Why I love this traditional shepherd’s pie recipe
There are thousands of recipes for shepherd’s pie out there, and so many of them contain cheese, in some for or another, which is just crazy to me since it totally over powers the delicate flavor of the lamb.
While shepherd’s pie is traditionally made with lamb, I’ve used a combination of beef and lamb to make the recipe a little more budget friendly, but feel free to use only lamb if you want.
To make it dairy free, I made a batch of my favorite dairy free mashed potatoes, which I’ve been making in large batches in my pressure cooker lately.
Either way, this shepherd’s pie is insanely delicious. It’s such a great comfort food and would be great for a hearty, weeknight meal. You don’t even really need a side dish because the veggies are mixed right in.
Here’s what you’ll need to make it
How to make Irish shepherd’s pie
Make the mashed potatoes. I like to make a big batch of my dairy free mashed potatoes ahead of time, and if I know I want to make this recipe, I’ll purposely make extra for another meal so I have enough.
Let the potatoes cool slightly and the quickly beat in an egg with an electric mixer until the potatoes are nice and fluffy.
Sauté the onion and meat. Heat a large, cast iron skillet to medium-high. Add some olive oil and cook the onions until they’re translucent.
Then add the meat and cook until it’s no longer pink, breaking up the pieces as you go. Once the meat is cooked, drain any excess fat.
Make the sauce. Sprinkle the meat with flour and stir until it’s evenly coated. Add the remaining ingredients and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened.
Bake the shepherd’s pie. Top with mashed potatoes and transfer the pie to the oven for about 20 minutes to set the potatoes. If not using an ovenproof skillet, transfer mixture to a baking dish before baking.
FAQs about making shepherd’s pie recipe
A cottage pie is traditionally made with any kind of meat (usually ground beef) whereas a shepherds pie uses ground lamb.
Simply adding a nice gravy over the top could be great, but to change up the textures and flavors on your plate, consider a fresh garden salad.
Yes! Make it the night before, and cover it well in the same dish you’ll be baking it in. Then take it out, preheat the oven, uncover the dish and bake. You may want to add a few minutes to the cooking time though.
If you keep it well covered in the fridge it can last anywhere from 3 to 5 days, giving you plenty of time to enjoy those leftovers!
Ground lamb recipes you’ll enjoy
Other St. Patrick’s Day recipes to check out
- Irish champ
- Irish beef stew
- Irish sausage with onion gravy
- Guinness braised beef
- Irish potato candy
- Lucky Charms cookies
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 large onion, diced
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 pound ground lamb
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup beef broth
- 1 10-ounce bag frozen peas and carrots
- 3 – 4 cups mashed potatoes, cooled to room temperature
- 1 egg
- Preheat oven to 400˚F. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the egg into the mashed potatoes until light and fluffy.
- Heat a large ovenproof skillet to medium-high. Add olive oil and onion. Sauté, stirring occasionally until onions are translucent.
- Add ground beef and lamb, and continue cooking until meat has browned, breaking up the meat as it cooks. Drain excess fat.
- Stir flour into the pan with the meat until evenly coated.
- Add tomato paste, beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, salt and frozen vegetables. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce has thickened, about 10 minutes.
- Top the shepherd’s pie with potato mixture. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, or until the mashed potatoes have set and are starting to brown on the top.
- Category: Mains
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Irish
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 327
- Sugar: 2.5 g
- Sodium: 438.1 mg
- Fat: 17.5 g
- Saturated Fat: 7.1 g
- Carbohydrates: 16 g
- Fiber: 2.5 g
- Protein: 25.3 g
- Cholesterol: 98.6 mg
Keywords: dairy free, Irish, St. Patrick’s Day, lamb, beef, comfort food
Published: March 2, 2020. Updated: January 13, 2023.
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