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cottage pie in a cast iron casserole pot, topped with fresh thyme sprigs, and some mashed potatoes removed to show the minced beef beneath.

The Best Shepherd's Pie

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: British
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Baking time;: 10 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 479kcal
The best Shepherd’s pie recipe! This traditional British dish is family comfort food at its best, and super easy to make at home.
Print Recipe


  • 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 carrot finely cubed
  • 1 celery stalk finely cubed
  • 1 golden onion finely cubed
  • 500 g lamb mince
  • 60 ml white or red wine
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 450 ml vegetable or beef stock
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste

For the mashed potatoes:

  • 800 g Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 60 g softened butter
  • 60 ml fresh whole milk
  • sea salt and black pepper


  • Heat a medium (26 cm/10-inch large) oven-friendly skillet with 2 tablespoons of olive oil over low heat. Add in the carrot, celery and onion and cook, stirring often for about 5 minutes, until the veggies have softened. Then tranfer the vegetables into a bowl until needed.
  • Return the pot to medium heat, add in the lamb mince and cook, stirring often, until it's browned, pour in the wine and let it evaporate. Then scoop out with a spoon any excess fat.
  • Add back in the veggies, then add the Worcestershire sauce, followed by the tomato paste, thyme and rosemary sprigs, and cook, stirring all the ingredients together, for a further 2 minutes.
  • Pour the stock into the pot, bring to a gentle boil and simmer, covering the pot with a lid, for 20 minutes. Remove the lid and continue to cook for a further 10 minutes. Discard the thyme sprigs and season with sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper to taste.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180 C/ fan 160 C/ gas 4.
  • Remove the skillet from the heat, and top the meat with prepared mashed potatoes (see method below), then raffle the top with a fork. Alternatively, transfer the mashed potatoes into a piping bag and pipe on top of the meat.
  • Transfer the skillet into the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, then place under the grill for a further 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow the Shepherd's Pie to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

For the mashed potatoes:

  • Place the potatoes in a large pot, cover with cold water and add 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil, uncover and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and cooked through.
  • Once the potatoes are ready, drain in a colander and peel whilst still hot. In the meantime, warm up your milk.
  • Place the potatoes in a large bowl, add in softened butter and mash with the help of a potato masher.
  • Slowly pour the warmed milk in, and continue to mash the potatoes until reaching the desired texture. Season with salt and pepper to taste and a pinch of nutmeg if you like.



Store leftovers in an airtight container, and keep them in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Then transfer into an oven-friendly dish, cover with foil and reheat in a warm oven to 150 C/300 F, until warmed through.
Alternatively, leave it in the skillet and simply cover the dish with foil and store it in the fridge until needed- this makes reheating the dish so much easier.
Keep the pie covered with foil and warm it up in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until it’s heated all the way through.
Absolutely yes!
Transfer your leftovers in an airtight container and keep them in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Let it thaw in the fridge the night before, then transfer in an oven-friendly dish, warm it in a preheated oven to 150C/300F until warmed through.
You can also freeze uncooked Shepherd's pie.
I make the pie in Pyrex containers (glass ovenware, that allows you to move from freezer to oven and oven to freezer safely.
Make sure the pie is completely cold, then cover it well with cling film or with an airtight lid and freeze. Freeze the pie on the day that you make it.
Defrost in the fridge overnight, then cook as per the recipe. Alternatively, you can cook it from frozen. Heat the oven to 180C/360F cover the pie with foil, and cook for 1½ hrs.


Calories: 479kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 83mg | Sodium: 489mg | Potassium: 867mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 2172IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 56mg | Iron: 3mg