This easy, comforting Shepherd’s Pie recipe is the perfect antidote to a cold winters day. It is also ideal for batch cooking and freezing ahead of time. This lamb dinner can also easily be made gluten free. What’s not to love?
I love love love it when a dinner can be prepped in advance, makes a spare for the freezer AND squeezes in a pile of extra vegetables. This Shepherd’s Pie recipe does all that and more. Good, simple, classic family food.
I can’t believe I’ve never shared my basic Shepherd’s Pie recipe, so here it is.
Real life confession, I never get around to just making a giant batch of this. In reality, I’ll just make it for dinner one night (or maybe at the weekend when I have more time) and make double and freeze one.
(If you don’t want a pie dish to be out of action in the freezer you can use foil trays with lids like these ones on Amazon.)
The recipe below makes enough for six people, or four if you are super hungry.
What’s the difference between Shepherd’s Pie and Cottage Pie?
It’s all in the meat. Shepherd’s pie contains minced lamb (now the name Shepherd make sense right?).
Whereas Cottage Pie contains mince beef… (no clues there as to why its called Cottage Pie, the Cottage part comes from its heritage of being a low cost meal so was a popular dish for farm workers in Victorian times).
Whilst we are getting our pie names sorted out Cumberland Pie refers to any type of meat pie topped with mashed potatoes and then a layer of bread crumbs. Whilst not strictly traditional a sprinkling of grated cheese over your mashed potato on both a Shepherd’s and Cottage Pie is delicious.
Is Shepherd’s Pie healthy?
Because Shepherd’s Pie uses lamb mince it can be quite high in fat.
If you’d like to reduce this, when you brown the mince, you can drain off an fat in the pan at that point before you add any other ingredients, that will reduce the fat you are actually consuming.
You can try to buy lean lamb mince but it’s quite difficult to find.
To add some more nutrients, you could also replace the regular white potato mash with sweet potato mash if you fancied.
Can you freeze Shepherd’s Pie?
A Shepherd’s Pie is the perfect make ahead food.
Once your pie is assembled you can chill and then freeze for up to one month. It can also be cooked from frozen. To bake from frozen, cook at 160C/fan 140C/gas 3 for 1 hr-1 hr 20 mins until piping hot in the centre. Flash under the grill to brown, if needed.)
If not freezing, you could also keep in the fridge 2 days before cooking.
What did I use to make Shepherd’s Pie?
- My lovely enamelware baking dish
- Brilliant potato ricer
- Using a good store cupboard stock makes a real difference, this is one of my faves.
Tips on this recipe:
- Choosing the right potato for your mash is vital! You need something that has a floury and fluffy texture. King Edward or Maris Piper would be fine, but my top tip would be Desiree.
- To make this Shepherd’s Pie recipe gluten free substitute the plain flour for cornflour (check your packaging to ensure it is gluten free) or any gluten free flour.
Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. I’d love to know how you got on and what you thought of it if you make this Shepherds Pie recipe. Please rate the recipe and leave me a comment below if you do.
Also, if you’d like to show me a photo by tagging me on Instagram (@tamingtwins) I LOVE to see your creations.
This easy, comforting Shepherd's Pie recipe is the perfect antidote to a cold winters day. It is also ideal for batch cooking and freezing ahead of time. It can also easily be made gluten free and Slimming World friendly. What's not to love?
For the filling:
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Onion Chopped
- 2 Carrots Finely Chopped
- 2 sticks Celery Finely Chopped
- 500 g Lamb Mince Lean
- 1 tbsp Plain Flour
- 1 tsp Dried Thyme or fresh if you have it
- 1 tsp Dried Sage or fresh if you have it
- 500 ml Beef stock
- 2 tbsp Tomato Puree
- 2 tbsp Worcester sauce
- Salt and Pepper to taste
For the topping:
- 1 kg White Potatoes
- 2 tbsp Butter
Preheat your oven to 180C.
Heat your olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed pan. Fry your, onions, celery and carrot for around 5-10 minutes until softened.
Add in your mince, stirring to break up any large chunks. Fry until browned.
Add flour and dried herbs, stir well to coat everything, cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
Pour in beef stock, tomato puree and Worcester sauce.
Season with salt and pepper, this is personal preference but I like to add lots of both in this recipe.
Cover and simmer for 40 mins.
Whilst your meat is simmering start to make your mashed potatoes.
Peel and chop your potatoes, place in cold water, bring to the boil for 15-20 minutes, depending on the type of potato.
When the potatoes are ready, drain and mash together with two eggs.
Put all of your meat into a large oven proof dish. Spread your mashed potato over the top, ruffle with a fork to give those delicious crunchy bits. You can also sprinkle some grated cheese on top too.
(At this point you can leave to cool and then freeze your pie for upto one month to get ahead with your cooking)
Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until the mash is browning and the mince is bubbling at the sides.
Check that it is hot inside, it may take a few minutes longer if you cooked it straight from the fridge.