Deconstructed Shepherd’s Pie

I wasn’t sure how this idea would have played out at the time, but in hindsight, I’m actually pretty happy with it.  This day was brutal for me.  I was staring down a pack of Korean short ribs and debating what to do with them.  If you have been following the blog, you might have seen the Bulgogi burritos, which I used the same short ribs.  I didn’t want to make another Korean dish with the exact same cut of meat again, so I was kinda stumped on this one.  After hours of staring into the fridge (not literally), I finally came up with this idea; deconstructed shepherd’s pie. I think the idea came to me because I was craving something to pour gravy all over and mashed potatoes came to mind.  Beef, potatoes, how about shepherd’s pie! but the meat is in slices; deconstruction!….That is a little glimpse into how my brain works haha.  I went a little further by going hmm, no potatoes, how about mashed sweet potatoes instead!  Here’s how you can construct this deconstruction.


 Here is a pack of Korean Kalbi (short ribs) without the bones in.  This pack had about 17 individual slices.



Chop a bunch of mushrooms, sorry I didn’t measure them, and 2 small white onions.


This is for the gravy.  I kind of stole the recipe from the Ikea meatballs gravy; I changed it up a bit though.  you can find the full gravy recipe on Ikea meatballs post with a link to the food network page.  This is pretty much 2 tbsp (table spoons) of margarine and flour.  2 cups of low sodium beef broth, 1 tsp of Worcestershire sauce, and 1/2 cup of milk (the recipe calls for cream, and butter, but I’m lightening it up a bit)



To make the gravy, cook half the chopped onions and all of the mushrooms in a stock pot; season with salt and pepper.  When onions are cooked down (translucent) and mushrooms have a nice brown to them, add butter or margarine and flour to make a roux (thickening agent, equal parts fat to flour).  Mix well.  When it looks like everything has dried up, add the beef broth, Worcestershire and milk.  Stir well and mix everything together.  Bring to a boil and then turn the heat down and let simmer.  Since it was low sodium beef stock, it allows you to control the salt, this is where you will add salt and pepper to your taste.  This will continue to cook and thicken.  This is like a creamy mushroom gravy.  Since I used 1% skimmed milk and margarine instead of cream and butter, its not horribly fattening either.


While the gravy reduces, cook the remaining onions in a pan.  When soft, add the short ribs and brown them on both sides.  Don’t forget to season with salt and pepper.  When the beef was half way cooked, I added some sweet peas.  I would have added corn and carrots too but I didn’t have any.  If you choose to use carrots, add them in before the onions and cook them down first because carrots take longer to cook down than the rest.


My mom seems to love sweet potatoes and always have them around.  On this particular day, these were cooked already so it saved me some time, I just had to steal them.  But if you do not have them cooked before hand, just cook them like you would cook potatoes.  It would be much faster if they were cut into smaller pieces, since they will be mashed, the shape doesn’t matter. I just added a little bit of minced garlic, some milk and mashed them with a masher.


 I put some of the short ribs and peas down on a place, and put the mashed sweet potatoes beside them.  I cut a piece of smoked cheddar (in love with smoked cheeses lately) and placed in on top of the meat mixture (you can grate the cheese too, but I was too lazy to).  Then drizzle the gravy over everything, making sure to get a lot of the mushrooms too.  And there you have it, Deconstructed Shepherd’s Pie! Enjoy!


1 pack of Korean Kalbi (short ribs) about 17 individual slices.  You can use regular short ribs too

2 small onions, finely chopped, split into 2 piles

2 cloves of garlic

3 sweet potatoes (you can use regular potatoes)

3/4 cup Peas


Smoked cheddar or cheese of choice

Salt and Pepper to taste

Mushroom Gravy


1/2 cup of 1% skim milk (you can use cream, but I don’t know if it should be the same amount)

1 tbsp (tablespoon) Worcestershire sauce

2 tbsp butter or margarine

2 tbsp all purpose flour

2 cups low sodium beef broth

Salt and Pepper to taste


1. Chop onions, garlic and mushrooms

2.Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook potatoes or sweet potatoes

3. Cook half the chopped onions and mushrooms in a stockpot.  When cooked down, add butter/margarine, and flour to make a roux.  Then add the rest of the gravy ingredients (beef broth, Worcestershire, milk/cream).  Season with salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil and then turn down heat and let simmer

4. While gravy simmers, cook remaining onions in a pan.  When onions are cooked down, add short ribs and peas

5.  Strain water from potatoes/sweet potatoes, add garlic, and milk/cream and mash with a masher.  Season with just a little bit of salt and pepper

6. Build your deconstruction.  Beef and peas, then mashed sweet potatoes/potatoes on the side.  Add cheese on top of the meat.  Drizzle gravy over everything.


5 responses to “Deconstructed Shepherd’s Pie

  1. Look’s great Casey. You should go check out Bonnie’s Shepherd Pie she just posted. Here’s the link:

    My grandmother always made Shepherd Pie but with regular Idaho potatoes. Yours looks delectable and Bonnie’s is with sweet potato. Wow I am getting the munchies. All your fault Casey. Just kidding. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing and stopping by my blog. 🙂
    Chef Randall

    • Thanks so much! Haha, good to see that your’re getting the munchies! I just checked out Bonnie’s Shepherd’s pie and it looks great! thanks for sharing. =)

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