Shepherd’s Pie

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As promised, today I have a recipe for Shepherd’s Pie.  This is as a result of a request I had on my Youtube channel to make it.  As there is some confusion between Shepherd’s Pie and Cottage Pie I decided to make both.  So my last post was for the Cottage Pie and now I have the Shepherd’s Pie.

Mine is made with minced lamb, though it could also be made with chunks of lamb.  It is thought that Shepherd’s Pie was originally made with the leftover meat from Sunday’s roast lamb, and eaten on Monday.  That is highly likely and would certainly taste good.  I have even seen some recipes where famous chefs roast some lamb just to have it available for making the pie. 

Of course the meat would then have to be topped with mashed potato.  These days many people grate some cheese over the top prior to cooking in the oven.  I don’t do that, but only because I don’t like cooked cheese.

As well as lamb the pie would usually have carrots and onions, and probably any other vegetable that people may have had available. For mine I used carrots, onions and peas, as well as some thyme and rosemary to add extra flavour.

The recipe is easy to make, though it takes a little while, with several steps.  But it is certainly very worthwhile, as the pie tastes fantastic.  Since I was doing Cottage Pie and Shepherd’s Pie I made enough mashed potato to do both, so in the video for this recipe the mashed potato is already made.

For this recipe I used individual aluminium pie dishes, to make small pies.  But the same recipe would be great in a roasting dish, maybe 8×12 inches/ 20x30cm.  You would just bake for 35 to 40 minutes rather than the 25 minutes I specify below.

Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd’s Pie – Video


  • 750g/ 1lb 10oz minced beef
  • 2 onions(about 350g/12 oz) finely chopped
  • 2 carrots(about 200g/7 oz) finely diced
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp powdered garlic(optional) (or fresh garlic 2 cloves, chopped)
  • 350ml beef stock
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 900g/2lb potatoes(I used Maris Piper), peeled and chopped into equal sized pieces.
  • 75g butter
  • 150g/1 cup frozen peas, thawed.
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 900g/2lb potatoes, peeled and chopped into even sized pieces.
  • 75g butter
  • Knob of butter for frying. 
  1. In a large frying pan, on medium/high heat, fry the meat with a knob of butter, in about 4 batches, to brown it. Remove any excess fat that is released from the meat. Drain the meat and put it into a bowl.
  2. Reduce the heat and gently fry the onions and carrots until they start to soften.  Do not allow the onions to brown.
  3. When the onions and carrots have softened a little add the rosemary, thyme, garlic and flour and mix it all around.
  4. Add the Worcestershire sauce and tomato paster and mix that around too.
  5. Put the lamb mince into the pan and mix everything together.
  6. Add the stock and increase the heat until it starts to simmer.
  7. When it starts to simmer reduce the heat until the simmer is just maintained.
  8. Season to taste, with salt and pepper.
  9. Cover with a lid and simmer for 45 minutes,  checking that it doesn’t dry out, add some water if necessary.
  10. While the meat is cooking boil the potatoes until they are fully cooked.
  11. Take the potatoes off the heat and drain the water from them.  
  12. Leave the lid off to allow any steam to be released.
  13. Add the butter, in chunks, into the potatoes and mash until all is nice and smooth(I did this with the masher attachment of my immersion blender).
  14. Add salt and pepper to the mashed potatoes, to suit your taste.
  15. When the meat has simmered for 45 minutes remove from the heat.
  16. If serving immediately preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/350F
  17. Divide the meat mixture equally between individual pies tins and level it off.
  18. Top the meat with mashed potatoes, usually an equal amount for each tin, and then spread to level off.
  19. Use the tines of a fork to draw lines into the potato.
  20. When you are ready to eat the pies place them on a baking tray and put them into the preheated oven and cook for 25 minutes.  They will turn a nice golden colour.  Some juice may leak up the sides of the potato, that is fine.
  21. Remove from the oven and serve.
Note:  These can be frozen, if wrapped correctly in plastic wrap, or in ziplock bags.  But they will need to be cooked for longer when needed, unless thawed completely first.

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