Easy Shepherd's Pie Recipe In A Cast Iron

 Recipe and photo's by Melanie Hutti

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The term Cottage Pie dates back to 1791 in England, with Shepard's Pie coming into use around 1854. Originally created as a way to use up leftovers, this dish has made its way into households around the world as a cozy, filling winter staple. You have probably seen this recipe made in many different ways, but a few main qualities give it consistency: red meat cooked in a gravy or sauce with onions and a soft layer of mashed potatoes heaped on top before baking. This recipe adds carrots, green peas, and a dash of cornstarch to thicken it up.

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How To Make
Shepherd’s Pie (Cottage Pie)

Serves 4-6 

Shepherd’s Pie Ingredients

  • 2 pounds of ground beef
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • 2 cups frozen peas (or thawed if camping)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Dried Italian herbs for garnish

Mashed Potatoes Ingredients

Prepare in advance to make it a one-oven meal.

  • 3-4 large potatoes, peeled and diced (instant potatoes can be used for convenience if camping)
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • Milk, as needed
  • Salt & pepper





  1. Heat an 8-quart Dutch oven to medium-hot over coals. Once it’s to temperature, add the ground beef, diced carrots, and onions.
  2. Add the minced garlic and peas and stir, slowly pouring in the beef stock to deglaze the Dutch oven.
  3. Add the desired amount of Italian herbs and salt and pepper to season the beef mixture. (Dried onion soup mix is also a good option for flavor.)
  4. Combine the water and cornstarch with a fork, whisking until smooth. Add to the Dutch oven.
  5. Bring beef mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally until thickened.
  6. Remove the Dutch oven from fire and carefully spread prepared mashed potatoes over the top of the beef mixture.
  7. Place the lid on the Dutch oven, and gently position it on 6-8 hot charcoal briquettes. Carefully place 12 charcoal briquettes on top of the lid and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the top of the Shepherd’s pie is browned.
  8. Garnish with a pinch of Italian herbs and allow to cool slightly before serving.


Melanie Hutti is the stay-at-home gypsy of Gypsy Hill Farm located in central Kentucky. She loves to travel, but equally loves her time on her farm with her husband and two teenage sons. She is a full-time Occupational Therapist in the public schools, where she uses gardening as a therapeutic activity for her students with exceptional needs. She spends her evenings and summers off in her garden and behind the camera with her hobby photography business, Gypsy Hill Photography. She loves cooking, canning, and serving as a missionary in Haiti. She is a collector of hobbies and loves anything food and nature centered.

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