Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd’s Pie is a ground beef cooked in a rich gravy mixed with vegetables and topped with creamy mashed potatoes.  This dish hails from the UK from the 1800s and was originally made with lamb.  Technically because it’s made with ground beef, it’s called cottage pie. 


It falls into the category of casserole.  Essentially ground beef is cooked with spices and simmered in beef broth.  Vegetables such as corn, peas and carrots are added.  The ground beef and vegetable mixture is spread in the bottom of a casserole dish then it’s topped with a mashed potato mixture and sometimes topped with cheese.



Ground beef is what I used for this recipe but you can use ground lamb.  Lamb tends to have a bit of a gamey flavor but it adds so much flavor to this dish.  For a lighter alternative, ground turkey is fantastic as well. 


Potatoes are the traditional topping for Shepherd’s Pie, however other root vegetables can be used as well.  Here’s a version using yams and one using bonito(Caribbean white sweet potatoes) as the topping.  Mashed cauliflower can also be used as a low carb option.


To make ahead of time, it is best to cook the meat mixture and mashed potatoes but store separately.  Assemble the dish on the day and then bake according to the recipe.

Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd's Pie

Get the Recipe SHEPHERD'S PIE

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 8


  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • ½ tsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 1 whole onion, diced
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic, about 3 cloves
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables, corn, sweet peas, cut green bean and carrots
  • 1 ½ cup beef stock
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 3 lbs. Yukon gold potatoes
  • 3 cloves whole garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 1/3 heavy cream
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup of grated parmesan cheese or cheddar cheese, optional


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

To make the meat:

  • In a large frying pan add ground
    beef and cook until brown.  Remove any excess fat using a spoon.  Add onion, thyme, crushed garlic, paprika,
    black pepper, tomato paste and salt and mix to combine.  Cook for about a minute or two then add beef
    stock.   Cook until beef is tender and
    liquid has reduced and thickened.  Stir
    in frozen vegetables and mix to combine.

To make the potatoes:

  • Peel and cut potatoes into 2 inch
    pieces and add to a large pot.  Fill with enough water to cover the
    potatoes.   Add 3 cloves whole garlic and place on the stove over
    high heat and bring to a boil.   Cook until potato is tender.   
    Remove from heat and strain.
  • Place potatoes in a large bowl with
    butter, heavy cream, sour cream, salt and black pepper and mash until

To assemble the dish:

  • Place ground beef mixture in a large
    casserole dish then cover with mashed potatoes.   Optional: sprinkle
    parmesan or cheddar cheese over the top then place into preheated
    oven.   Bake for 35-40 minutes or until brown and bubbling. 
    Cool for 15 minutes before serving.


Author: JehanP