We don’t eat a lot of potatoes at Chez Sean & Kerry. I’m not quite sure why because every time I make potatoes, I wonder why I don’t cook them more often. And these shepherd’s pie twice baked potatoes combine everything good about a great potato dish.
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First, the potatoes are baked with a good coating of olive oil and kosher salt to make the skins crispy and tasty. We basically fill them with gravy—what’s a better match for a potato?
Then we mash the fluffiest, most tender potatoes with cream, butter, garlic, and cheese. These are all of the best things! This perfect mash crowns the top of our twice baked potatoes and the second stop in the oven creates gorgeous golden brown mashed potato mountain peaks.
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These twice baked potatoes are also a complete meal—starch, protein, and vegetables in one perfect potato package!
Shepherd’s pie twice baked potatoes take a little time—those potatoes have to cook long enough to be tender—but they are really a fairly simple and straight forward recipe. And the ingredient list is full of basics you probably already have on hand.
It’s almost no extra work to double this recipe and freeze a batch for later. Assemble the potatoes as directed below. Before the second bake, freeze them on a sheet pan. Then move to an airtight container or zip top bag. To cook from frozen, heat the oven to 425F and bake for 20-30 minutes until the middle of the potato reads 165F on a instant read probe thermometer.
Video: Watch Me Make This Recipe
Shepherd’s Pie Twice Baked Potatoes
- 1 tbsp olive oil plus more for rubbing potatoes
- 6 large Russet potatoes
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 large shallot peeled and diced small, ~1/4 inch dice
- 1 large carrot peeled and diced small, ~1/4 inch dice
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme or 1/2 tbsp dried thyme
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups beef stock or chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 cup frozen peas
- ½ cup half & half or whole milk
- 4 tbsp butter
- 2 cloves garlic peeled and smashed
- ¼ cup grated pecorino cheese plus 1-2 tbsp for sprinkling
- Maldon sea salt for sprinkling
- kosher salt and black pepper for seasoning along the way
- Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare your potatoes by rubbing them liberally with olive oil and sprinkling well with salt. Bake for an hour to an hour and 15 minutes until the potatoes are very tender. Use a paring knife to check that the potatoes are very tender even to the center. Once the potatoes are done, pull from the oven and let cool slightly for about 15 minutes.
- While the potatoes are cooking, prep the rest of the ingredients. Then, get a heavy bottom, high sided pan heated over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 tbsp olive oil. Season ground beef with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Form the ground beef into a large thin patty and place in pan. Cook until the first side is well browned, about 3 minutes. Flip the patty over. This might break apart a bit which is fine, but just flip in a few large pieces. Let the second side brown for another 3 minutes. Then, use a spatula or wooden spoon to crumble the ground beef up into small pea-sized pieces. Cook until the beef is just about cooked through. Move to a bowl.
- Add the remaining 1/2 tbsp of olive oil to the pan. Turn the heat to medium. Add the shallot and carrot and a big pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes until the shallot is soft and translucent and just starting to turn brown around the edges. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add the beef back to the pan. Add the Worcestershire sauce. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir. Cook for 2 minutes. Then add the stock and stir until well combined and the liquid looks smooth. Bring to a simmer and let cook for about 15 minutes until the carrots are tender and the gravy has thickened. Taste and season with more salt and pepper, if necessary. Turn off the heat and set aside for assembly.
- In a small saucepan on low, warm the cream and melt the butter together. Add the smashed garlic cloves. Let steep on the lowest stove setting while you're making the Shepherd's Pie filling.
- Once the potatoes are just cool enough to work with, cut about 1/4 of each potato off the top. Use a pointed tip spoon (a serving spoon is good for this), scoop out the insides of the potato into a large bowl. Leave a 1/4 inch potato border/wall. Add the cream and butter mixture to the potato filling. Make sure to remove the smashed garlic and discard. Add the pecorino cheese. Mash to your liking. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
- Heat oven to 425F.To assemble, fill each potato with shepherd's pie filling. Make sure each potato gets a good share of gravy plus filling. Then top with mashed potatoes by dolloping on top. Try to seal the edges as best as possible with the potatoes, but it doesn't have to be perfect.Sprinkle the tops with the remaining pecorino cheese.Bake for about 15 minutes until the tops of the potatoes start to brown. Remove from oven and sprinkle with Maldon sea salt. Serve.
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