Shepherd’s Pie is one of those dishes that has no real “rules” and is open to numerous interpretations. I’ve seen variations including a base of lamb, beef, or vegetable stew—and just as many that involve a base of “meatloaf.” And while the topping almost always consists of mashed potatoes, I have also seen recipes that substituted mashed sweet potatoes, or even polenta. My first exposure to this dish was when I followed a Paul Prudhomme recipe for his Cajun-style Shepherd’s Pie in one of his first cookbooks, and it has “stuck” with me. I’ve made some changes over the years to make it my own, but the end result is not that far away from Paul’s original. This is one of those “one-dish” meals that hardly needs anything other than a small salad and perhaps a piece of bread to complete the experience.

Cajun Shepherd’s Pie of ground beef and fresh Andouille sausage meatloaf with Cajun spices baked until done, and then topped with a sauté of julienned onions, carrots, and zucchini, and THEN topped with mashed Yukon Gold potatoes, and a mixture of shredded cheddar, pepperjack cheese, and breadcrumbs, and baked until the cheese has melted
Spicy Cajun beef sauce
Simple lettuce salad with radishes and light vinaigrette
My Dad’s “Fritter Bread”
Citrus sherbet