Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

This hearty pie has a base of minced meat, diced carrot and peas in a tomato-based sauce. The meat layer is topped with creamy mashed potato and golden melted cheese.

We have used 1kg of fresh beef mince in the filling but you could use about 800g of chopped roast beef or lamb. The filling could also be varied to include other vegetables (e.g., mushrooms or corn kernels) and herbs such as rosemary or oregano.

The pie can be assembled a day ahead and refrigerated until required. If you are baking the pie straight from the refrigerator, increase the cooking time and reduce the oven temperature by about 20 degrees so that the topping doesn't overbrown before the centre is hot.

Serves 4-6.

We use a 20ml tablespoon and 250ml measuring cup for all of our recipes.

Meat Layer
20ml (1 tablespoon) oil
1 large (200g) onion, peeled and diced
1 large (200g) carrot, peeled and diced
1 large garlic clove, peeled and crushed
1kg raw minced lamb or beef (or 800g chopped cooked meat)
60ml (3 tablespoons) tomato paste
12g (1 tablespoon) plain flour
250ml (1 cup) chicken stock
40ml (2 tablespoons) Worcestershire sauce
400g canned crushed tomatoes
Salt and pepper
128g (1 cup) fresh or frozen peas
2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Heat oil in a large heavy-based pan or saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, carrot and garlic to pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, or until vegetables have softened.

If you are using raw meat, increase heat to high and add mince to the vegetables. Cook, stirring and mashing mince, until the mince has changed colour and most of the liquid has evaporated. If you are using meat that is already cooked, add the chopped meat to the vegetables and continue to the next step. © exclusivelyfood.com.au

Over medium heat, add tomato paste and flour to meat mixture and cook, stirring constantly, for one minute.

Add stock, Worcestershire sauce, crushed tomatoes, salt and pepper.

Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until liquid has reduced (about 15 to 20 minutes).

Cook potatoes (see directions below) while the meat mixture is cooking.

Preheat oven to 210 degrees Celsius (190 degrees Celsius fan-forced).

Stir peas and parsley into meat mixture and pour into a 2.5 litre capacity ovenproof dish.

Top filling with mashed potato. Use a fork to create peaks in potato; sprinkle potato with cheese.

If the dish you are using is quite full, sit it on a baking tray in case any of the sauce overflows during baking. Bake pie for about 20 minutes, or until sauce is bubbling and cheese is golden brown.

Mashed Potato Topping
1kg potatoes, peeled and chopped
50g (2 1/2 tablespoons) butter
Salt, to taste
About 125ml (1/2 cup) milk (the amount needed will vary, depending on the type of potatoes used)
100g (1 cup, firmly packed) grated cheese (we used a combination of mozzarella, cheddar and parmesan)

Place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Cover saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium and boil gently until potatoes are soft.

Drain potatoes and mash with butter, salt and milk.
© www.exclusivelyfood.com.au


Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have made this recipe twice and absolutely love it. i have also passed it on to work colleague a she's is now a devotee.

20/8/06 9:54 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been searching the web for a yummy shepherd's pie recipe and this one sounds just right. I'm going to cook it tonight.....I'll let you know what I think.


11/11/06 6:58 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great easy dinner, thanks. Can't wait to try a few more of your other recipes.

16/11/06 2:27 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your recipe is very simple to make, my partner and parents could not stop compilmenting me on our great it was thanks!!!!!

22/1/07 2:34 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Been looking for a good shepherds pie recipe and this one tops them all. MMMMMMM Delish!!!!

27/2/07 3:12 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I made this tonight for dinner and my hubby who is english just loved it as did my son who is fussy

13/3/07 10:13 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh yum. I love Shepherd's pie! everything on your site looks so professional and delicious I'll have to go out and buy some food so I can make some of it!!

15/3/07 6:35 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I made this last night with the left-over lamb roast and it was absolutely delicious! What's more my seven year old son practically licked the plate clean. I loved that I had all the ingredients, and didn't need to go to the shop. We didn't have 800g of lamb, though, so I added a chopped up zucchini (courgette). Yummo. Thanks.

5/4/07 9:32 am  
Blogger Unknown said...

I made this tonight for dinner and it was great! Very easy to make and tasted delicious :) .

12/5/07 7:52 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is just the right recipe to cook at home. I'm looking forward to making it and I'm sure I'll like every bit of it!

28/5/07 3:55 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I lived in UK for half my life and haven't had shepherd's pie for 17 yrs or so. I found this recipe and made it with a cup or so of good red wine simmering in with the veggies and meat. I added mushrooms as well as a touch of rosmary. IT WAS AMAZING!!! My hubby (who's a chef) guzzled more than half and I'd say I'll be having to make it again this week. THANK YOU!

17/6/07 11:01 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like this recipe but as a health nut I substituted minced turkey and it was still super tasty with just that little less fat. Worth a try!

22/6/07 8:59 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


This recipe is so good, and easy to follow. Sorry but I passed it off as mine last night why charming my man ;O)

Just added your recipes to my favourites list. Thank you.

27/6/07 3:47 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am cooking the recipe for my school when we go to queensland for a netball tour, this is a great recipe almost the same as the one my mother cooks nice work.


2/7/07 11:53 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've never been a big fan of shepherds pie, but I think that I've finally found one that has changed my mind. Look forward to more yummy recipes.

Thanks :)

4/7/07 9:23 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am in the UK...where the recipe originates...THIS IS NOT a Shepherds Pie...they are always made from Lamb...the name gives a clue! This recipe is a Cottage Pie.

16/7/07 3:16 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes we know this... But the recipe does ask to use either lamb or beef mince!!!

24/7/07 2:09 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

made this last night and my husband who usually don't like shepherd's pie said it was great. highly recommended!

25/7/07 12:17 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I made this recipe tonight with left over lamb roast. i added some crunched up smiths crisps to the top of it to make it crunchy. everyone ate it, which is a rare in this house. :-)

8/8/07 9:22 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A nice touch to the recipe is after frying off the onion, carrot and garlic add a good tablespoon of curry power or paste and fry that off for a few minutes.. its so nice

16/8/07 2:05 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the best potato pie recipe I've ever tried and is really good as leftovers. A real keeper.

18/8/07 11:52 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi what can i use inplace of Worcestershire sauce. its not sold in my city.

19/8/07 10:09 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this sounds so yum and easy to make, was going to make good old spag blog for dinner tonight but might change my mind and make this instead .. thanks for sharing the recipe, and have added you to my fav recipe sites to check out. look forward to checking out other recipes ... :o)

20/8/07 10:58 am  
Blogger Amanda and Debbie said...

Hi Priya

Worcestershire sauce contains vinegar, molasses, anchovies, salt, tamarind, spices, onion, garlic etc. Is anything similar to that available in your city? If not, you could try using another type of sauce that goes well with meat (for example, steak sauce).

25/8/07 12:57 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tomato is not part of a traditional shepherds pie as tomatoes were not widely available years ago when this kind of pie was developed.

In my view addition of tomato makes a shepherds pie too acid and too much like a (not authentic) bolognaise sauce with potato on top.

26/8/07 7:37 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it tastes good. that is all that matters.

8/9/07 9:19 am  
Blogger Mel said...

This is delicious. I have a very fussy husband and he and the kids love this.

9/9/07 5:33 pm  
Blogger matthk said...

Thanks for this straight-forward and simple recipe. Made it today and it's smelling great! I have to agree though with a couple of the other posters, as this in no way whatsoever can be called a Shepherd's Pie if it's made with beef. It's a Cottage Pie, pure and simple.

I'm an Australian living in the UK, (7+ yrs) and I gleefully nag my British mates when they get food (and food terms & names) wrong (I love it here, but it's like living in the '50s sometimes!) so I'm afraid I'm obliged to wave a finger and mutter "tich tich!" at you, as Australians should be held to a higher standard!

Right, rant over ;-) I'll be checking out more recipes soon.
many thanks!

21/10/07 11:01 pm  
Blogger matthk said...

By the way, I think you're right to add tomatoes. Sure it may not be utterly traditional as one poster commented, but they add some much needed high notes and sweetness. without them, it would be too 'flat'.
For the traditionalists out there, most of the spices wouldn't have been available - or affordable - to the working folk from where the Shepherd's Pie originated. Plus, they wouldn't waste a lamb on it, they'd have used mutton most of the time.

21/10/07 11:09 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I made this Shepherd's Pie last night - BEST EVER!!!! Thanks so much for the recipe..this will be a fav for a long time to come! I made a small adjustment to the recipe and added mushrooms - yum!

26/10/07 11:17 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


i use turkey for a more healthy alternative.

and add mushrooms!

2/11/07 2:24 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

haven't tried it yet,but i have been looking around on the net; and this is the best one yet. I have all the ingrediants without buying anything which is great, i'll make it tonight and tell you what i think.

26/11/07 1:43 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Terrific recipe!! I ditched the tomatos but added mushrooms, My wife loved it. Fantastic site! :) Keep up the good work ladies. Thankyou.

5/12/07 12:49 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very tasty and easy to make a winner in my family

5/12/07 3:02 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the more mixed veggies the better but instead of a tomato base i use gravy and it is awesome.

27/12/07 8:05 pm  
Blogger Eve said...

Thanks so much for posting this recipe. I'd never tried (or tried to make) a Shepherd's/Cottage pie before, and tonight I made it for some friends from university - they were very impressed and it was truly DELICIOUS, without being too difficult or expensive. Perfect!

5/2/08 7:33 am  
Blogger Katie said...

i made this recipe and my husband and i absolutely loved it. We were still eating it 4 days later and it tasted just as fresh and delicious. I would definately make it again as it is now a favorite in our house.

13/2/08 10:07 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My daughter asked me if I had a good shepherds pie recipe yesterday, I said not really I just throw a heap of gear in some mince, slap the spud on top and hope for the best. I am glad I found this one to give her. Thanks

23/2/08 2:47 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This has become one of our favorites, and I am now sharing it with all my friends.

16/4/08 4:14 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Made it a month ago and will be making it again, tomorrow. It was a hit with my family and my mum who is perpetually always on a diet actually requested that I make this again. Great shepherd's pie recipe! (:

3/5/08 4:03 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been making this recipe for a few months now and my boyfriend loves it! and so do i. Its becoming a regular dish in our household and prob will when we have kids! very yummy!!

16/5/08 4:42 pm  
Blogger Jess Joseph said...

Is the pie freezable? How would you recommend reheating it?

21/5/08 1:49 pm  
Blogger Amanda and Debbie said...

Hi Jess,

Freezing can affect the texture of mashed potato, so we would freeze the meat layer only. You could thaw the meat layer, add the mashed potato topping, and then bake the pie until it is hot in the centre.

29/5/08 4:03 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I made this tonight and it was a huge hit! We all loved it. Thank you! Will definitely be making this one again and again. Just read the freezing tips - thank you.

13/6/08 9:49 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you don't like the acidness of the tomato just add a little sugar!

18/6/08 1:35 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my husbands' always insisted he didn't like shepherds pie, until he tried yours!!Thankyou for adding another favourite to our family's dinner menu. Going to try the lasagna this week!

23/6/08 11:08 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Had it for dinner last night! it was to die for; thanks for your great recipe! :)

24/6/08 9:42 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Amanda and Debbie,

I absolutely love your site! Every recipe I have made off here has been a huge hit!!

I live with just my boyfriend and Im finding it hard to adjust to cooking for two. Would this recipe work if I just halve the ingridients?

Thanks so much for your fantastic site!

30/6/08 9:47 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My partner and I made this last night and it turned out FABULOUS!!

1/7/08 9:35 am  
Blogger Amanda and Debbie said...

Hi Alli,

Yes, the ingredient quantities could be halved to make a smaller pie. You would need to use a smaller baking dish.

1/7/08 8:27 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for making this excelent sight. Ive been trying to find a great easy to follow recipe sight for a while and this ones perfect!!
I havent had that much experience with cooking and i just made this shepherds pie and i am soo pround of myself! thank you!!

8/7/08 4:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sheperd's Pie does not contain Beef... That's a Cottage Pie. Sheperd's Pie is made with minced LAMB hence "Sheperd's pie".
The English are quite particular about that but nice recipe anyways.

9/7/08 12:41 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Made this last night - it was absolutely scrumptious! I topped mine with a sweet potato mash and also added some thinly sliced (normal) potatoes on top. Am looking forward to eating the leftovers for lunch today!

16/7/08 1:18 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shepherds Pie. Cottage Pie. I rarely have an old shepherd on hand so I guess I make Cottage Pie.

I make a vegetarian pie with TVP (a soy product) and vegetarian gravy mix in place of minced meat. Have fed it to meat eaters and they haven't even twigged that it's not meat based until they notice that my vegie daughter is eating it.

I generally add fresh thyme to base mix (whether meat or TVP) and mix grated cheese and chopped parsley into the potato mash. Then top with a thin scattering of cheese and a sprinkle of paprika. Looks good.

Also often add a tin of cannellini beans (drained).

21/7/08 8:02 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I made this Shepherd's pie tonight for the first time ever, and it was so easy, and tasted great too!

17/8/08 10:08 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't mind what its called...it tasted lovely... Keep up the fantastic food.

21/8/08 6:01 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I actually made this recipe for my 14 month old daughter - divided it all up into containers and froze it...well what was left after my husband got stuck into it anyway! She loves it, and it's a great meal for little ones. I also mixed the mashed potato on the top with some mashed pumpkin to add some extra vegies to her diet! Thank you for your great website and recipes!

27/8/08 5:07 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ihave made so many recipes from this website and this was another easy and tasty recipe especially for children. Tates even better the next day. I added a few more veges and made another smaller pie. YUM YUM!!!

28/9/08 10:30 pm  
Blogger Quinn said...

Love your mashed potato. Omitted th cheese and made my own roux gravy and serve them with grilled fish over a bed of lettuce. Came out impressive. Nothing but good compliments received regarding the smooth fluffy potato. Thanks!


30/9/08 12:45 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I made this for dinner last night and it sure was a hit for the family. Everyone loved it, and for a family of 6, we had to make a double-batch.By lunch this afternoon it would have all disappeared. We will definitely make it again. Thanks for such a great recipe, keep them coming!


10/10/08 12:09 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi, love this site with all the great recipes..have yet to try out the shepard's pie, plan to do it this weekend.

i was just wondering, is using chicken stock suitable or beef stock/broth more appropriate? since the recipe calls for minced beef..thanks

20/11/08 2:17 pm  
Blogger Amanda and Debbie said...

We like the flavour of chicken stock in this pie, but you could use beef stock if you prefer.

22/11/08 10:34 am  
Blogger janeymac said...

This recipe looks great! I'd like to reduce quantity to serve 2 people. I guess I halve the quantities, but what about the cooking time?

Thank you!

28/11/08 9:38 am  
Blogger Amanda and Debbie said...

Hi Janeymac

If you halve the ingredient quantities, the cooking time will probably be nearly the same as for the full size pie. Keep an eye on the pie when it is in the oven and cook until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is golden brown.

3/12/08 10:24 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have made this a number of times and it is fantastic. I like to include mushrooms as well just as a personal preference.
Keep the recipies coming. I love this site.

6/1/09 4:55 pm  
Blogger Kathy said...

Good recipe. The only change I made was using A1 steak sauce instead of worcestershire sauce

12/1/09 12:10 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Found your site by accident a couple of weeks ago. Your shepherds pie is just so scrummy, far better than any that i've made in the past. A hit with all the family Thanks again, already made your lasagane and chicken kiev's which i'm still talking about to friends. what am i going to cook next?

24/2/09 5:32 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fantastic recipe.

As I am vegetarian, I made this recipe using vegetable stock and casserole mince (from Sanitarium). It tasted beautiful, was so quick to make - even quicker because I used diced frozen veggies (peas, carrots, cauliflower and broccoli) from woolies - $1.29 for 1 kilo! So a cheap option..

It was a HUGE hit and a number of people didn't realise that it wasn't actually meat!

13/3/09 1:54 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My husband and I have to be on a strict diet for a while and restrict our carbs. So i made this using mashed cauliflower as a topping- Amanda & Debbie told me this should work and it did!

I steamed the cauliflower until over cooked then put it in the food processor with a little plain no fat yoghurt, margerine and pepper.

Topped the mince mixture with that and low fat shredded cheese. It was amazing! My husband scoffed his and is very happy there's enough left for his lunch tomorrow. I did halve the recipe for just the two of us but it was more than enough.

23/3/09 1:43 am  
Blogger Joey said...

My husband made this last week - his first ever shepherd's pie. It was absolutely divine! He is making it again tomorrow night.

Every recipe we have tried from your site turns out absolutely perfect. Thank you so much for the level of detail you include :) I can't wait until we next try something new.

12/4/09 2:56 pm  
Anonymous Robyn said...

I made this for Easter Sunday lunch and it went down a treat. So full of flavour - was quick, easy and delicious (I made the meat sauce a few days earlier to develop the flavour). Also added tinned sweat corn and fresh mushrooms.

Thank you very much ladies!!

13/4/09 4:58 pm  
Anonymous Gabster said...

Best Pie Ever!!! I have made it a dozen times now and everyone loves it and we cant get enough of it. My housemate also loves it as much as I do and now makes it herself. Brilliant and so easy and tasty. Thanks so much.

20/4/09 10:02 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was Great, I also added mushrooms and 1 teaspoon of curry powder, but I used diced zuccini instead of the peas. I did them in individual pie dishes, the kids thought it was great. thanks heaps cheers.!

3/9/09 10:56 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a 2 person family the quantity was too much so used half of the meat component for Shepherd's pie then the next day used the remainder to make lasagne! both perfect - thanks I love your recipes - never been disappointed.

11/9/09 6:19 pm  
Anonymous Jiraporn said...

I have made this recipe for my family and they all loved it! Your recipes have never disappointed me!

I will definitely make it again.

25/10/09 2:39 pm  
Anonymous Amy said...

This is the only shepherds pie that i make. It is very cost effective and tastes wonderful

11/12/09 3:30 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am the worlds worst cook and this recipe was easy as for me! It tasted fantastic and it was nice that I had all the ingredients, as one of the other posters said

11/7/10 8:51 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awesome; everyone I have made it for loves it and asks for the recipe.
I make it in two dishes and freeze one (complete with potato and cheese on top), it freezes really well. I do take it out of the freezer 24 hours before I want to eat it the second time so it thaws through properly and then cooks in 20 mins in the oven from the fridge.

31/8/10 6:10 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fantastic!! My husband loved it. Thank you for making me a better cook - I love the clear instructions and the pictures! :)

4/2/11 10:52 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I added a bit of lemon pepper to the mash which gave it a tang

24/11/11 4:06 am  
Blogger Unknown said...

Made this last night when I had friends over for dinner. Everyone loved it. I added a bit of parmasan to the mash but that was change I made and it was delicious!

4/2/13 11:39 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I added an egg to the mash.
My mums recipe for French mash I think.. Mmmm..

12/2/13 8:05 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I made this tonight and it was a big hit with my 4 boys and Hubby, will definitely be making this again. Love all the recipes cant wait to try more.

29/1/14 10:25 pm  

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