James Carrier
Yield
Makes 6 servings

Notes: You can substitute ground turkey for the beef if you like. While you make the brown onion gravy, cook the potatoes: boil, bake, or microwave them. If you have cold leftover cooked potatoes, plain or mashed, reheat them in a microwave oven until steaming, then measure. You can make the gravy and assemble the pie through step 5 up to 1 day ahead; cover and chill. Uncover to continue; bake about 35 minutes if chilled.

How to Make It

Step 1

In a bowl, combine ground beef, parsley, mustard, flour, egg, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1/2 cup beef broth. Blend well with a fork.

Step 2

In a 4- to 5-quart pan over high heat, bring brown onion gravy to a boil; add sherry and reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Quickly shape beef mixture into 1-inch balls and drop into gravy. When all are in, cover and simmer until meatballs are no longer pink in the center (cut to test), 10 to 12 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer meatballs (some of the onions will come too) to a bowl.

Step 3

Boil gravy over high heat, stirring often, until reduced to about 2 cups, 10 to 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and return meatballs and any accumulated juice to gravy; mix gently.

Step 4

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, with a mixer or potato masher, mash potatoes with 2 to 3 tablespoons butter and the cream cheese until smooth. If desired, add just enough beef broth to moisten potatoes to be able to squeeze them through a pastry bag. Beat in the Gruyère cheese and add salt and pepper to taste.

Step 5

Butter a shallow 3 1/2- to 4-quart casserole. Spread two-thirds of the potato mixture evenly over bottom and up sides. Spoon meatball-gravy mixture into the center. Spoon remaining potato mixture decoratively around edge of meatball mixture, or spoon it into a pastry bag with a 1-inch star or round tip and pipe around the edge.

Step 6

Bake pie in a 400° oven until gravy is bubbling and potatoes are browned, 30 to 35 minutes.

Step 7

Brown onion gravy: Peel and finely chop 2 onions (8 oz. each). In a 4- to 5-quart pan over medium-high heat, stir onions in 2 tablespoons butter until richly browned, 13 to 15 minutes. Add 2 teaspoons sugar and stir for 2 minutes. Add 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour and stir until browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 3 cups fat-skimmed beef broth. Return to high heat and stir until boiling.

Ratings & Reviews

Kimisu's Review

Kimisu
July 27, 2011
This dish seems like a lot of work for a dish as "simple" as shepherd's pie. But, it is worth the trouble. The whole family loved it and the onion gravy is fantastic!!

mellie0818's Review

mellie0818
April 10, 2009
This recipe is outstanding! The onion gravy is sooo good! It makes the dish. Will definently make again and again!