Lazy Shepard's pie can be done all at once, yet separate in your Instant Pot, using the pot in pot method where the beef cooks in the liner, and the potatoes are steamed above the beef - all at once!
This non-traditional version has you with minimal dishes and no watching boiling water!
Let's get this out right at the beginning. I know that Shepard's Pie is made with lamb, and cottage pie is made with beef - so technically, this is cottage pie.
Growing up this was always known as Shepard's pie and it wasn't even until recently that I learned the difference.
What is pot in pot method?
This method means you cook one component of the meal in some sort of vessel - within the pot. In this case it is the potatoes that are in a steamer basket above the beef.
Do I need special accessories to do this recipe?
Yes, you do. You will need a pedal steamer basket (dollar stores have them too!) and a long leg trivet. The trivet that comes with your Instant Pot won't work for this recipe.
You don't have to brown the beef. Seriously
I won't get to deep into the science of the Maillard Reaction and why you don't have to brown the meat in a a pressure cooker. You can read all about it here if you like!
After the pressure cycle though, you will want to do a quick saute to break up the beef.
No, you don't need a cup of water
This recipe works and the pot comes to pressure from all of the moisture released from the beef and the small amount of water/broth we add. If you add more liquid, you will boil your beef and that is not what we are after here.
No fancy ingredients here!
Not shown here are the milk and butter to make your mashed potatoes, and the flour slurry to thicken your gravy.
- For gluten free, sub out the flour for a gluten free alternative such as arrowroot powder.
- Use whichever frozen veggies you want. You can use fresh BUT the need to be cooked before going into the ground beef mixture.
- If you don't use lean beef, the gravy at the end will be really greasy. Try and use lean beef for this recipe.
How to stack everything to make this work!
You want the beef on the bottom. It has a longer cook time and you want the longer cooking item closest to the heat source - which is the bottom of the pot.
Then, you can load the steamer basket with cubed potatoes in. The long leg trivet keeps the two layers separate.
Here is a quick run down with photos.
Can you freeze this?
Heck yes you can! I love assembling mine in my souper cubes silicone mold.
You can microwave from frozen or even bake right from frozen - but it will cook alot quicker and evenly if you defrost your Shepard's pie first.
Instant Pot Lazy Shepard's Pie
- 1.5-2 lbs lean ground beef
- 1 cup diced onion
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp Worcestershire
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp Beef better than bouillon skip if using broth instead of water
- ¼ cup water or sub beef broth and omit better than bouillon
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 large russet potatoes, diced into 1 inch cubes
- ½ cup milk
- 2 Tbsp butter optional
- 2 cups frozen veggies of choice (peas, carrots, and corn mixture works great)
Flour Slurry (combine this in a small bowl and set aside)
- 2 tbsp flour
- 4 tbsp water
- Add the ground beef to the Instant Pot liner. Break it up a bit so it is not a big chunk.
- Add onion, garlic, Worcestershire, thyme, bullion, and water (or broth).
- Place the long leg trivet into the beef mixture.
- Place the potatoes on your steamer and place the steamer basket on top of the trivet.
- Secure the lid and set to sealing.
- Set to high pressure for 10 minutes.
- When the pressure cycle ends, let the pot naturally depressurize for 5 minutes, then quick release the remaining pressure.
- Remove the steamer basket and place the potatoes into a large bowl.
- Push the saute button and break up the beef.
- Add in the frozen veggies and gently combine.
- Add in the flour slurry and let saute until the liquid thickens.
- Meanwhile, add the milk to the potatoes with salt and pepper to taste. Mash the potatoes.
- Assemble your Shepard's pie into desired baking dish putting the beef and veggie mixture on the bottom and the potatoes on top.
- Using a butter knife, rub butter on the top of the potatoes and broil until desired potato crispiness.
- After approximately 10 minutes, remove the casserole from the oven, allow to cool for 5 minutes, then serve.