# freezer cooking # recipes

Shepherd's Pie Freezer Meals (Makes 3)

Our week of cooking continues on The Daily Connoisseur, with today's Shepherd's Pie recipe. Shepherd's pie (or to be technical, cottage pie, since this recipe uses ground beef) is great for feeding a large crowd of people. This recipe makes three extra large pies. I love to have these on hand in the freezer to bring out when unexpected guests arrive. Shepherd's pie is lovely served piping hot with a side salad and dinner rolls. It's a hearty dish that is welcome comfort food during the fall and winter seasons!

This meal is adapted from my Great British Cooking cookbook.

Shepherd's Pie (Cottage Pie)

(Makes 3 large pies or 6 small pies)

extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
6 lbs ground beef
4 6oz cans tomato paste
3 Tbs bouillon (chicken, beef or vegetable)
3 Tbs flour
3 cups broth
1 cup water
4-6 cups frozen mixed vegetables
6 cups mashed potatoes

Cook the chopped onion with a few tablespoons of olive oil on medium high heat in a large pot until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Place the ground beef into pot and cook until brown. Drain the fat from the cooked meat and return the meat to the pan. Add the tomato paste and stir. Add the bouillon and flour and stir until incorporated. (You may omit the flour if you prefer... it just thickens up the mixture more.) Add 3 cups of broth and 1 cup of water. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes more, but do not allow the mixture to get too dry.

Divide the meat mixture in the bottom of three disposable aluminum foil baking pans (or 6 small pans for smaller portions). On top of that, place a layer of mixed frozen vegetables (or you could use frozen corn, or any combination of chopped fresh vegetable). Finally spread a layer of mashed potato on top. I like to make my mashed potato the day before so there is not too much work to do the day of assembly.

To freeze: Cover your pans with aluminum foil and label them with the date and cooking instructions.

To bake: Thaw in the refrigerator the night before. Then bake at 350°F for one hour, or until the pie is fully heated through.

To bake from frozen: Place frozen pie in the oven at 350°F for 1 hour 30 minutes. Add additional time, if needed, to cook thoroughly.

You may sprinkle parmesan cheese on top if you wish. It's nice to place the pie under the broiler for one minute before serving, to make it golden brown.

Check out today's video in order to see the recipe being made. If you are unable to see the video above, click here, look in the sidebar, or visit my YouTube channel.

Comment of the week
Lucia writes:

I am having some friends over to do "Investment Cooking" i.e.: making things for the freezer. I think we've found out menu! As always, thanks for sharing. I just love your posts.


Hi Lucia, what a wonderful idea! Getting together with your friends to do an afternoon of cooking would make the process so much more fun. Enjoy!

I hope you enjoy today's recipe. Come back on Friday for my overnight oats recipe. See you then!

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Evaline said...

Hi Jennifer, I bet you take good care of your footwear but I don't recall a post on the topic. As a commuter, I get to look at a lot of shoes and boots for 3 hours a day. Is it just me, or is cleaning and polishing shoes and boots becoming a lost art?

Taking care of these items really improves their appearance and prolongs their lifespan.

Just a suggestion.

Lucy said...

I love cooking videos - it always really interesting to see how other people cook - and serve, since I've never paired salad with shepherd's/cottage pie. We're actually six months in to life as a vegan family and my husband hasn't hit his stride in the kitchen yet, so I'm thinking I could easily make cruelty-free freezer meals for days I'm ill or absent - you've inspired me to look for some reusable baking dishes second hand and give it a go!

Anonymous said...

Lucy, I find that, for some reason, the best place to buy second-hand baking dishes -- or indeed dishes and kitchenware of any sort -- is at the flea markets and bazaars that take place in churches. Also, some churches have thrift shops in their basement (at least, around here they do), and they also are a great place to find these items. I don't know what it is about religiosity that makes people donate their kitchen supplies. ;)

I like to buy second-hand serving platters for food that I'm gifting to a person (like cookies, or even a casserole). You don't have to worry about getting it back, as it was so cheap anyway, and it looks so much nicer than a disposable aluminum pan.

Lisa said...

Thank you so much for these cooking videos! My family is certainly appreciative of the creative, simple and delicious recipes you are sharing.

Ladylike said...

Hurray! I'm happy to see more recipes~ My daughter has been talking about shepherd's pie. I believe she will be pleased.
You made it very clear in your first book that cooking is part and parcel of the Madame Chic lifestyle. I want to thank you for making it easier for us to accomplish homemade meals on a regular basis by introducing batch cooking. Your enchilada casserole was fabulous. Again, I found it is flexible. I used a whole roasted chicken, salsa verde and brown rice tortillas. Yummy! I'm cooking chili as we speak. It feels wonderful to have things ready in the freezer for next week so that I can alternate weeks and focus on other things like cleaning and exercising or just relaxing. Plus a single chicken stretches from one meal to two or three with your recipes. Tres chic, n'est pas? I've also been meaning to tell you that I made your sour cream coffee cake as a birthday cake for an extended family member. I put a simple lime glaze on it for a finishing touch. It was very well-received. In fact, my daughter wants to have it for her birthday cake. Guess what I will be baking tomorrow for my Libra girl? Keep up the great work please.
Warm best,

Lucy said...

Just tonight I made a triple batch of yummy lentil "good shepherd's pie" and I have two wrapped and frozen as I type. It will be such a boon on my poorly days. Thank you for the inspiration

Vicki Zimmerman said...

This looks to be another delicious recipe to count on when one wants to turn to the freezer for ready-to-go home-cooked meal. Can you share how to make "perfect" mashed potatoes, please? You gave us a trick on your shredded chicken, and I would love your trick for mashed potatoes, as, unlike my mother's and my sister's, I can't count on them consistently turning out light and fluffy. Thanks.

chelsey said...

Thanks for these great make-ahead meal posts! I am feeling inspired to cook a few. I recently found out I am expecting my second child, and I have been feeling pretty exhausted most nights and don't want to cook. I'm going to have to muster up some energy and take a day and cook some of these delicious looking recipes to have on hand!

Lillian said...

HI Jennifer! I like the idea of freezer cooking to make things easier. Because I live alone, I've been looking for single serving options. Last night I made freezer lasagna roll-ups and these are ideal for making single servings because once frozen you can store them in a gallon freezer bag and simply pull out the number you need for the serving size you want to make. Just cover with sauce and bake for 30-45 minutes. You can even cook them in the microwave, so they're great for bringing to the office if you have access to a kitchenette. Here's the recipe I used for reference if readers are interested. I made a few with extra spinach without meat for a vegetarian option as well. I'd love to find some single serving dishes so I can make a few single-serving cottage pies too.


~ Shannon said...


Thank you so much for posting this recipe! I made it yesterday, and even doing all the prep in one day (meat, veggies, and mashed potatoes) it was quite doable and low-stress. I saw from the cookbook page that the original recipe included some white wine and spices, so I did 2 cups of broth and 1 of white wine, and added some favorite seasonings (rosemary, thyme, and some minced garlic). I used only can of tomato paste, simply because I'd forgotten to get more... The result was delicious, easily the best shepherd's pie I've ever made/had. And now I have 2 more in the freezer to enjoy in the future! :-)

I'm so grateful you put this up, and for all of your "chic" advice and inspiration!


PS -- Also, thanks for the link to the disposable pans! They are much more economical than those I've purchased in the past.

Ladylike said...

Hi Jennifer,
I went for a variation on this theme and made moussaka, which is a Greek version of Shepherd's Pie. I used the recipe for "individual moussakas" in Sheila Lukins' "All Around the World Cookbook". I used one big baking dish instead of making individual servings. It turned out wonderfully. Thanks for the inspiration.