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Shepherds Pie recipe

Let’s be honest, not all recipes on the internet are winners.  Therefore I prefer to trust a recipe more if it is from someone’s grandma, mother, or mother-in-law.  That way you know it is a family favorite. Shepherd’s pie comes from the UK.  It is a favorite in many homes and there are a lot of different recipes on the internet out there.  But does it taste good?  Well, I know this recipe does.  This is a traditional recipe from grandma’s kitchen with the extra luxury of adding a few mushrooms if you like.

Time:  1 Hour

Difficulty:  Medium to Easy

Inspiration:  Grandma’s Love

Family Favorite Shepherd's Pie


  • 1kg ground lamb mince (minced meat)
  • 1 large onion, finely diced  (I love red onion)
  • 1 tsp dried thyme  (you can use origanum as well)
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 or 2 bay leaves
  • 1 punnet mushrooms, finely chopped (optional)
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 1 glass of Red Wine (The one you prefer to drink – Cabernet or Merlot works best)
  • 4 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 500ml Stock of your choice (I use lamb stock cubes)
  • 2 tbsp Maizina (mixed with a little bit of water or Gravy powder to thicken the sauce)
  • On the side make some mashed potato.  Just enough to cover the dish with a top layer of creamy potatoes.  (Chef’s tip:  Adding a bit of cream and nutmeg, makes it extra delicious.)

How to make the shepherd pie:

  • Fry the onions, carrots, and minced meat until it begins to slightly soften and brown. 
  • Add the herbs, spices, and wine and leave to simmer until soft.
  • Now add the stock, Worcestershire sauce, and tomato puree,  and leave to simmer over low heat for another 30 minutes.  Stir regularly.
  • Lastly, thicken the sauce with the Maizina or gravy powder.
  • Transfer to a baking dish.  Top with the mash and finish with a layer of grated cheddar cheese on top.
  • Bate at 180 C for 15 minutes in a preheated oven, until the cheese melts.
Easy Shepherd Pie
Chef at Home

Tips from the chef: 

  • If you have fruit chutney, add a little bit (about half a cup) – just for that extra taste.
  • You can also add frozen peas to stretch the recipe.
  • I mix the cheddar cheese with the mash before spooning it on top of the beef – It’s just the way I love it.  (No burned cheese on top.)

Did you know...

What is the difference between a "cottage pie" and a "shepherd's pie"?

The only difference is in the meat you use.  Traditionally a “shepherd’s pie” contains lamb, and a “cottage pie” is usually made with beef.

Can you freeze a shepherd's pie?

You can freeze the shepherd’s pie for up to 2 months.  Bake as directed, let it cool completely, and freeze.