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Shepherd's Pie

HT  MC  English   60mins

There seems to be a continual debate as to what ingredients should be used in a traditional Shepherd's pie. As with many age old recipes, it is often difficult to give a definitive answer. However, there are two ingredients without which it would not be a shepherd's pie. First lamb - be it fresh lamb, cooked lamb,  minced lamb, chopped lamb  or leftover lamb from a Sunday roast - the meat used must be lamb. The clue is in the name - Shepherd i.e. sheep. The second ingredient is mashed potato for the topping. Got to be mashed for a traditional Shepherds Pie - not sliced potato or cubed potato - mashed potato. Traditionally, not many vegetables were added to the mix other than onions although it has become customary to add carrots.  Below is our version of a traditional shepherd's pie.

Serves     Hot   Lamb  Main Course  Dairy Free  Eggless England  British    Europe   




450g/1lb Lean Minced Lamb

(Minced beef can be substituted if preferred)

1 Large Onion, chopped

3 Tomatoes, chopped

1 Heaped teasp Dried Mixed Herbs

3 teasp Worcestershire Sauce

150 - 300ml/5 - 10 fl.oz. Stock (depending on taste)

450g/1lb Potatoes

25g/1oz Butter (optional)

2 tbsp Oil

50g/2oz Mature Cheddar, grated (optional)




1. Peel the potatoes and cut into chunks. Place in a Large pan of salted water, bring to the boil and cook for 20 minutes or until soft. Preheat the oven to 200C, 400F, Gas mark 6.


2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry the onions until soft and golden. Add the mince and brown then add the chopped tomatoes, mixed herbs, Worcestershire sauce, stock, salt and pepper. Stir well, partly cover and cook for at least 15 minutes. The longer you cook the mince, the more developed the flavour will be.


3. Drain the potatoes and mash well, adding the Butter if using.


4. Place the mince in an ovenproof dish and top with the mashed potato. You will find it easier to place small spoonfuls of potato around the outside first, gradually smoothing these together, then placing more spoonfuls in the centre, again gradually smoothing together.


5. Dot with butter or top with the grated cheese, if using and bake in the centre of the oven for 30 - 40 minutes until golden brown.



More Lamb  Recipes  |  General Lamb Preparation & Cooking Times   |  Lamb Cuts  |  More English Recipes


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Key techniques required to make this recipe

Chop to To cut into pieces of approximately the same size.
Slice to -  To cut food, such as bread, meat, fish or vegetables, into flat pieces of varying thickness.


Freezing/Make ahead


Tips, Options and Substitutions




Main equipment required to make this Recipe


Chopping Knife


Wooden or Plastic Spoon


Related Recipes and Information

More Lamb  Recipes 

General Lamb Prep & Cooking Times

Lamb Cuts 

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