• Cheddar-Topped Shepherd’s Pie

    October 15, 2008

    Tonight’s dinner was an A+ in the comfort food department! 🙂 The other day, I stumbled upon a recipe for Cheddar-Topped Shepherd’s Pie on the Martha Stewart website, and knew that I just had to make it for my wonderful husband. Two of Mal’s most favorite things in life (well, for food) are Shepherd’s Pie and cheddar cheese, so I knew he would love the combo.

    Cheddar- Topped Shepherd’s Pie

    Prep: 30 minutes; Total: 1 hour

    Serves 8


    2 pounds baking potatoes (about 4), peeled and thinly sliced
    Coarse salt and ground pepper
    1 tablespoon vegetable oil, such as safflower
    6 medium carrots, halved lengthwise, quartered if large, and thinly sliced
    6 celery stalks, thinly sliced
    1 large onion, chopped
    1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
    1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    1/4 cup tomato paste
    2 pounds ground beef chuck
    1 cup whole milk
    1 1/2 cups shredded sharp white cheddar (6 ounces)


    • Preheat oven to 450. Place potatoes in a large saucepan, and cover by 1 inch with salted water. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer. Cook until potatoes are easily pierced with the tip of a paring knife, 15 to 20 minutes.
    • Meanwhile, heat oil in a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium-high. Add carrots, celery, onion, and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Add flour and tomato paste; cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add beef; cook, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink, 6 to 8 minutes. Add 1 cup water; bring to a boil, and simmer 1 minute. Set beef filling aside.
    • Drain potatoes; return to pan. Cook over medium, stirring, until liquid has evaporated and a thin film covers bottom of pan, about 1 minute. Remove pan from heat; add milk and 1 cup cheese. Mash until smooth; season cheddar-potato topping with salt and pepper.
    • Pour beef filling into a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Drop dollops of topping over filling; spread to edges with a spatula. Using a fork, make decorative peaks; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake until topping is browned and filling is bubbling rapidly, about 20 minutes (if topping and filling were chilled, increase to 35 minutes). Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

    I mostly followed the recipe, but made 2 small ingredient substitutions:

    • Whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose white flour
    • Orange cheddar cheese instead of white cheddar cheese
    The Cheddar-Topped Shepherd’s Pie came out great! I especially liked the golden brown, baked-on cheddar cheese on top of the mashed potatoes. It was such a yummy combination!

    Dessert was a Cocoa Oatmeal Cookie with a smear of Barney Butter on top… and five minutes later: a second one! Hmmmmm… I think all of these sweets are starting to add up!

    Announcing 1,000,000 Pageviews!!!

    Carrots ‘N’ Cake reached 1,000,000 pageviews this afternoon! Crazy, right?! I can remember a time not too long ago when I only had about 5 readers, and now my blog has seen more than a million views!

    THANKS to all of you who read my blog every day! I really enjoy posting on Carrots ‘N’ Cake, reading and responding to your comments and questions, and learning so much from all of you! I love our little community! 🙂 Again, thanks!

    Ok, it’s time for me to catch up with The Hills! G’ night! 🙂

    Pin It

    { 28 comments… read them below or add one }

    VeggieGirl October 15, 2008 at 8:32 pm

    Comfort food + RIDICULOUSLY amazing dessert = fabulous!!

    CONGRATULATIONS ON THE PAGEVIEWS!!! You KNOW that I read (and comment) on your blog everyday; and I hope that you continue to blog!! 🙂

    The Hills was great this past week – enjoy!!


    Jessica October 15, 2008 at 8:35 pm

    I love comfort foods especially after a long work day, this looks like a great one too. Congrats on the 1,000,000 page views!!


    Becca A October 15, 2008 at 8:50 pm



    Amy October 15, 2008 at 8:55 pm

    Yummy dessert 😀 Congrats on your successful blog! I love love love it and hopefully have added to those views!


    Meg October 15, 2008 at 9:09 pm

    Congrats on 1,000,000 views! Amazing!

    Love the Shepard’s Pie!


    Cara October 15, 2008 at 9:10 pm

    Wow that cookie looks amazing. Mmmm. Congrats on the blog, I definitely love it 😉


    gina (fitnessista) October 15, 2008 at 9:18 pm

    congrats!!! i looooove your blog 😀
    i’m drooling over those cookies and that sheppard’s pie looks like something i’ll have to make for the hubby when he gets home- he’d love it.
    have a great night!


    Michelle October 15, 2008 at 9:19 pm

    congrats tina!!! before you know it, you’ll have a following like no other 🙂 this blog is great to read! thanks for all your tips!


    Erica October 15, 2008 at 9:20 pm

    Congrats! Your blog is awesome! I def check it out a few times a day! I get great lunch and dinner ideas! This dinner looks awesome! I bet Mal was so happy!


    Andrea October 15, 2008 at 9:35 pm

    omg 1,000,00!!!!!!!!! thats so incredible tina! keep up the good work. your blog is fab 🙂


    Sara October 15, 2008 at 10:07 pm

    Wow, congrats on your awesome blog! I love reading it everyday. 🙂 You’re Shepard’s Pie looks wonderful!


    Kelsey October 15, 2008 at 10:18 pm

    WOOOOHOO! That’s an accomplishment, for sure!


    Melissa S. October 15, 2008 at 10:38 pm

    yay! congrats on the views!!! and your shepards pie looks so great!


    HangryPants October 15, 2008 at 11:51 pm

    Holy Moly that’s a lot of views. Congratulations.

    Do you have any advice for increasing readership?


    HangryPants October 15, 2008 at 11:52 pm

    Holy Moly that’s a lot of views. Congratulations.

    Do you have any advice for increasing readership? Besides having a great blog. 🙂


    madison (follow my weigh) October 16, 2008 at 1:53 am

    i forget how, but i stumbled upon your blog and love it! i’m adding you to my list!


    Ashley C. October 16, 2008 at 1:54 am

    Congrats on the million page views, crazy! Your blog is one of the best out there just so you know your hard work definitely shows & your creativity shines through your blog! Thanks for everything you do!


    Homeladychef October 16, 2008 at 1:59 am

    Lovely recipe & ingredients! If you like pies, you can also try Gordon Ramsay Shepherd’s Pie, it’s super duper good….I tried once, it simply GOOD.:)


    Cadence October 16, 2008 at 5:48 am

    What great news. I have been a faithful reader (somtimes 4x a day!) of your blog for about 3 weeks now and I love it! I am in recovery from an eating disorder and love reading about other’s eating habits-it really helps me stay on track and gives me an idea of what “normal” eating truly is! I actually just started my own blog yesterday! http://philabundanceoflife.wordpress.com/. If you have any tips on more traffic I would be so thankful ! MY email is leetilghman@aol.com. Again, CONGRATS!


    caitlin October 16, 2008 at 7:46 am

    yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy i’m glad i contribute a LOAD of hits to your blog 🙂 its fabby


    Meagan October 16, 2008 at 7:56 am

    I know you don’t know me, but I have been a faithful reader of yours for quite some time now and I just wanted to say congratulations! You’re so inspiring to me. I suffered anorexia, and although I have gained all of the necessary weight, sometimes I question myself. However, when I look at your blog, I remind myself of what a beautiful, healthy girl is supposed to eat in order to have a balanced diet and live a normal life. I’m in the process of creating my own blog so wish me luck!


    Bridget W. October 16, 2008 at 8:44 am

    Wow 1,000,000 views!! Thats crazy!!! Go you!

    Also, from the last post, I LOVE JP Licks!! Roomie and I frequent that place…esp for the soft serve. Plus I love how I can get a kiddie size when I jsut want a little…I know I’m the opposite of most people in this regard but I cant stand going to some ice cream places and ordereing a kiddie thats the size of normal Large! Mostly because I’ll eat whats given to me haha!

    Shepards pie looks so warm and delicious!


    Lisa October 16, 2008 at 9:05 am

    I def have to try that recipe! Congrats on the page views and blog success!


    shawna October 16, 2008 at 10:24 am

    Congrats on the great blog success. You should be very proud to have created such a wonderful space on the web for us all!


    Tina October 16, 2008 at 10:45 am

    Thanks everyone for your kind words!


    I think reading other blogs and leaving comments is a great way to promote your own.


    lauren October 16, 2008 at 10:52 am

    wow $1M page views is awesome! congrats! and the shepards pie looks delicious!


    Allison K October 16, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    1,000,0000! Amazing! Congrats Tina. I don’t always comment, but I always read and think your blog is wonderful. you really do an awesome job at being real and honest, not to mention fun and informative! You are an inspiration.


    Kim May 20, 2013 at 12:34 am

    That sounds amazing, I want eat this for lunch tomorrow! But I wish you took some photos so I could visualize the dish. However it seem delicious and I can’t wait to try it!


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