IN THE SERIES, BEN IS THE COOK, but in a pinch, this recipe is so easy, even Logan can make it. I make this simple main dish whenever I need some relatively healthy comfort food. And as a bonus, it can be prepared ahead or made gluten and/or dairy free. Since Spring has decided to delay its entry this year up in Oregon, it’s the perfect meal to fuel my writing on this wintery April day. Let me know how you like it!

Ben’s Easy-Peasy Shepherd’s Pie


2 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and cubed

2 T sour cream

1 large egg yolk

~1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth

Salt & Pepper fresh ground

1 T olive oil

1.75 lbs of ground beef or lamb

1 good sized carrot, peeled and chopped

1 onion, chopped

2 T all-purpose flour (for gluten free, use any good gf flour, cassava or almond flour)

1 cup beef broth

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

~half a cup of frozen peas (can also use corn or mixed vegetables)

1 tsp paprika

bunch of fresh Italian parsley, chopped


  1. Place potatoes in a pot, cover with salted water and bring to a boil. Boil until fork-tender, ~ 10 to 15 minutes. Drain potatoes and in a large bowl, combine sour cream,(for dairy free or lower calorie, use almond milk), egg yolk. and chicken or vegetable broth. Mash away!
  2. While potatoes boil, preheat a large, cast-iron skillet, add oil to coat and when it’s warm, add ground meat (not too cold or it will stick). Brown meat and drain any excess grease (leave some). Add chopped carrot and onion, sautee until onion is translucent.
  3. Make your yummy gravy-this pulls it all together. In a small skillet over medium heat, cook butter and flour together for a couple of minutes, which in beef broth and Worcestershire sauce. Stir for a minute until thickened.
  4. Add gravy to meat and toss in a couple handfuls of frozen peas. Stir!
  5. Preheat broiler to high. Spoon or pour mixture into a casserole dish, top with mashed potatoes, sprinkle with paprika and then broil 6-8 inches away from heat source until browned. Top with fresh parsley and serve!

(If you’re like me and are a teensy bit afraid of setting the house on fire using a broiler, just let it heat through in the oven and call it done :))

Serve piping hot with a big, tossed green salad on the side. Bread for those who want it, but trust me, no one will go hungry with this dish! 

PS. Rachel Rae has a 30-minute Shepherd’s Pie recipe, too, but Ben swears he thought of his first! ha ha