Shepherds/Cottage Pie

recipes March 20, 2012 0 Comments

Shepherd’s pie is a type of savory pie popular in the United Kingdom and Ireland. It is a dish of minced meat with mashed potato on top.

The name “shepherd’s pie” was first used in the 1870’s; an older name is “cottage pie”. People in the UK today usually call the dish “shepherd’s pie” if it is made with lamb (because a shepherd looks after sheep). The name “cottage pie” is used if the dish is made with minced beef.

In the interest of full disclosure, this recipe is derived from Gordon Ramsay’s recipe portrayed on Channel4 in 2008. I’ve since made my own adjustments based on personal taste.


For the meat mixture:

  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 5 garlic cloves, grated
  • 2 carrots, peeled and grated
  • 1.5 lbs minced lamb or beef
  • 3oz mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree/paste
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup red wine
  • Large dash Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp thyme, chopped
  • 1 sprig of rosemary, leaves stripped and finely chopped

For the mashed potato topping:

  • 2 lbs golden potatoes, peeled
  • 10 tbsp butter
  • 3 egg yolks
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


How to make shepherd’s pie:

  1. Pre- heat the oven to 400ºF.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and fry the onions, garlic and carrots until golden. Season then add the rosemary, type and mushrooms and cook for approx 5 minutes on medium heat. In a separate pan cook the minced meat until browned, stirring constantly to break up the meat and ensure it cooks evenly. Drain liquid from meet as needed because it is just fat.
  3. Add the tomato puree/paste and the cooked mince to the carrots and onions pour over the red wine and reduce by approx half. Season with a little salt and pepper then add the stock and a good dash of Worcestershire sauce. Gently simmer for 20 minutes or so, until the meat is cooked and the mixture has thickened. Spoon the mixture into an ovenproof serving dish.
  4. Boil the potatoes and cook for about 20 minutes until softened. Drain and cover with a lid to steam ‘dry’ and reduce any excess moisture. Mash with potato ricer. Then add butter and egg yolks, grate half the parmesan into the potato and mix well. Don’t allow the potato to become too wet or they won’t crisp up nicely in the oven.
  5. Spoon the potato mixture over the meat, sprinkle with the remaining parmesan and finish with a drizzle of olive oil. Fork the top for proper venting.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes or until the top is golden. Let stand for a few minutes.

Serves: 6