Beef Meatball Shepherds Pie

A traditional shepherd’s pie contains ground meat beneath a topping of mashed potatoes, but we simplified that formula by including our Gourmet Beef Meatballs. Don’t skimp on browning the meatballs, as it boosts flavor considerably.


Potato Topping
  •  1 cup whole milk
  •  5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  •  1 bay leaf
  •  1 sprig fresh thyme
  •  1 sprig fresh rosemary
  •  2 ½ lbs russet/baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 2” chunks
  •  2 tablespoons Armanino Creamy Garlic Sauce
  •  kosher salt and ground black pepper
Meatball Filling
  •  2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  •  1 lb Armanino Gourmet Beef Meatballs
  •  2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  •  1 large onion, peeled & cut into ¼” dice
  •  2 large carrots, peeled & cut into ¼” dice
  •  2 large celery ribs, cut into ¼” dice
  •  2 sprigs fresh thyme
  •  1 sprig fresh rosemary
  •  kosher salt and ground black pepper
  •  2 teaspoons tomato paste
  •  5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  •  2 tablespoons Armanino Creamy Garlic Sauce
  •  3 cups beef stock, low sodium
  •  1 cup frozen peas
  •  2 tablespoons chopped parsley for garnish, if desired


  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the milk, butter, bay leaf, thyme and rosemary bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and set aside for 20 minutes.
Meatball Filling
  1. In a large pot or dutch oven, heat the oil over medium high until shimmering.
  2. Add the meatballs, and brown over medium-high, stirring occasionally, 4-5 minutes.
  3. Transfer the meatballs to a bowl then melt the butter in the same pot.
  4. Add the onion, carrots, celery, thyme and rosemary along with a good pinch each of salt and pepper, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Sauté until the vegetables are tender but not browned, about 10 minutes.
  5. Push the vegetables to the side of the pot and cook the tomato paste in the empty space until it begins to darken, about 2 minutes. Stir the caramelized tomato paste into the vegetables.
  6. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture, stir and cook for 1 minute.
  7. Stir in the garlic sauce, return meatballs to the pan, then pour in the beef stock. Bring to a boil.
  8. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered and stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened, about 10 minutes. Taste and season again with salt and pepper if needed and discard the thyme and rosemary sprigs.
  9. Stir in the peas and transfer the mixture to a 9”x12” casserole dish and place on a parchment paper or foil lined sheet pan to catch any drips. Set aside while you finish the potato topping.
  10. Preheat the oven to 400°F with a rack in the middle.
Potato Topping
  1. In a large saucepan, cover the potatoes with water, add a large pinch of salt and bring to a boil.
  2. Cook over high heat until the potatoes are tender, about 12 minutes.
  3. Drain then place back into the now empty warm pan and give the potatoes a shake to dry out a little bit.
  4. Pass the potatoes through a potato ricer or mash well in a large bowl.
  5. Remove the bay leaf, thyme and rosemary sprigs from the milk mixture. If needed, rewarm the slightly.
  6. Add the milk mixture to the potatoes along with the creamy garlic sauce. Stir until well combined. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Spread or pipe the mashed potatoes over the meatball filling.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes, until the filling is bubbling.
  9. Turn on the broiler and broil 4” from the heat for 1-2 minutes, until golden browned. Let rest for at least 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with chopped parsley if desired.

Chef’s Tips

  • Add some zip to the potato topping with a tablespoon or two of prepared horseradish stirred in with the garlic sauce. 
  • No need to defrost the peas or the meatballs. Just add right to the pan.
  • For something special, make individual Shepherd’s Pies in small ramekins, cocottes or bowls. 
  • If you opt to pipe the potato topping, make a bit more than called for as the piping tends to use more potatoes than the simple spreading option.
8 servings
Prep Time
45 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour

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