Shepherd’s pie is a classic and comforting dish that originated in the United Kingdom. Traditionally, it is made with minced or ground meat, usually, lamb or mutton, mixed with vegetables and topped with a layer of creamy mashed potatoes before being baked to perfection. The dish is named “shepherd’s pie” when made with lamb or mutton and “cottage pie” when made with beef. Below is a delicious and easy-to-follow recipe for traditional shepherd’s pie:
- Preparation time: Approximately 30 minutes
- Cooking time: Approximately 45 minutes (including simmering time for the filling and baking time in the oven)
For the meat filling:
- 1 pound (450g) ground lamb or mutton (you can also use beef if preferred)
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cup beef or vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
For the Mashed Potatoes:
- 2 pounds (900g) potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
Start by making the meat filling. Heat the cooking oil in a large skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat.
Add the chopped onions and cook until they become translucent. Then, add the minced garlic and cook for another minute until fragrant.
Add the ground lamb or mutton (or beef) to the pan. Cook and stir until the meat is browned and cooked through. Break up any large chunks of meat with a spoon as it cooks.
Stir in the diced carrots, frozen peas, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, dried thyme, salt, and pepper. Mix everything together until well combined.
Pour in the beef or vegetable broth and let the mixture simmer for about 10 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld and the sauce to thicken slightly. Adjust the seasoning to taste.
While the meat filling simmers, you can prepare the mashed potatoes. Place the peeled and chopped potatoes in a large pot of cold, salted water. Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are tender, which usually takes around 15-20 minutes.
Drain the cooked potatoes and return them to the pot. Add the milk, butter, salt, and pepper. Mash the potatoes until smooth and creamy. You can use a hand masher or a hand mixer for this step.
Now it’s time to assemble the shepherd’s pie. Transfer the meat filling to a large oven-proof baking dish, spreading it out evenly.
Spoon the mashed potatoes over the top of the meat filling. Use a fork to create some texture on the surface of the potatoes; this will help them get nicely browned and crispy in the oven.
Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the mashed potatoes are golden brown on top and the filling is bubbling around the edges.
Once cooked, remove the shepherd’s pie from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.
This recipe should yield 4-6 servings, depending on portion sizes. Serve the Shepherd’s Pie with a side of green vegetables, such as steamed broccoli or a fresh garden salad, for a complete and satisfying meal. Enjoy!