Fancy Shepherd’s Pie with Wine Braised Beef Tips & Spinach

Yesterday was National Drink Wine Day… as if I need a nationally recognized day to drink wine. It did, however, give me an excuse to drink wine ALL day in some form.

If you follow me on Instagram then you know that my day afternoon started with National Drink Wine Part 1:  a crisp, summery wine that I usually wouldn’t buy but something about the peach made me curious… and it did NOT disappoint!

Having also grabbed a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon the day before – partially for National Drink Wine Day and partially to watch the Shonda Rimes emotional rollercoaster commonly known as SCANDAL & How to Get Away with Murder – and having no idea what I was going to make for dinner, I pulled out some beef tips and decided to make the shepherd’s pie I had on my mind for the past month. Yes, traditionally shepherd’s pie is made with ground beef, but I wanted to be a little fancy… I had no idea how fancy this dish would actually get.


I LOVE duchess potatoes, but they are really fancy and require more work than I had time for with this dish, but I figured a little bit of duchess on top of these instant potatoes was all I needed to satisfy my craving, and it worked wonders for my taste buds!


It’s fancy but, by now y’all know me:  with two boys running around the house and four businesses to run from the same house, dinner has got to be easy too! Pan seared beef tips, two hours in the oven, jazzed up microwave mashed potatoes and a glass of wine on the side = an easy weekday meal. The secret ingredient:  LOVE. There are lots of tasty things in this dish, but my husband says he can always tell when I’ve rushed a dish versus when I’ve actually “put some love in the pot.” For a long time I didn’t believe him, but I have to admit that with all the cans I open and the shortcuts I take due to the lack of real time I have that leads to the lack of homemade-ness in a lot of my dishes, the only explanation for why they are delicious has to be LOVE:  I love the recipes that I come up with (and tweak), and I love the people I’m cooking them for. LOVE it is.

… and wine.


Wine Braised Beef Tips & Spinach Shepherd’s Pie
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  • 1 lb. beef tips
  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. sour cream
  • 1/2 C milk
  • 3/4 C heavy cream, divided
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 handfuls of spinach
  • 1 14.5oz. can of Italian diced tomatoes
  • 2 - 2oz. packages of instant mashed potatoes
  • 3/4 C dry red wine (like Cabernet Sauvignon)
  • 1/4 C beef stock
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Fresh cracked black pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Season the beef tips with the garlic and onion powders and black pepper. Over medium high heat, sear (fry just until brown) in the olive oil and then drain the excess liquid. Pour in the beef stock, red wine, and tomatoes and allow to simmer 5 - 10 minutes. Cover and place the pan directly in the oven and allow to cook for 90 minutes. Remove from the oven and add in the spinach. Place back in the oven for 15 minutes, allowing the spinach to begin the wilting process. Stir and allow to cook an additional 15 minutes.
  • Prepare mashed potatoes almost according to package directions. I used Idahoan instant potatoes that calls for 2 cups of water and 1 cup of milk (total for both packages). I boiled the water in the microwave for 3 minutes, added in 1/2 cup of milk and 1/2 cup of heavy cream then added in the potatoes and microwaved for an additional 2 minutes. Add in the butter, sour cream, and 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder and whip until smooth.
  • Remove the beef mixture from the oven and set the oven to 375 degrees. Transfer the beef mixture from the pan to an 8x8" baking dish and spoon potatoes over top. Prepare an egg wash by mixing 1/4 cup heavy cream with the egg yolk and brush over the top of the potatoes. Bake for 20 - 30 minutes until the top is golden.

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