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An easy comfort food, this Shepherd’s Pie recipe is a delicious potato-topped ground lamb or beef casserole. Which is steeped in a flavorful sauce with vegetables that will bring to mind the beauty of Ireland.
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As the days of winter linger yet signs of a promising spring abound, a Potato-Topped Shepherd’s Pie is easy, flavorful comfort food. Perfect to whip up any night of the week.
Even better, use leftovers from a Sunday roast, and you’ll make a meal that won’t easily be forgotten.
Potato Topped Shepherd’s Pie, quintessential Irish fare, has been favored by not only the Irish but British as well. So similar are the two, shepherd’s pie and cottage pie, that the only difference is in the meat.
With O’Hara blood running in my veins, our family tends to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day for several days before and after March 17. Shepherd’s pie has a firm hold on our menu that week. Add a wedge of Irish soda bread and a green salad… perhaps an apple cake on the side, and people tend to linger at the dinner table.
How to Cook Shepherd’s Pie
While the recipe is written to be cooked in a baking dish or pie plate, it is especially popular to portion the meat and potato topping into individual serving dishes.
Darina Allen, author of “Irish Traditional Cooking” says of shepherd’s pie, “I adore shepherd’s pie — so much so that I would almost cook a roast specifically to make it! Cooking raw minced beef simply doesn’t give the same flavor. Despite its name, in Ireland, shepherd’s pie is almost always made from beef, but you can, of course, use lamb.”
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- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1 lb minced meat (ground lamb or ground beef)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/2 cup beef broth
- 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- cracked black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, divided
Mashed Potato Topping
- 1 lb Yukon Gold Potatoes
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2/3 cup milk
- 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
- salt and freshly cracker pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- For Mashed Potatoes: Boil the potatoes in a large saucepan. While the potatoes are cooking begin with the filling.
- For Shepherd's Pie Filling: Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat and add onion and chopped carrots. Continue to cook until the onion becomes translucent and the carrots soften. Add garlic and cook another minute. Then add the frozen peas and corn, stirring to incorporate.
- To the vegetables add the ground lamb or beef and cook until no longer pink. Then add the tomato paste, broth, thyme, salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon fresh chopped Italian parsley. Bring the filling to a boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Add additional broth if necessary.
- Meanwhile, prepare the mashed potato topping. When the potatoes are fork-tender, about 20 minutes, drain. Add 3 tablespoons of butter to the potatoes. Using a potato masher, mash until smooth. Add milk, Parmesan cheese and salt, and freshly cracked pepper to taste. Stir and mash until smooth.
- When the meat filling has thickened, transfer to a lightly greased 3-quart baking dish or deep-dish pie plate. Spoon mashed potato topping evenly over the meat mixture, smoothing with the back of a spoon. To give the topping a pretty tough — score the mashed potato in a diamond pattern with the top of a fork.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the potatoes have begun to brown and the filling is bubbling. Let cool 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 453Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 93mgSodium: 608mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 5gSugar: 6gProtein: 28g