Shepherd’s Pie

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Bust out the green beer and the shamrock bead necklaces, if you’re into that kind of thing.

Me? I’ll be sitting at home, wearing my customary green outfit and eating leftover Shepherd’s pie. Sounds like my kind of party!

Don’t forget to wear green, you don’t want to get pinched!

Anyways, back to the food. Mmmm food… I grew up eating shepherd’s pie with my mom, although her version was a bit different than this.

Shepherd’s pie has always been a favorite meal for me. What’s not to love? Flavorful meat and veggie filling all topped with glorious mashed potatoes.

Shepherd's Pie

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Print


  • Potatoes-
    • 2 1/2 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
    • 1/2 cup milk
    • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
    • 1/2-1 teaspoon salt, to taste
    • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, to taste
    • 1 cup plus 1/2 cup for topping shredded cheese (Irish sharp cheddar, mild cheddar, swiss, etc.)
  • Meat and Vegetable Filling
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 medium onion, diced
    • 3 large carrots, diced
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 2 lbs ground beef or ground lamb
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, to taste
    • 1/2-1 teaspoon black pepper, to taste
    • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    • 3 ounces tomato paste
    • 2 cups chicken or beef broth
    • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
    • 1 1/2 cup frozen peas or other mixed frozen vegetables

Directions: Peel and chop the potatoes, place them in a large pot and cover with water. Bring the pot to a boil and cook until the potatoes are tender, 15-20 minutes. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot with the heat-off. Add the milk, butter, salt and pepper to the potatoes and mash with a potato masher until smooth. Stir in 1 cup of cheese until fully incorporated and melted.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. While the potatoes are cooking make the meat filling: In a large skillet add the olive oil and warm over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the diced onion and carrot, cook about 5 minutes or until the vegetable are beginning to soften. Season with salt and pepper. Add the ground meat and garlic, continue cooking until the meat is browned and cooked through. If the meat mixture is swimming in fat drain off the excess fat, leaving a few tablespoons for flavor. Sprinkle the meat mixture with flour and stir to combine. Add the tomato paste, broth, worcestershire sauce, rosemary and parsley. Stir well to combine. Cook until the sauce has thickened. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

Pour the meat mixture into a 9×13 baking dish. Top the meat mixture with the mashed potatoes. Bake for 20-25 minutes until hot, bubbly, and the potatoes are becoming golden in some spots. Let rest 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Step-by-Step Photos


Here’s all you need for this amazingly delicious and comforting meal. Except for the meat of course because raw meat is ugly and it was banished to the refrigerator.

This was a special occasion (because I said so) so I thought it was appropriate to grab some delightfully tangy Irish cheddar cheese. My grocery store had it on sale and I just couldn’t resist!

Do you have trouble with self-control when it comes to cheese? I do, thank you for listening.


Pretty simple to start, peel and chop chop some taters and toss them in a pot. Nothing to crazy here.

Get those taters bawlin’ until they are nice and tender.


Get the cheese all shredded while you’re at it.


While the potatoes cook let’s get started on the meat and vegetable mixture. Start by dicing some onion, carrots, and garlic. Beautiful!


Heat some olive oil in a nice big skillet over medium-high heat.


Add those beautiful diced carrots and onions…


Season with salt and pepper…


And cook for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables are beginning to soften.


Add the ground beef (or ground lamb if your budget allows) along with the minced garlic. Didn’t I say raw meat is ugly? Ew…


By now my potatoes were nice and tender.


Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot with the heat turned off. Add the butter, salt, and pepper…


And milk…


And mash away! This is a fantastic way to get out any aggression you’re holding onto.


Add a nice big handful of shredded cheese, about 1 cup.


Stir until everything is incorporated and do your best to resist eating a few spoonfuls right now. It’s alright if you don’t manage to resist, I didn’t!


At this point the meat was fully browned and smelled so good! I drained off a good amount of fat from this pot, but make sure to leave a few tablespoons for good measure.


Add the flour and stir it in. This is what will thicken your sauce, trust me!


Tomato paste…


And broth, this is so good you guys…


Worcestershire sauce, dried rosemary, and dried parsley go in next.

Stir everything together to combine and allow it to continue cooking until the sauce has thickened nicely.

It should only take a couple of minutes, tops.

Give the meat mixture a taste and add more salt and pepper if you need it.


Last, but not least, add your frozen peas to the pot and stir.

If you don’t want to use peas you can use frozen corn, or lima beans, or green beans, or a combination of whatever you heart desires.

I’ll love you no matter what you choose.


Throw the meat and veggies into your baking dish and say a thank you prayer for casseroles.


Plop the potatoes on top.

I believe this is an appropriate place to use the word plop… Plop!

Sorry for using the word plop too many times.


Spread the potatoes evenly over the top, try to get it all the way to the edges.


For good measure, let’s add another 1/2 cup of cheese to the top. Just for grins and giggles.


Bake it in a 400 degree oven until the potatoes are beginning to brown and the meat mixture is bubbling. Ah yes please…


I served this up with some roasted green beans that needed to find their way out of my vegetable drawer. Delicious.


So… I’ll admit that I’m not 100% confident about the origin of shepherd’s pie. A quick google search claimed it was from the UK and Ireland so I will act like I know what I’m doing and serve it for St. Patrick’s day.

Do you know the true origin? If so, let me know!


Gosh darn it, this is so tasty!

I’m so glad I have leftovers waiting for me!



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