I have always loved Shepherd’s Pie because, well, what’s not to love about a mashed potato topping that’s been browned until it’s golden? Plus, there’s some hearty beef (or lamb if you’re being totally traditional) to go along with it, except it’s been cooked into a simple but savory delicious gravy complete with a couple of veggies. There’s not a lot to improve upon! But these Shepherd’s Pie Twice-Baked Potatoes take the dish to a whole new level. You get a personal portion of meat and mashed potatoes that are baked right into the potato skin so it really feels complete (and comforting too).
4 large baking potatoes, scrubbed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lb lean ground beef
2 tablespoons onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup peas
1/2 cup carrots, finely diced
2 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons tomato paste
3/4 cup beef broth
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 to 3/4 cup milk, warmed
4 tablespoons butter, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Rub potatoes with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Pierce each one several times with a fork. Bake until soft, about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, make the filling:
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, season the ground beef with salt and pepper and brown with onion until cooked through.
Add peas and carrots and cook 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more.
Stir in flour and cook 1 minute. Stir in tomato paste and then gradually stir in beef broth.
Let simmer until thickened and then stir in Worcestershire sauce, thyme, and rosemary. Adjust seasoning as needed.
Remove from heat, cover, and set aside.
Once potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut each in half lengthwise and scoop potato into a bowl, leaving a thin layer against the skins so they aren’t too floppy.
Add milk and half of the butter to potato filling, season with salt and pepper and whip or mash until smooth and creamy.
Spoon ground beef mixture evenly into potato skins, then top with mashed potatoes.
Place potatoes on a baking tray. Melt the remaining butter and brush mashed potatoes with it. Broil in oven until top is golden brown.