You will absolutely love this classic shepherd’s pie with the most amazing mashed potatoes and lamb filling of all time.
I’ve always said that I am a comfort food cooker. I want to make food that is delicious and brings people to the table with smiles. If you’re the same way then you have to try my Corned Beef and Cabbage or Chicken Fricassee.
Shepherd’s pie consists of a meat-based filling with vegetables that is topped off with mashed potatoes and then baked in a pie casserole dish. This classic dish believe it or not has deep roots in England and Scotland before it made its way to Ireland.
The unique concept of Shepherd’s pie is that when it was created, the ingredients, outside of lamb and potatoes, were based on what was available. If you go to 10 different Irish pubs, you’re going to get 10 different versions of Shepherd’s Pie. I tell you this because while this recipe is absolutely delicious, you can tailor it to make it your own.
Here are some basic ingredients in a shepherd’s pie:
- Mashed Potatoes
What’s the Difference Between Cottage Pie and Shepherd’s Pie?
The difference between both of these pies is the protein. While most American’s think they are eating Shepherd’s pie, they are actually eating Cottage pie. Here are the proteins:
- Cottage Pie – Beef with sliced potatoes on top, similar to scalloped potatoes.
- Shepherd’s Pie – Lamb with mashed potatoes.
How to Make Shepherd’s Pie from Scratch
Follow these simple instructions for making this amazing shepherd’s pie recipe:
In a large pan over medium heat with oil sauté the vegetables until cooked and lightly browned.
Add in the lamb and cook until lightly browned and cooked throughout.
Mix in tomato paste and then flour to create a roux.
Pour in some beef stock and then finish the lamb filling with herbs, salt, and pepper, and set aside.
Boil some potatoes in a large pot of boiling water until cooked.
Mash the potatoes with different fats and cheese and set them aside.
Assemble by placing the lamb filling to a bottom of a pie dish or 13×9 casserole dish.
Top off with mashed potatoes and bake until browned.
Recipe Chef Notes + Tips
Make-Ahead: This recipe is meant to be eaten immediately; however, you can keep it warm in the oven at low temperatures for up to 1 hour before serving.
How to Reheat: If you are reheating the entire pie, place it in the oven at 350° for 10-15 minutes or until warmed. When you are heating up a single portion, I recommend warming in the microwave.
How to Store: Cover and place in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. This will freeze covered for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator for 1 day before reheating.
If you do not have a deep 10” pie dish, please feel free to use a 13×9 casserole dish.
When using a regular 9” pie tin, reduce the recipe by one-half.
Other ingredients you could add to the filling include peas, corn, and root vegetables
If you can’t find Dubliner cheese then you can substitute for gruyere or your favorite white cheddar cheese.
More Comfort Food Recipes
Classic Homemade Shepherd’s Pie Recipe
For the Filling:
- 3 tablespoons oil or fat
- 1 peeled and finely minced yellow onion
- 1 finely minced celery stalk
- 1 peeled and finely minced carrot
- 3 finely minced cloves of garlic
- 1 ½ pounds ground lamb
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup beef stock
- 2 tablespoons finely minced fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
- sea salt and pepper to taste
For the Potatoes:
- 2 ½ pounds peeled and roughly chopped russet potatoes
- 1 stick unsalted melted butter
- 2 egg yolks
- 3 tablespoons sour cream
- ½ cup shredded Dubliner cheese
- sea salt and ground white pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375°.
- Filling: Add the oil to a large frying pan over medium heat and sauté the onions, celery, carrots, and garlic for about 6-8 minutes or until lightly browned and cooked.
- Add in the lamb and cook until lightly browned and cooked throughout, which takes about 5-7 minutes.
- Mix in the tomato paste completely, and then mix in the flour until combined.
- Pour in the beef stock and then finish by mixing in the parsley, rosemary, salt, and pepper until combined. Set aside.
- Potatoes: Add the potatoes to a large pot of boiling water and cook for 10-12 minutes or until tender.
- Strain the potatoes and mash using a food mill, hand masher, stand mixer, or hand beaters until very smooth.
- Mix in ¾ stick of melted butter, egg yolks, sour cream, cheese, salt, and pepper until completely combined.
- To Assemble: Transfer the lamb filling to a deep 10” pie pan and spread evenly. Add the potatoes on top using a spoon or a piping bag. See video.
- Drizzle on the remaining ¼ stick of melted butter to help brown the potatoes.
- Bake in the oven at 375° for 20-25 minutes or until the potatoes are browned.
- Serve with optional chopped fresh parsley or rosemary.
- Make-Ahead: This recipe is meant to be eaten immediately; however, you can keep it warm in the oven at low temperatures for up to 1 hour before serving.
- How to Reheat: If you are reheating the entire pie, place it in the oven at 350° for 10-15 minutes or until warmed. When you are heating up a single portion, I recommend warming in the microwave.
- How to Store: Cover and place in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. This will freeze covered for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator for 1 day before reheating.
- If you do not have a deep 10” pie dish, please feel free to use a 13x9 casserole dish.
- When using a regular 9” pie tin, reduce the recipe by one-half.
- Other ingredients you could add to the filling include peas, corn, and root vegetables
- If you can’t find Dubliner cheese then you can substitute for gruyere or your favorite white