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Shepherds Pie

4 servings: 2 for now, 2 for later
Prep info
60 min prep + 20 min cook + 35 min simmer + overnight cool + 10 min prep + 20 min cook + 10 min prep + 30 min bake
Prep time
1 hour, 20 minutes
Cook time
1 hour, 45 minutes
Time required
3 hours, 5 minutes
Oven preheat
Mains - Beef


  • Filling:
  • 2 t canola oil
  • 2 c finely chopped onions (130g)
  • 2 t minced garlic
  • 160 g diced carrot
  • 450 g ground meat (beef/turkey/pork/lamb)
  • Together:
  • 2 T finely chopped parsley (fresh)
  • 1/2 t dried thyme
  • 1/2 t ground cinnamon
  • 2 t Worcestershire sauce
  • 3/4 c stock (low sodium)
  • 1 T tomato paste (tomato puree)
  • 1/4 t ground rosemary
  • 1/2 t salt (to taste)
  • 1/2 t ground black pepper (to taste)
  • Lastly:
  • 1 t flour - whole wheat
  • 1 T Bisto
  • Mashed potato topping:
  • 450 g potatoes (King Edwards, Maris Piper, or Ambo; use 900g if making 4 servings at once)
  • 50 g butter (salted)
  • salt (to taste)
  • pepper (to taste)
  • grated cheese (as desired, a kind that melts well)
  • seasonings (as desired)


1a. Pour the oil into the pan on a medium heat and add the chopped onions and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes turning the onions frequently until the onions start to brown.

1b. Add the carrot and cook for a further 5 minutes turning the mix frequently. Remove them from the pan and keep them on a plate for use later.

2. Add the meat to the pan (you may need to do this in two batches) and keep stirring and turning the meat until it is browned. Break up any pieces which are stuck together.

3a. When all the meat is browned, add the vegetables, parsley, thyme, cinnamon, Worcestershire Sauce, stock, tomato paste, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle on the flour and Bisto and mix well.

3b. Turn the heat down to low, put a lid on the pan and let the mix simmer about 35 minutes. Stir it every 10 minutes and add a couple of tablespoons of water if the mix is starting to stick to the pan.

4. Put meat mixture aside to cool, then let cool overnight in the fridge.


5. The next night, pre heat the oven to 200C / 400F / Gas Mark 6.

6a . Peel the potatoes, cut into quarters, and put them in a pan of salted water. Boil the potatoes for about 20 minutes until they are cooked.

6b. Drain all the water from the potatoes and then leave them to stand for 5 minutes with no lid (or just a tea towel) on the pan. Add the butter and mash the potatoes to a puree.

6c. Once mashed, add salt, pepper, cheese, and any other seasonings desired to taste; thoroughly incorporate.

7a. Pour half the meat mixture into the base of the oven proof dish, just over half deep is ideal; freeze the other half for another meal.

7b. Spoon the mashed potato gently over the meat and even it out gently. Don't use too much pressure or the mash will disappear into the meat rather than staying on top of it. A small amount of mash at a time works best.

8a. Put the dish in the pre-heated oven and cook for 30 minutes. Turn it once, after 15 minutes.

8b. The Shepherds Pie is ready when the mashed potato on top is a golden brown.


SJ Note: The original recipe calls for 80g carrots and 80g swede; we don't use swede for anything else, so I've just written this using all carrot.

SJ Note 29 Aug 2010: This is excellent!  A truly flavorful shepherd's pie.  I've tweaked it some, and adapted the directions to suit us: the meat mixture will freeze well, but potato usually goes grainy.  So we'll make meat mixture for 4, but mashed potatoes for 2, and serve half at a time.  Definitely a keeper!


  • This version (Sat, 28 Dec 2019 22:26)
  • Shepherds Pie (Wed, 06 Dec 2017 12:02)