Revamp Your Shepherd's Pie With Instant Ramen

Change one ingredient and you can easily turn shepherd's pie into a different dish. According to Jamie Oliver, swapping the lamb for beef makes it a cottage pie instead, and topping it with breadcrumbs makes it a cumberland pie. Meanwhile, if you add hard boiled eggs and raisins to the filling, it instead becomes a pastel de papa.

Traditional shepherd's pie without any of these modifications, as Culinary Ginger shares, is made up of ground lamb, root vegetables, Guinness, and potatoes. But many recipes are filled out with other ingredients. Gordon Ramsay, for example, cooks the lamb in red wine, and adds parmesan cheese as the "secret ingredient" (via YouTube). And when Alton Brown makes his shepherd's pie he mixes in an egg yolk into the mashed potatoes (via Food Network). 

There are many ways to revamp shepherd's pie, even by using your leftover Thanksgiving turkey, but if you want to add both a different flavor and texture, consider incorporating instant ramen in your recipe.

Substitute the mashed potatoes for instant ramen

When it comes to making shepherd's pie, the mashed potato layer can be hard to get right. If it's too moist, Don't Go Bacon My Heart points out, the excess liquid will drip down into the filling, leaving you with a watery shepherd's pie. The mashed potatoes can also sink if they're too hot when you add them, BBC Good Food shares. These issues can be prevented, but by swapping the potatoes for ramen, you can avoid them altogether and enjoy a more unique version of the dish.

To make shepherd's pie, or "ramepherd's pie," as Serious Eats called it, simply boil a package of ramen and use the noodles in place of mashed potatoes. To tie the flavors together, A-Sha also recommends mixing the seasoning packet into the filling. When the shepherd's pie bakes, the ramen will crisp up on top and can get even crunchier if you set your oven to broil, per Serious Eats' suggestion. 

The shepherd's pie that results will have all the flavor you love from the classic, but with a satisfying contrast in texture.