site stats

Traditional Irish Shepherd’s Pie


  • 1tablespoon olive oil
  • 1teaspoon black pepper
  • 1lb ground beef or 1 lb lamb
  • 1large onion, finely diced
  • 3 -4large carrots, finely diced
  • 1cup frozen peas
  • 3 -4sprigs fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 2tablespoons flour
  • 1tablespoon butter
  • 1glass red wine
  • 2tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1cup chicken stock
  • 1large quantity mashed potatoes (estimating 1L or 6 cups, fresh or leftover)
  • 1egg, beaten
  • grated parmesan cheese (optional)


  • Pre-heat oven to 200C/400°F.
  • Saute carrots in the olive oil until starting to get tender.
  • Add in the onions and saute for a minute or two then add the meat.
  • Season with black pepper and thyme.
  • Cook until browned then drain fat.
  • Add the butter and peas.
  • Sprinkle with flour and stir through.
  • Add tomato paste, wine and Worcestershire sauce.
  • Let this reduce slightly then add the chicken stock. Allow to reduce down until you have a thick meaty gravy. Season to your taste.
  • Remove from heat. Grease an oven proof dish** (9×13 works for me, as does an oval baker) with butter and add the sauce.
  • Spoon or pipe the mashed potatoes over top. Brush with egg and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if using.
  • Bake for about 20 minutes or until the potato is nice and browned on top.
  • Serve as is or with some crusty bread to mop up that yummy sauce!


  • msbabette

    I must say…this recipe is HIGHLY recommended to all. I am a very particular about recipes; but THIS ONE IS A KEEPER. I used all the ingredients mentioned in the recipe as well as followed all of the instructions. The only thing that I did different, not on purpose, was use White Zinfandel wine, instead of red wine (I didn’t have any red wine and didn’t feel like driving down the mountain to get it when I had everything else cooking–lol). Unless you like that kind of wine, don’t use it. When I buy more red wine, I will try it–so I could decided which one is best. Also, it really makes a difference when you season your potatoes and get them into a semi-creamy texture with butter and canned milk. Whip on HIGH with hand mixer. Just a thought, if you haven’t tried it that way. : )

  • Mosskoet

    Made this for an Irish party and it went over very well. People that had had Shepherd's Pie before thought this was the best ever!<br/>I doubled it and next time will do the same but use a smidge less Worcestershire sauce. I did use ketchup instead of paste and I think it gave it a little sweetness that was nice.

  • AngelaKL77

    Excellent comfort food for a cool fall evening! I substituted a can of french cut green beans for the peas, used dried thyme and put some shredded cheese on top of the potatoes. It turned out delicious!

  • CowboysChick

    Hubby has been asking for Shepherd’s Pie for a couple weeks. Rather than my usual throw together, I decided to consult my peeps. Am I ever glad I did. This was amazing!!! Followed the recipe almost exactly, with the exception of using dried thyme and Sherry. For those concerned about not having red or white on hand, I have found that using Sherry for either is a great alternative. You can pick up a big bottle in any liquor store for about $6. For those concerned about the prep time, try using instant potatoes. They have changed so much over the last few years and honestly you cannot tell the difference. Our favorite is Idahoan Four Cheese. Remember too that Shepherd’s Pie is one of those dishes that can be made earlier in the day and just tossed in the oven when you are ready. A chilled dish just takes a bit longer to heat.

  • broby7777

    Fantastic flavor! Excellent re-heated for lunch the next day. Like so many here, I am VERY particular about recipes. Made it exactly as the recipe states. LOVED it! Will make it again over and over. Highly Recommend!

  • mizzbrooks

    Made recipe as stated. This will become a regular dish in our home! I will preassemble the on the weekend and pop in the oven on a busy week night. Very satisfying and nutritious comfort food that stretches a pound of ground meat into several satisfying meals. My husband is delighted and so am I.

  • Nancy K.

    This recipe is great. It is a great starting point to a refrigerator cleaner. I used a parsnip I had in the fridge, some frozen green beans instead of peas and left over corn from a take out dinner. I used some veal stock I had in the freezer instead of chicken stock and used a wheat beer I made since I didn't have wine. I also had a piece of cheddar that was coming to expiration so I chopped it up and added it to the mashed potato. I used ground veal which was on managers special for $1.99 lb so I added some duck fat that was in the fridge to bring up the fat content. I used a trick from another recipe and used a fork to score the surface of the potato to encourage browning. Bottom line… use what you have and make a special meal from what is in the fridge and freezer and it will turn out great.

  • drmoore

    ? I just wanted to thank you for this marvelous recipe. I?ve had a taste for shepherd pie for weeks now and Google guided me to this one. My husband is a picky eater and wanted to know why I was going though all the fuss on a week night. Guess what, he loved it and didn?t leave a crumb.<br/>? Thanks again

  • bobbyfrass

    Wow! This was great. I fell in love with Shepherd’s Pie while living in Rhode Island for about 6 months. Between Providence and Boston I got to sample different varieties of this hearty and comforting food. This recipe is a keeper. Although I wouldn’t exactly classify this as a quick, after-work meal prep (unless you happen to have leftover mashed potatoes), it is easy to prepare. You could probably take some shortcuts with instant potatoes (yuck), but the recipe as written is just too good to pass up! Absolutely perfect for a winter-time dinner! Thank you for sharing…

  • ronstaiger

    I used this recipe as a guide adding 1/4 cup sour cream, 1/4 cup softened cream cheese, one beaten egg and 1/2 cup Irish white cheddar to the potatoes and 1 1/2 cups Chianti Ruffino, 1 cup low- sodium beef broth with 3 Tbs Masa flour to 2lbs of ground lamb- my wife tasted it and said it needed 1/2 cup beef broth and 1 cup additional frozen peas and she was right, of course. Freshly grated quality Parmesan chesse sprinkled on top was a nice touch. I was hoping to bring in some to work tomorrow but my family devoured it.