This is my favorite thing to make for a meal train (when someone is injured or has a baby and friends sign up to bring over meals). It’s a comforting crowd pleaser that is not only easy to make, but usually I have the majority of the ingredients already on hand. It pairs nicely with a hearty loaf of beer bread. Using sliced potatoes instead of mashed (like in a Shepard’s Pie) cuts down on kitchen time dramatically. Tip: It is very rich if you cook the recipe verbatim. I usually brown the ground beef in a separate skillet, then transfer without the grease to the pan containing the onions and carrots. It’s faster to make when you cook them simultaneously in different skillets and much lighter and easier to eat.
1 large russet potato (3/4 pound), very thinly sliced
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high. Add onion and carrots and cook, stirring often, until onion is soft, 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and stir in tomato paste. Add meat and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until almost cooked through, 3 minutes. Add thyme and beer and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring frequently, until slightly reduced, 2 minutes. Sprinkle flour over mixture and stir to combine. Add 1 cup water and cook until mixture thickens, about 2 minutes. Stir in peas and season with salt and pepper.
Transfer mixture to a 2-quart baking dish. Top with potatoes, overlapping slices. Season potatoes with salt and pepper and drizzle with 2 tablespoons butter. Bake until potatoes are browned around edges and tender when pierced with a knife, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.