Shepherd’s Pie: the mouthwatering recipe for a traditional comfort food

Total time: 60 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 8 people
Entra nel nuovo canale WhatsApp di Cookist Wow
By Cookist

Hearty, flavorful shepherd's pie is an incredibly easy dinner you can make this St. Patrick's Day. This amazing savory pie recipe comes from England, and is made from minced lamb mixed with tender mixed veggies, and topped with a thick layer of rich, creamy mashed potatoes.

While shepherd's pie is a staple dish for celebrating St. Patrick's Day, it's a simple dish to make and perfect as a cozy, comforting meal to serve your family any time of year.

Loved by everyone, the shepherd's pie has been prepared since they brought potatoes to United Kingdom and Ireland from the New World and quickly became a very popular dish among the common people for its simplicity, price and flavor. Since 1791, there is already talk of cottage foot and shepherd's foot in England to talk about this recipe that used to be prepared in cottages or cottages by normal people. Years later, it was changed the name of the meat pie according to the ingredients that used to prepare it.

Shepherd's Pie vs. Cottage Pie

Shepherd's pie and cottage pie are virtually the same dish, but the key difference between the two is that shepherd's pie is made from minced lamb while cottage pie is made from minced beef.

Both recipes call for a mixture of vegetables, typically chopped onions, carrots, celery, and as well as peas. Shepherd's pie and cottage pie are similar to pot pies, but instead of pastry, these classic Irish pies are served with a thick layer of mashed potato on top.

Shepherd's Pie Ingredients

You don't need any fancy ingredients to make shepherd's pie.

For the mashed potato topping, you'll need potatoes, butter, and milk. Floury potatoes like Russet, Idaho, or Maris Piper are ideal. Don't use waxy potatoes. For that incredible savory filling, you'll need lamb mince, plus celery, onion, carrots, and peas. To give the filling its flavor, chicken broth, tomato puree, and Worcestershire sauce are must-haves. Thyme and rosemary add a beautiful, herby lift to the dish. We recommend fresh herbs but dried ones work fine in a pinch.

How to Make Shepherd's Pie

Making homemade shepherd's pie couldn't be easier. It only takes about an hour from start to finish, and the flavors are so incredible, you'll find yourself making it over and over again.

Start by preparing the mashed potatoes. Put the potatoes in a pot with cold water, and bring them to a boil. Allow the potatoes to boil for about 15 minutes or until they're tender. Drain the water and put the potatoes back in the pot. Pour the milk, butter, salt, and pepper over the potatoes and mash well until creamy. Put the potatoes to the side while you prepare the filling.

Heat the oil in your skillet, then add the onion and garlic. Sauté until the garlic turns fragrant, about 1 minute. Mix in carrots, celery, and lamb. Saute the mixture for 8 to 10 minutes until the lamb browns. Pour off the grease – you don't want an oily shepherd's pie! Mix in the broth, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper. Leave it to simmer for several minutes until the filling begins to thicken. Stir in the peas, then take the skillet off the heat.

Gently flatten the filling with a spatula, then spoon the mashed potato on top of it. Spread the mashed potatoes over the entire filling. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. If desired, sprinkle some extra salt and pepper or chopped chives over the top of the pie before serving.


Tips for Making the Best Shepherd's Pie

To boost the flavor of your shepherd's pie, add red wine when sautéing the lamb.

Substitute mashed cauliflower for the mashed potato to make a keto-friendly shepherd's pie.

Don't eat dairy? Use plant-based milk and ghee instead of milk and butter.

What to Serve with Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd's pie is essentially an entire meal in one dish, however, it goes wonderfully with a green salad, steamed veggies, homemade dinner rolls, Irish soda bread, or roasted vegetables. It's a hearty dinner, so best keep your sides light.

How to Store Shepherd's Pie

Wrap leftover shepherd's pie and store it in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat it in the microwave until entirely warmed through.

Can you Freeze Shepherd's Pie?

Wrap with plastic wrap and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. It can go directly from the freezer into the oven, cooking until completely heated through.

You can also prepare the meat mixture ahead of time, freeze it in appropriate storage containers. Then when you want to make the Best Traditional Shepherd’s Pie, you can thaw the meat overnight in the refrigerator, while making the mashed potato fresh on the day.

Leftovers can be reheated in the microwave for about a minute. If the leftovers are in aluminum containers, you can reheat them in the oven for 15 mins at 375°F/190°C.

More Recipes You'll Like

for mashed potatoes
russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 pounds
Whole Milk
1/2 cup
1/4 cup
salt and pepper to taste
for the filling
Extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp
large onion, diced
Garlic, minced
3 cloves
large carrots, peeled and diced
celery, diced
2 stalks
lamb mince
1 1/2 pounds
salt and pepper to taste
Chicken broth
1 cup
Tomato paste
1 1/2 tbsp
Worcestershire Sauce
1 tbsp
fresh rosemary, finely chopped
2 tsp
fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 tsp
1 cup


Preheat your oven to 400F.

Put the potatoes in a pot with cold water. Salt generously, then boil and cook for 13 to 15 minutes, until tender.

Drain the potatoes, then put them back in the pot. Put the milk, butter, salt, and pepper over the potatoes and mash well until creamy. Set aside.

Sauté the onion and garlic in an oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Cook until the garlic turns fragrant, about 1 minute, then add celery.

Stir in carrots.

Add minced lamb.

Sauté for 8 to 10 minutes until the lamb browns, then pour off the excess fat.

Stir in the broth.

Add tomato paste, and Worcestershire sauce.

Stir in herbs, salt, and pepper. Allow the mixture to simmer for 5 to 6 minutes or until it begins to thicken.

Stir in the peas, then remove the skillet from the heat. If your filling is too runny, add some cornstarch or flour to thicken it.

Gently flatten the filling with a spatula.

Spoon the mashed potato on top of it.

Spread the mashed potatoes over the entire filling. Season with extra salt if desidered.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. For a slightly crispy top, broil the shepherd's pie for a minute or two before serving.

Slice, serve and enjoy!


Use low-sodium chicken broth if you're watching your salt intake.

Every dish has a story
Find out more on Cookist social networks
api url views