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    Classic Homemade Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

    Published March 12, 2021. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

    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 in a white casserole dish with parsley

    Shepherd’s Pie

    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:

    • Lamb
    • Mirepoix
    • Tomato
    • Herbs
    • 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.

    cooking mirepoix in a pan with oil

    Add in the lamb and cook until lightly browned and cooked throughout.

    cooking ground lamb with mirepoix in a pan

    Mix in tomato paste and then flour to create a roux.

    mixing tomato paste with cooked ground lamb and mirepoix

    Pour in some beef stock and then finish the lamb filling with herbs, salt, and pepper, and set aside.

    making shepherd's pie stuffing in a pan with herbs

    Boil some potatoes in a large pot of boiling water until cooked.

    cooking potatoes in a pot of boiling water

    Mash the potatoes with different fats and cheese and set them aside.

    making mashed potatoes in a pot

    Assemble by placing the lamb filling to a bottom of a pie dish or 13×9 casserole dish.

    adding shepherd's pie stuffing to a pie casserole dish

    Top off with mashed potatoes and bake until browned.

    adding mashed potatoes to the top of shepherd's pie stuffing

    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.

    scooping shepherd's pie out of a dish

    More Comfort Food Recipes

    Be sure to follow me on FacebookYoutube, Instagram, and Pinterest, and if you’ve had a chance to make this then definitely drop me a comment and a rating below!

    Let's Cook - Chef Billy Parisi

    Video

    Classic Homemade Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

    5 from 3 votes
    You will absolutely love this classic shepherd’s pie with the most amazing mashed potatoes and lamb filling of all time.
    Servings: 10
    Prep Time: 16 minutes
    Cook Time: 1 hour

    Ingredients 

    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

    Instructions

    • 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.

    Notes

    Chef Notes:
    • 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

    Nutrition

    Calories: 383kcalCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 17gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 97mgSodium: 164mgPotassium: 763mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 1270IUVitamin C: 10mgCalcium: 86mgIron: 3mg
    Course: Main
    Cuisine: english, irish, scottish