shepherds pie | a winter warmer | comforting + delicious + can easily feed a crowd

If you’ve ever been to England, chances are, you’ve enjoyed a shepherd’s pie in a nice warm pub. Or if you’re like me – enjoyed one too many shepherd’s pies in too many pubs. Talk about the Heathrow injection. When I lived in England on my gap year, it was served at the school for both lunch and dinner all the time.

You can’t go past a dish like this to warm you up on a cold winter’s day and it can easily feed a crowd. I often make extra mashed potato (my girls love it) for dinner so that I can whip up a shepherds or cottage pie (using beef mince) the next night. It freezes well too and keeps in the fridge for a couple of days. Like lots of stews and curry dishes, I think it actually tastes better the next day.

Make this if you have friends or family in town. I can guarantee you it will go down well at some stage over the weekend. A Sunday lunch; makes for a good kids dinner if you have a tribe over; and talk about the best food to have in the fridge for when you get home late from the pub!

This is a simple shepherds pie recipe. I like to add fresh rosemary, but of course you could use dried instead and my secret ingredient is a spoonful of tomato relish for a touch of extra sweetness. Replace the lamb mince with leftover cooked roast lamb if you have it too. Delicious. I like to serve it with some mint jelly as well.

Comfort food at it’s best. Give it a try.

shepherds pie (serves 6 – 8)

1 x kilo of lamb mince
1 x brown onion, finely chopped
2 x garlic cloves, crushed
2 x sticks of celery, finely diced
2 x carrots, peeled and finely diced
1 x sprig of fresh rosemary, stems discarded
3 x tablespoons of plain flour
1 x generous tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
2 x bay leaves
100 grams of tomato paste
3 x cups of beef stock
1 x tablespoon of tomato relish
Olive oil, a dash, for frying the vegetables
Salt and pepper (preferably white pepper)
8 x potatoes, peeled and chopped in to chunks
A good knob of butter (I must admit, I’m a little heavy handed when making mashed potato)
A couple of tablespoons of milk
Mint jelly, for serving (optional)

  • Heat a dash of olive oil in a large fry pan and saute the onions, garlic, celery, carrots and rosemary leaves until softened.
  • Add the mince and season well with salt and pepper, stirring and continuing to cook until the mince has changed colour.
  • Add the flour and stir through.
  • Add the Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, tomato paste, stock and relish and simmer over a low heat for 40 minutes. (Add a splash of water if it needs it).
  • Discard the bay leaves and transfer mince to a large casserole dish.
  • While the mince is bubbling away, get on to making the mashed potato (see below).
  • Spoon the cooked mashed potato on top of the mince mixture and spread out so that it is nice and even.
  • Use a fork to fluff up the potatoes which will result in a nice crispy topping (see images below).
  • Bake in a moderate oven (180℃) for 30-40 minutes or until nicely golden on top.

mashed potato – Place the potatoes in a large saucepan of salted water and boil until really soft. Strain water and throw the spuds back in to the saucepan with a really good knob of butter, a splash of milk and a good amount of white pepper. Put it back on the heat until the butter has melted and then give it a really good mash with a potato masher.

Serve with steamed greens, mint jelly and some bread, for mopping up the plate of course.

Lo’s tips

  • You can also make this in to a cottage pie instead, which basically means that you use beef mince instead of lamb. If I’m making a cottage pie, I replace the fresh rosemary with some dried mixed herbs instead.













If you make this shepherds pie, please leave your comments below. xx


  1. Yumm!!! Made the Shepherd’s Pie tonight and it was delicious xx
    Growing up on a wheat/sheep property, Shepherd’s pie was part of our staple diet. Mum used to mince up the leftover lamb using her old mincer attached to the side of the bench. I always imagined that one day I’d do the same, but with five kids we never had enough leftover meat!! So thanks Lo for sending me to the butcher to buy lamb mince for the first time ever, can’t think why I never thought of this before.
    (The only change I made was I halved the tomato paste and I doubled the tomato relish – to satisfy my sweet tooth haha.)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Absolutely best pie ever Lo. Pie face will make millions off this when they see it. Rach made another one for me for work and the whole office smelt and saw and wanted some! Bloody delicious. Keep them coming…
    FYI it serves 1.

    Liked by 1 person

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