Keef Cooks logo
British food-lover Keef shows you how to cook amazing food with easy to follow recipes and videos. So stop wasting your time and money on takeaways or supermarket ready meals, and Get Cooking!

Shepherd's Pie

Introduction & method

This tasty British classic isn't really a pie (in my book, that involves pastry), but the savoury minced lamb base topped with creamy mashed potato and cheese is certainly delicious. If you want to use beef instead of lamb, that's called Cottage Pie, and I'd suggest using parsley instead of rosemary, and beef stock instead of chicken stock.

Shepherd's Pie Recipe

For the meat sauce

Chop the onion and fry in a little vegetable oil until soft, then add the lamb. Break up the lamb and stir frequently around until it is brown all over. Chop the carrots into small dice (about 1cm / .5 inch), and the celery quite a bit smaller. Add to the pan and stir to get them all coated in the liquid that will have been released by the lamb. Add the stock, pepper and rosemary and bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. and cook for aabout 25 minutes. You should end up with a dry-ish sauce, not too much liquid. Place the meat sauce in a single layer in a casserole dish, and then put it in the fridge for half an hour. This allows the sauce to set a little so that it can support the weight of the potato topping. 

For the potato topping

Peel the potatoes and cut into chunks. Boil in salted water until tender - about 20 minutes. Drain the potatoes and mash in the butter, milk, salt, pepper and chives. Grate the cheese.

Assemble and Bake

Heat your oven to 180°C (356°F) for a fan/convection oven, 200°C (392°F) conventional, gas 6. Carefully spread the potato in a single layer on top of the sauce - I find a wide spatula is good for doing this. Smooth the top, making sure the potato is in contact with the dish all around the edge. Make any kind of pattern you like on the surface of the potato - the idea is to form ridges of potato which will catch the heat and brown slightly. Sprinkle the grated cheese all over in a single layer.

Put the pie in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

The video above is from the Keef Cooks YouTube channel. Click here to see the video recipe of Shepherd's Pie on YouTube.


Ingredients & Info

 500 grams minced lamb
 500 ml chicken stock
 1 medium onion, finely chopped
 2 carrots
 1 stick celery
 2 tbsp frozen peas
 .5 tsp ground black pepper
  a splash of Worcester sauce
 500 grams potato
 50 grams unsalted butter
 .5 tsp salt
 .5 tsp white pepper
 2 tbsp milk
 1 tsp chives
 50 grams Cheddar cheese


A little oil for sauteeing

US Customary/Imperial

Serves 4 
Prep time: 15 minutes.
Sauce setting time: 30 minutes.
Cooking time: 1 hour.
Total time: 1 hour 45 minutes.