchen explain.

4: Melissa’s Shepherd’s Pie: Boasting layer upon layer of flavor, Melissa’s bacon-laced beef filling is simmered in a bold beer broth before being topped with tangy garlic mashed potatoes and gooey cheese.

3: Vegetable Shepherd’s Pie: Even your meat-eating friends will appreciate Food Network Magazine’s vegetarian shepherd’s pie, filled with turnips, carrots and chopped veggie burgers to guarantee a satisfying center, and topped with buttery mashed spuds and nutty Parmesan for an over-the-top casserole.

2: Alton’s Shepherd’s Pie: For added richness and heft, Alton adds a bit of tomato paste plus a few dashes of Worcestershire to round out the flavor in his lamb-based pie, which is sealed with a creamy mashed potato topping before baking.

1: 30-Minute Shepherd’s Pie: Easy enough for a weeknight meal yet impressive enough to serve guests, Rachael’s quick-fix recipe lets you create your own ideal meal: Pick either ground beef or ground lamb as the star ingredient, then decide whether you want to add a splash of cream for richness or opt for broth for a lighter finished product. Watch below to see how Rachael makes it.

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