My household loves Shepherds Pie and I like it too because I dirty one dish and cover all the food groups.
12 ounces Yukon Gold potatoes
1-2 carrots, small diced
1-2 parsnips, small diced
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 bunch chives (optional)
12 ounces ground beef
1 Tablespoon butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon flour
Preheat broiler to high. Peel potatoes (if you have time, sometimes I don't) and cut into 1-inch pieces. Peel onion and small dice. Rinse carrot and parsnip and cut both into small dice. Rinse chives and thinly slice (unless your kids will freak over flecks of green).
Place potatoes in a medium pot and cover with cold water. Add a generous pinch salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until fork tender, 10-12 minutes. Drain and place in a large bowl. Add butter and cream and, using a potato masher or fork, mash until completely smooth. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Sometimes I add cream or fold in cheese to make them extra special. Set aside.
While potatoes cook, heat a large highsided ovenproof pan over medium-high heat. My favorite kitchen pan to use is my large 15 inch cast iron skillet. When the pan is just smoking, add beef, season with salt and pepper, and cook until browned, about 5 minutes.
Add onion, carrot, and parsnip. Cook until softened, about 5 to 7 minutes. Push ingredients to the sides and make cleared pan space in the middle. Add the tomato paste and stir it around for a few seconds to cook and then stir all around to incorporate all the ingredients to cook until brick red, about 2-3 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
Reduce heat to medium and sprinkle over flour. Stir until completely combined, about 1 minute. Slowly pour in the chicken stock and a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce. Stir and cook until sauce is thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove pan from heat.
Assemble and Broil
Spread mashed potatoes evenly over beef. Place pan under broiler and cook until potatoes are golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle over chives. Serve Shepherd's Pie hot, family style.