Dairy Farmers of Canada

Cheesy Potato-Topped Beef & Vegetable Shepherd’s Pie

This recipe is taken from the 2012 Milk Calendar. A Milk Calendar classic that was so popular in the 1988 Calendar it was reprinted in 1993. The 2012 version gets a boost of extra seasoning and more vegetables.

  • Prep: 25 min
  • Cooking: 50 min - 55 min
Yields 8 servings
cheesy potato topped beef vegetable shepherd s pie
The following video offers an original alternative to traditional Shepard’s pie, the comfort food par excellence that everyone loves. Canadian Cheddar cheese, melted in mashed potatoes, with a little barbeque sauce mixed into the ground beef, are a truly ingenious variation on this tasty dish. Serve it tonight; your family will love it!


  • 2 1/2 lbs (1.25 Kgs) yellow-fleshed potatoes peeled and cut into chunks (about 6)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 cups (500 mL) milk divided
  • 3/4 cup (175 mL) shredded Canadian Cheddar cheese divided
  • 2 lbs (1 Kg) lean ground beef
  • 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) dried Italian herb seasoning
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 19 oz (540 mL) 1 can stewed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) barbecue sauce divided (approx.)
  • 2 cups (500 mL) frozen peas
  • corn or small-cut mixed vegetables
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) hot pepper sauce
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Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Butter a 13 x 9-inch (3 L) glass baking dish.

In a pot, combine potatoes, 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt and 6 cups (1.5 L) cold water; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and boil gently for 15 min or until tender. Meanwhile, heat 1 cup (250 mL) of milk in a measuring cup in microwave or in a saucepan over medium heat, just until steaming.

Drain potatoes well. Return to pot; mash with hot milk, half the cheese, and 1/4 tsp (1 mL) each salt and pepper. Set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large, deep skillet over high heat, cook beef, garlic, onion and Italian seasoning, breaking up beef with a spoon, for about 10 min or until beef is no longer pink; spoon off any fat. Sprinkle flour over beef mixture; stir to combine. Gradually stir in remaining milk; boil, stirring, for 1 min. Stir in tomatoes and 1/4 cup (50 mL) of the barbecue sauce; return to a boil, breaking up tomatoes. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, for 10 to 15 min or until thick. Stir in vegetables and hot pepper sauce; season to taste with pepper and more of the barbecue sauce, if desired.

Spread beef mixture in prepared baking dish. Spread mashed potatoes on top. Bake for 20 min or until filling is bubbling and potatoes are golden. Sprinkle with remaining cheese; broil for 2 to 3 min or until cheese is melted. Let stand for 10 min before serving.


Choose a thick, bold-flavoured barbecue sauce for the best flavour in this recipe.You can prepare this Shepherd’s pie ahead. Let potatoes and beef filling cool separately, then assemble in the baking dish. Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Reheat, covered in foil, for 45 to 60 minutes until hot in the centre, then uncover and bake for about 15 min or until slightly browned. Sprinkle with cheese and proceed with the recipe.

Replace barbecue sauce with 2 tbsp (30 mL) Worcestershire sauce and/or use spicy or chilli-flavored stewed tomatoes in the filling.

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Nutritional information

Per serving
Energy: 476 Calories
Protein: 35 g
Carbohydrate: 46 g
Fat: 17 g
Fibre: 6.2 g
Sodium: 540 mg

Top 5 Nutrients

(% DV*)
Calcium: 21 % / 227 mg
Selenium: 54 %
Vitamin B12: 157 %
Vitamin C: 71 %
Zinc: 83 %