My little family of three loves a good pot roast. BUT we can’t eat the whole thing. The sad truth is that it’s probably the most expensive item on my grocery list every month and leftovers are a problem. We either forget to eat them or some part gets wasted, most of the time because the leftovers are just uneven. Too many potatoes not enough gravy!
I think I’ve found the perfect solution to this problem! I’ve developed a recipe that uses my leftover pot roast dinner as the building blocks for another favorite, Sheppard’s Pie! If I split that recipe into two glass dishes, one immediately goes into the freezer for a rainy day and I’ve now economized that pot roast supper to the penny.
It’s such a hit around here that I didn’t see any reason to keep it to myself… Are you ready? Let’s get to work!
Get out your left over mashed potatoes and roast. (Gravy is optional though I chose not to use it this time)
Chop your remaining pot roast. Meanwhile, brown a pound of ground beef.
Add a small palm full of dried thyme leaves. Add another palm full of salt and pepper.
Add your chopped pot roast and cook until heated through.
Stir in 15 oz can of tomato sauce… and 1 cup of water.
At this point you can add a bit of your pot roast gravy or a packet of gravy. I chose packet gravy as my post roast gravy was a bit watery and I wanted a thicker base. Make sure you use a darker gravy suck as brown, onion, hunter sauce, or mushroom… again depending on taste. You just want that bolder flavor as your base.
Let the sauce simmer until you get a nice thick meat sauce. Prepare two glass baking dishes.
Pour your meat sauce evenly between both pans.
Your second layer is your vegetable layer. Our little family enjoys a vegetable medley. Peas, carrots, green beans, and corn. You can basically use any veggie that suits your family here. Use about two pounds.
Pour your veggies into your pan with about half a cup of water and a palm full of salt and pepper. Simmer until cooked to taste.
Spoon your veggies evenly between both pans.
Now for the third and final layer… the mashed potatoes! You are going to want to heat your potatoes to make them pliable. You may even want to add a touch of milk or cream to make them a bit creamier (I did) because I’m going to ask you to do something fancy.
Once you have them pliable, scoop them into a gallon ziplock and squish them down to one corner. This is, of course, optional. But I promise, it’s easier than scooping, it makes the potato layer with leftovers more even, it’s prettier, and it’s so much faster!!! Once you have it ready to go just use scissors to snip off the corner of your bag.
When your bag is prepped and ready to go start squeezing tablespoon sized dollops of mashed potatoes over the top of your Sheppard’s pie.
Don’t they look lovely?
Preheat your oven to 400*.
At this point you can cover one and freeze it and it will last a few months. To cook the frozen Sheppard’s Pie simply remove from the freezer and allow to thaw in your refrigerator overnight and bake according to the following instructions.
I like to add a few small dabs of butter over my mash potato peaks. Everything is better with butter.
Once your oven is preheated place your dish on the middle rack, uncovered and allow to bake for 25 to 30 minutes. You want your mashed potatoes to brown slightly and your meat sauce to bubble. Remove from the oven. At this point you can choose to eat your Sheppard’s Pie! If this is where you want to stop you need to rest it for about five minutes and it’s ready to eat. If you dare… take it one more step with me…
I add CHEESE! I use a mexican blend cheese because I like the mix of different cheese flavors. A light layer across the top will do.
Put your Sheppard’s Pie back in the oven and set your broiler on low. (Hi will burn it) You will want it to be under the broiler for about 5 to 7 minutes but watch carefully. You’ll want to pull it when the cheese starts to bubble and brown.
Let it rest for 5 minutes and then plate it up…
Pot Roast Sheppard’s Pie
Leftover Pot Roast (1 to 1.5 lbs)
Leftover Mashed Potatoes (2 to 3 lbs)
1 lb ground beef
1 15oz can tomato sauce
1.5 cups water
2 16 oz bags frozen vegetables
1 envelope gravy mix (can substitute 1/2 cup pot roast gravy)
1.5 tsp thyme
Salt and Pepper to taste (about 1.5 tsp each)
1/2 cup cream or milk to cream up mashed potatoes
2 tbsp butter (for top of mashed potatoes)
1.5 cups shredded cheese of choice
Preheat oven to 400*. Chop leftover pot roast and brown 1 lb ground beef. Add thyme, half salt and pepper, and pot roast. Heat until heated through. Add tomato sauce and 1 cup water. Simmer until thickened. Prepare two 8 x 10 baking dishes. Split meat evenly between these two pans.
Add 2 lbs frozen vegetables, 1/2 cup water and remaining salt and pepper to clean saute pan. Simmer until cooked to taste. Layer evenly between two baking dishes.
Heat mashed potatoes. *Optional* Add 1/2 cup cream or milk to add smoothness. Spoon warmed mashed potatoes into a gallon zipper bag and squeeze to one corner. Use scissors to cut the corner from the bag. Squeeze tablespoon sized dollops of mashed potatoes over the top of your Sheppard’s pie.
*To freeze* Cover baking dish and place in freezer. When you are ready to bake it simply remove from freezer and allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator and then proceed with the following baking directions.
Place your dish on the middle rack, uncovered, and allow to bake for 25 to 30 minutes. You want your mashed potatoes to brown slightly and your meat sauce to bubble. Remove from the oven. Rest for 5 minutes and serve OR *Optional* Add a light layer of cheese, about 1.5 cups spread evenly across the top. Place back in the oven and set your broiler on low. Broil for 5 to 7 minutes watching closely. Remove it when the cheese starts to bubble and brown. Let it rest for 5 minutes and serve.
“Life is worth living as long as there’s a laugh in it.” ― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables