Shepherd’s Pie

An easy recipe for Shepherd’s Pie. Dive into this British classic made from ground meat (beef or lamb) and vegetables in a rich gravy topped with mashed potatoes. 

Shepherd’s Pie is the ultimate all-in-one dinner solution.

In just one casserole dish you can find meat, potatoes, veggies, and gravy.

It’s exactly the kind of hearty, stick-to your-ribs food I (and so many of you) grew up on.

An easy recipe for Shepherd's Pie. Dive into this British classic made from ground meat (beef or lamb) and vegetables in a rich gravy topped with mashed potatoes. 

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How do you make Shepherd’s Pie?

Start by softening carrots and onions in butter, then add the beef. Stir in flour and tomato paste until cooked through.

Finally, stir in cream, broth, beer, soy sauce, and thyme and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Add the peas.

Spread in a casserole dish and smother in a delicious mashed potato topping.

An easy recipe for Shepherd's Pie. Dive into this British classic made from ground meat (beef or lamb) and vegetables in a rich gravy topped with mashed potatoes. 

Do you put cheese on top of Shepherd’s Pie?

YES! Well, I did not in this recipe. But, I have in the past. And you absolutely should.

Pro Life Tip: If you’re wondering if you should add cheese, the answer is always yes.

An easy recipe for Shepherd's Pie. Dive into this British classic made from ground meat (beef or lamb) and vegetables in a rich gravy topped with mashed potatoes. 

What is the difference between Cottage Pie and Shepherd’s Pie?

They are the same except one contains beef and one contains lamb.

  • The one containing beef is the one named Cottage Pie.
  • The one containing lamb is the Shepherd’s Pie.

So obviously I got it wrong here, but that’s because Americans don’t eat as much lamb as their British (and Australian and New Zealand) counterparts.

We call it Shepherd’s Pie even though we make it with beef. I’m shining my palms forward (as we do in yoga) to accept your criticisms in this regard. Go ahead. Lay it on me.

Save this Shepherd’s Pie to your “Main Dishes” Pinterest board!

And let’s be friends on Pinterest! I’m always pinning tasty recipes!

An easy recipe for Shepherd's Pie. Dive into this British classic made from ground meat (beef or lamb) and vegetables in a rich gravy topped with mashed potatoes. 
4.67 from 3 votes
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Shepherd's Pie

An easy recipe for Shepherd's Pie. Dive into this British classic made from ground meat (beef or lamb) and vegetables in a rich gravy topped with mashed potatoes. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine American, British, Irish
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 678 kcal

Ingredients

For the filling:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion minced
  • 2 medium carrots peeled and chopped fine
  • 2 pounds 85/15 ground beef or ground lamb
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup beer
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
  • 1 cup frozen peas

For the topping:

  • 2 1/2 pounds russet potatoes peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter melted
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream warmed
  • 1 egg beaten

Instructions

To make the filling:

  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter until foaming. Add onions and carrots and cook until softened, about 8 minutes.

  2. Add the meat, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook until browned, about 12 minutes. Use a spoon to break up any clumps of meat. 

  3. Add flour and tomato paste and cook until paste begins to darken, about 1 minute.

  4. Add cream and cook 1 minute. Stir in chicken broth, beer, soy sauce, and thyme. Simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture is thick but saucy, 15 to 20 minutes. 

  5. Remove from heat, stir in peas, season to taste with salt and pepper, and transfer to a broiler-safe 2-quart casserole dish.

To make the topping:

  1. Meanwhile, adjust an oven rack to the upper-middle position and preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

  2. In a large saucepan over high heat, bring potatoes, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and enough water to cover to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

  3. Drain well, return potatoes to saucepan, and mash until smooth. Stir in butter until incorporated. Stir in cream and season to taste with salt and pepper.

  4. Spread potatoes over the filling in casserole dish and use a rubber spatula to smooth the top, or pipe with a pastry bag and tip. Brush with egg and swirl with the bag of a spoon or drag fork tines across to make a design.

  5. Bake until the filling is hot and bubbly, about 15 minutes. Heat broiler and broil until the top is golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before serving.

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4 comments

  1. Ahhhh, now today you’re truly speaking my language, Meggan!

    I’m really interested to see you’ve added cream to your Shepherd’s pie. Now that would be one delicious shepherd’s pie!

    I’ll let you into a secret. Millions of Brits (including myself) grew up eating shepherd’s pie almost weekly, and most of us call it shepherd’s pie even if it’s made with beef (which it usually is).

    Your version looks and sounds amazing!

  2. Thanks for helping me decide what to make for dinner tomorrow night.
    This is totally on my food plan (minus the heavy cream) and I have ground lamb in the freezer. (I use 1/2 beef and 1/3 lamb).
    I love it when I have everything to make something!

    • Made this for dinner and didn’t use heavy cream in the filling or the potatoes and I also used 3 cups of the frozen mixed vegetables that I had in the freezer. It was delicious.
      (I’m all about loading up the vegetables so we don’t have to have another veg on the side…)
      this was great with a side salad.

  3. Lots more flavorings than in mine.  I must try this version. I add creamed corn but with your heavy cream already in there, plain kernel corn would work.  I like the idea of carrots.  Maybe I’ll just throw in a partial bag of thawed, frozen mixed.

    When serving, don’t forget a gallon of butter.

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