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Shepherd’s pie in potato skins? You betcha and the family will love them!
A Novel Way With Potato Skins
Potato skins have always been a popular snack. Sometimes “twice baked” potatoes are even a meatless main course.
These shepherd’s pie filled potato skins are the ultimate main course. They’re easy to make and family friendly–not to mention budget friendly too–but these have an upscale flair to them. I’d even serve these to company!
Everything is already cooked in these so all these potato skins require is a quick pop under the broiler to brown the tops.
You can make these ahead of time, but then they’d require reheating. That would take about 30 minutes in the oven.
The meat filling I use was my mother’s one from her shepherd’s pie. If you want to get technical, it really should be made with lamb. My mom was British and she always made it with beef. So do a lot of Brits I know. I’m not keen on lamb so I’d never make it with that. If you love lamb, then by all means substitute it.
If you have your own favorite filling for a shepherd’s pie, well, as always, use what your family loves. Mine is pretty basic–ground beef, some veggies and gravy.
If you have leftover roast beef or pot roast this is an excellent way to use that up!
If you’ve got the time or regularly plan make-ahead meals, these potato skins will fit nicely into your meal plans.
The potatoes can always bake when you have something else in the oven. Why not take advantage of the extra space at the same expense? That, as they say, kills two birds with one stone. As an aside, I purchase baking potatoes for this recipe individually and I try to get them pretty equal in size. Long potatoes work best for these.
The freezer section in the store is literally loaded with frozen twice-baked potato concoctions, so it stands to reason that these will freeze well. And it’s great to have some of these in your back-up arsenal of meals for those times you just don’t want to cook!
Shepherd’s Pie Potato Skins
- 4 large baking potatoes
- 1 tbs olive oil or soft butter
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 tbs onion finely chopped
- 1/2 cup peas
- 1/2 cup finely diced carrots
- 1 cup beef gravy
For Mashed Potatoes:
- 1/2-3/4 cup warm milk
- 1 tbs butter
- Brown ground beef and onion in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the peas and carrots and continue to cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes; stir in the gravy, cover and set aside. It may be necessary to reheat this at the time of the assembly.
- Preheat oven to 400F/200C. Scrub potatoes to remove all dirt and sand then dry with paper towels.
- Rub each potato with a bit of butter or olive oil (the amount given above is approximate). Pierce each potato with a fork in several places so steam can escape. Bake approximately 1 hour or until potato feels “soft” when gently squeezed. Remove from oven and let them cool until they can be handled.
- Cut potatoes in half lengthwise then scoop out most of the potato leaving about 1/8-inch/0.3cm “wall.” Place the scooped out portion in a bowl and mash with the milk and butter, using only enough milk to make creamy potatoes—the amount of milk is approximate.
- Fill the scooped out potatoes with equal portions of the meat mixture then top each with an equal amount of the mashed potato. Sprinkle with paprika. Place on a baking tray.
- Preheat broiler and broil until potato topping is just beginning to brown.