Shepherd’s Pie Spoonfuls


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • ½ pound crimini mushrooms, cleaned, stemmed and finely chopped
  • ½ cup baby carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup dehydrated Idaho® potato flakes
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 egg yolk
  • freshly ground pepper
  • mild paprika or smoked paprika, for garnish
  • Equipment: Chinese soup spoons, for serving


  1. Make the stew: In a heavy pot over medium-high heat, brown the beef. Add the onions, mushrooms and carrots and cook until the onions have softened and most of the liquid from the mushrooms has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the meat mixture and cook, stirring, 1 minute.
  2. Add the red wine and beef broth to the pot and stir to combine thoroughly. The meat mixture should thicken up a bit as it comes back to a simmer. Turn down the heat and keep at a simmer about 1 hour.
  3. Meantime, make the potato topping: Bring the water to a boil in a small pot, then add the Idaho® potato flakes, 2 tablespoons butter and ¼ teaspoon salt. Stir with a fork until the potatoes have absorbed the liquid. Let cool 15 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400°. Line a baking sheet with
  5. Add the egg yolk to the potatoes and stir again to combine. When the mixture is smooth and thick, transfer it to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe little swirls of potato mixture onto the baking sheet. Use a pastry brush to dab melted butter on every swirl, then bake about 15 minutes, until the potato swirls are golden brown around the edges.
  6. To serve, put a dollop of the beef mixture into a Chinese soup spoon, then top with one of the potato swirls. Sprinkle with paprika. Serve immediately.