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Shepherd’s pie recipe

Recipe by 8 September 2009 2 Comments
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261: Pie by Adrian Purser on flickr

Rich ground beef and gravy topped with mashed potato. A favorite comfort food for many, this dish is simple to prepare and freezes well so make up a batch and split into portions to be defrosted on those evenings when you just don’t have time to cook! Traditionally Shepherd’s Pie is made with lamb rather than beef, which can be substituted in this recipe.

Serves: 4

Prep time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 1 hour


For the meat:
minced (ground) beef
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3-4 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
Mixed herbs

For the potato:
6 medium potatoes
splash of milk
knob of butter


Slowly fry the onion until it becomes translucent and add the garlic. Cook for a couple more minutes and then add the beef.

Cook over a medium to high heat until the beef is no longer pink, then reduce the heat to very low. Add some water to keep it moist, I use around a cup (8 fl oz or 250ml) and sprinkle in half a beef stock cube. At this point I like to use a sprinkle of some herbs/seasonings, feel free to experiment here. I usually use 1/2 to 1 tsp of any of rosemary, thyme, paprika, curry powder, chili powder. I usually pick two or three of those.

Put a lid on the pot and leave it on a very low heat for around half an hour, until the meat is no longer chewy.

While the meat is cooking peel the potatoes, chop into 1-2 inch cubes and cook for 12 minutes. Pour away the water and put back on the heat for around 30 seconds to dry the potatoes up, this makes mashing them easier. Add a splash of milk and a knob of butter and mash.

Once the meat is done, add salt and pepper to taste.

Spread the meat in a 9 inch baking dish Shepherds pie recipe and top with the mash. Try to spread the potato reasonably evenly but it doesn’t need to be perfect, an unsmooth topping gives a more rustic feel. If the potato is too flat you can use a fork to run grooves along it, the ridges will then be able to brown in the oven.

Place in the oven at 400F or if possible under a grill, until the potato starts to brown. Serve with a side of fresh vegetables or baked beans.

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  • orbitgal

    this sounds delish neil! i will have to try it! my grandma used to make this for us all the time. one of my faves for sure!

  • orbitgal

    this sounds delish neil! i will have to try it! my grandma used to make this for us all the time. one of my faves for sure!

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