Loaded Shepard’s Pie

Loaded Shepard's Pie

The traditional shepard’s pie is kicked up a notch with loads of cheddar cheese and bacon to create this Loaded Shepard’s Pie. A double dose of bacon in the meat mixture and the mashed potatoes will have you coming back for seconds.

I have to admit, I’ve never really been a fan of shepard’s pie. It’s too close to a casserole for my liking. The whole, dump everything in a baking dish, throw it in the oven and dinner is ready has never appealed to me. I’ve never liked my dinner mixed together. Ask my mom, she’ll tell you all the stories of my complaints from childhood.

And karma has made it’s way around in the form of Noah only eating PB&J’s and cheese quesadillas. Just for the record, I was never THAT picky. I blame Joel.
Loaded Shepard's Pie
Let me tell you though, this Loaded Shepard’s Pie twist totally has me singing a different tune. When bacon and cheddar are involved, you can’t really go wrong. I even happily ate this leftover so that’s really saying something.

We start off with the favorite ingredient, bacon duh, which will go in both the meat mixture and the mashed potatoes. As if that’s not enough bacon goodness, the onions, garlic and carrots are sautéed in the bacon fat. Yes, I get the irony and I’m not apologizing friends.

The ground beef joins the party and once it’s cooked through we create a little roux with the remaining bacon fat and flour. A sauce is created with beef stock for some crazy delicious depth.
Loaded Shepard's Pie
Now let’s talk about the potatoes. They are loaded with butter, sour cream, sharp cheddar, bacon and a touch of buttermilk to add an extra tanginess. This is where this kicked up shepard’s pie gets its name. I mean, can mashed potatoes get any better? These creamy, cheesy, salty, smoky potatoes get piled on top of the meat and veggie mixture then to slap indulgence in the face, it’s topped with a bit more bacon and cheddar and baked to golden perfection.
Loaded Shepard's Pie
It’s incredibly rich and filling, smoky and cheesy, salty and tangy. Pretty much all the good things, in one pie dish. So there you go, I’m condoning casserole. Screaming from the rooftops my love and adoration. Sorry mom.

Loaded Shepard's Pie
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For the potatoes
  1. 1 1/4 lbs. yukon gold potatoes
  2. 4 Tbsp. butter
  3. 1 1/4 cups shredded cheddar, divided
  4. 1/4 cup sour cream
  5. 1/4 cup buttermilk (or whole milk)
  6. 1 tsp. kosher salt
For the beef
  1. 1 lb. bacon, cut into small pieces
  2. 1 small white onion, diced
  3. 1 cup shredded or diced carrots
  4. 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  5. 1 1/4 lb. ground beef
  6. 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  7. 1/4 tsp. pepper
  8. 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  9. 2 cups beef stock
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Peel and diced the potatoes into 1 inch chunks. Place in a pot full of water. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Once cooked, drain well and place back into the empty hot pot. Add butter, sour cream, buttermilk (or milk), salt and pepper and mash until smooth. Stir in 3/4 cup cheddar.
  2. In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove from the pan to a paper towel lined plate. Remove all but 4 tablespoons of the bacon fat. Add the onions and carrots to the bacon fat and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another minute. Add ground beef and break up with a wooden spoon. Cook until no longer pink. Sprinkle the flour over the beef, stir and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in beef stock and simmer until desired thickness is reached. Stir in half the bacon.
  3. Pour beef mixture into a deep dish pie plate. If you don't have a deep pie plate, use a 8x8 baking pan. Stir 1/2 of the remaining bacon into the potatoes then dollop on top of the beef mixture. Spread carefully. Sprinkle top with remaining cheese and bacon. Place pie plate on a rimmed baking sheet to prevent it from overflowing into the bottom of your oven.
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until hot through, bubbling and browned.
Meg's Everyday Indulgence http://megseverydayindulgence.com/

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