I generally have an aversion to most shepherd's pie recipes. This one is surprisingly excellent! With no tomato sauce or deplorable green beans, I'd say this is a winner. Many times when I am cooking, I skip some herbs and spices and substitute with what I have. Be sure to add the Sage, whatever you do!
6 medium potatoes
1 pound carrots, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups of beef gravy
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup milk
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
Peel and cube the potatoes; place in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; cover and cook for 20 minutes or until tender. Add 1 in. of water to another saucepan; add carrots. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until crisp-tender, about 7-9 minutes. Drain.
In a large nonstick skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the carrots, gravy, 1/2 teaspoon salt, sage, thyme, rosemary and pepper. Transfer to a shallow 3-qt. baking dish coated with cooking spray.
Drain the potatoes; mash with milk, butter and remaining salt. Spread over meat mixture. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 375° for 40-45 minutes or until heated through. Yield: 6 servings.
** If you want to used artificial potatoes, I think you should be fine. Save yourself 20 minutes! I often add canned corn or other vegetables I need to use up. Bell peppers are really great, as are peas!