Patricia Heaton's Shepherd Pie Recipe Is Classy Enough for Company

Shepherd’s Pie has something of a reputation as a comforting, satisfying yet not-so-grand kind of meal. But former Everybody Loves Raymond star Patricia Heaton’s spin on the recipe elevates it to a dish you might not mind serving to impress dinner guests.

Unlike Debra Barone, Patricia Heaton can cook

Not only can Heaton cook; at one time, the actor hosted her own Food Network program. Patricia Heaton Parties aired on the cable channel in 2015. The cooking series focused on Heaton’s tips and secrets for great entertaining.

In a conversation with the Television Academy Foundation, Heaton discussed her Raymond character’s amusing lack of culinary skill.

“That was what was so wonderful about her,” Heaton said of Debra Barone. “That she couldn’t cook and a lot of times with the kids it was just, whatever. You know, when you’re packing a lunch every morning, you’re not going to cut the sandwich into smiley shapes and starfish and stuff. You throw that prepackaged Kraft cheese crap into their bag. I think, you know, [Debra] tried, she was just every mom that was just like ‘I’ve had it up to here with everything.’”

Heaton puts a fancy spin on her Shepherd’s Pie

While Heaton’s Shepherd’s Pie mostly sticks to the classic recipe (she uses beef chuck, not lamb), what fancies up her recipe is the use of ramekins to serve the dish.

Her recipe calls for the filling: butter, onion, celery, carrots, fresh thyme, ground beef chuck, tomato paste, flour, beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, fresh parsley, salt, pepper, and unthawed frozen peas. For the topping, russet potatoes, heavy cream, unsalted butter, sharp cheddar cheese, and salt are needed.

You’ll also need eight 6- to 8-ounce ramekins and a re-sealable bag fitted with a 1/2-inch star tip to serve and decorate Heaton’s meaty pie.

Once the beef filling is distributed among each of the eight ramekins, they’re placed on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Heaton recommends piping the mashed potatoes onto each ramekin top with the re-sealable bag and tip for an elegant serving suggestion. After that, they’re baked in a preheated 400-degree oven F for about 20 minutes, or until each pie is bubbling and golden on top.

Find the full recipe and reviews on Food Network’s site.

Food Network fans loved Heaton’s Shepherd’s Pie

Reviewers chimed in on Food Network’s site with love for Heaton’s spin on the classic casserole recipe.

“Turned out exceptionally well and I make it now for special occasions as it’s a family hit! Thank you Patricia for sharing this recipe with us,” one home cook wrote.

Another fan noted they skipped the ramekins and still enjoyed the dish: “We loved this recipe! Omitted the cheese but followed the rest of the recipe. I also doubled it and poured it into a deep 13 x 9 dish, and it turned out fantastic!”

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