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Italian Beef Potpies


Keep ground beef and homemade tomato sauce in your freezer (or use best-quality jarred sauce) for a biscuit-topped Italian rendition of shepherd's pie.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

Source: Everyday Food, December 2008


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 pound ground beef sirloin, thawed if frozen
  • 2 cups homemade or best-quality store-bought tomato sauce
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan (1 ounce)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed dried rosemary
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup whole milk


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees, with rack in lowest position. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium. Add onion and carrots; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add beef, and cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, 3 to 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce; bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until meat mixture has thickened, 8 to 10 minutes; set aside.

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, Parmesan, baking powder, rosemary, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; make a well in center, and add butter and milk. Stir just until dough comes together.

  3. Spoon meat mixture into four 8-ounce ramekins; mound dough on top. Place on a large rimmed baking sheet; bake until topping is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in topping comes out clean, 10 to 12 minutes.

Cook's Notes

Ground beef can be frozen for up to 3 months. Also, the better the tomato sauce, the better the results.

Reviews Add a comment

  • 1275
    31 MAR, 2012
    Great recipe! I skipped the oil when browning the beef and onion, the beef fat is sufficient. Instead of beef sirloin I used 1 pound of ground beef. In place of a 2 cups tomato sauce you can use a 15 oz. can. This recipe is very sufficient for 6 people. In the bottom of each custard cup I placed 4 bite size pieces of cooked cheese tortellini. Also, the biscuits need to be baked almost twice as long as directed. Overall, very good and cute in individual cups!
  • MS10339747
    11 MAR, 2012
    This is a favorite with all ages in my family, but it's an especially great way to get kids to eat vegetables -- my marinara includes carrots and celery.
  • WatergirlSB
    16 JAN, 2011
    How can something so simple be so GOOD??? Thank you Martha
  • swootliff
    13 JAN, 2011
    I doubled the biscuit mixture and used diced sausage instead of beef. Any hard cheese can replace the Parmesan cheese. Added celery, garlic, can of diced tomatoes and a few extra spices. Absolutely delicious! May use the biscuit recipe mixture for other dishes.
  • Kristi47
    12 JAN, 2011
    This was great! And it is open to many substiutions for your taste.
  • MS10995119
    12 JAN, 2011
    mrsladonnajonze, Boca makes a soy "crumbles" product that you can use to replace the beef. It's found in the frozen foods. I believe Morningstar Farms also makes a similar product.
  • rnmomov4
    12 JAN, 2011
    Seems like this needs some veggies maybe zucchini, red peppers, mushrooms. And why not use whole wheat pastry flour instead of white!
  • VegasVegan
    12 JAN, 2011
    a good vegetarian recommendation might be mushrooms,or italian white kidney bean or a mixure of veggies such as peppers,greenbeans,spinach or other dark leafy green. I plan to try this recipe with one or a combo of these.
  • mrsladonnajonze
    12 JAN, 2011
    Is there a vegetarian recommendation? I don't keep ground "anything" in my home. I rarely eat meat, and barely eat fish. Any type of bean or pea to replace the meat? What about frozen corn? I'd love to try this tonight. Thanks!
  • carolf
    12 JAN, 2011