Cast Iron Christmas: Shepherd’s Pie

A few nights before Christmas I was talking to my mother-in-law, lamenting about the fact that both of my children hate potatoes. I feel like this is very un-American and I am slightly worried about the repercussions, considering that Idaho is really close to our home. I am also a little sad that a recipe we used to have at least once a week was now sacrificed to the Idontwanna God of lost recipes.

This lost recipe, a family favorite, is none other than Shepherd’s Pie. I know that almost every family has a different version of this recipe, but ours includes: green beans, beef, mashed potatoes and tomato soup as the main ingredients. The aforementioned conversation led to the idea of trying rice instead of potatoes. I tried it and really liked it! My kids who love rice, found fault with it, but they tried it so I consider that a success…for now.
I didn’t want to be too cheesy, but thought that this could be a fun dish for before Christmas. I won’t go into details, but our family tried to do a Shepherd’s dinner one Christmas Eve. On the first bite of mutton, we realized that that tradition would be finding its way into the dog’s dish. This recipe on the other hand, is simple and I think even the pickiest elf would enjoy a bite or two.


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/4 c. chopped onion
  • 1 can green beans
  • 1 can tomato soup
  • 1 T. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 T. milk (or if you are like me, one “glug”)
  • 3 c. cooked rice (I used brown basmati)
  • 1 c. shredded cheese


  • In a 12 inch dutch oven,brown beef and onion, until cooked through.
  • Drain fat if necessary.
  • While the meat is cooking, in a small bowl combine tomato soup, Worcestershire sauce and milk.
  • When beef is cooked, cover with drained green beans, then drizzle with soup mixture.
  • Top with rice and then shredded cheese. Bake in a 350 oven, uncovered until heated through and cheese has melted, about 20-25 minutes.

I also liked this “pre-rice” picture. Pretty festive, huh?

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