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Classic Shepherd's Pie

Slofoodgroup Team October 28, 2020

Traditional Shepherds's Pie with Minced Lamb

Shepherd's pie, a close cousin to the  British favorite, cottage pie, is a rich and comforting Irish dish consisting of lamb cooked in gravy, topped with mashed potatoes and baked.

Although traditionally cooked with onions only, some other veggies can be also added to deepen the flavors of this dish. We added carrots, but celery stalks, peas, or even corn can be added. Though lamb is traditional in the Irish variety, it can be made with any type of minced meat or vegan/vegetarian using lentils (just be carefully what you call it around those traditionalists). If you forgo the lamb, the correct term to refer to it is cottage pie. We love to spice the lamb meat to complement its flavor. Our favorite combo is nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon. Just a touch of each of these fragrant spices makes this dish even more wholesome.

How To Make Classic Shepherd's Pie with Minced Lamb and Potato Topping

Serves: 2

Prep Time: 20‘

Cooking Time: 2 h

Additional Time: 15’ 



For the sauce:

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1 medium sized onion, finely diced
  • 1 small carrot, finely diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • ½ cup red cooking wine
  • ½ cup beef stock 
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh oregano, finely cut
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary, finely cut
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the mashed potatoes:

  • 2 large potatoes
  • Knob of butter
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup cheddar, shredded
  1. To a pot over medium low heat, add the ground lamb and cook until browned; add the onions and carrot and cook until softened; add the garlic and cook for a minute more.
  2. Deglaze the pot with the red wine and cook for 3-5 minutes or until the alcohol has evaporated; bring the rest of the ingredients in, stir well and bring to a simmer; cover and cook on low for 1h 30; remove lid and cook on medium high for another 15-30 minutes or until the sauce has reduced by half.
  3. Meanwhile, boil the potatoes; once cooked through, mash with the butter and sour cream; season to taste and set aside.
  4. Preheat oven to 220C/428 F, fan on.
  5. Once the sauce is ready, transfer to 2 oven safe serving dishes, filling only ¾ of the way; add one layer of mashed potatoes on top and distribute evenly; sprinkle the shredded cheddar on top and bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden crispy.