Shepherd's pie with potato crust, view from top

Shepherd’s Pie – Meat Pie – Easy Dinner Recipes

March 10, 2018
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Shepherd’s pie is a classic British dish that any one should try at least once in a lifetime! This Shepherd’s pie has layers of beef and lamb, vegetables, covered with potato mash. Wonder what to cook for dinner?

Try this simple and filling meat pie. Turn meat and potatoes into one of your dinners!

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Shepherd's pie is a classic British dish that any one should try at least once in a lifetime! This Shepherd's pie has layers of beef and lamb, vegetables, covered with potato mash. Wonder what to cook for dinner? Try this simple and filling meat pie. Turn meat and potatoes into one of your dinners!

Shepherd’s pie and cottage pie

The difference between Shepherd’s pie is that it is made with lamb. But the cottage pie is made with beef. To my mind, if it has a mince mix of beef and lamb, it can be called both! Which one you prefer?

Shepherd's pie on a plate

Traditional Shepherd‘s pie with lamb

Traditionally, Shepherd‘s pie is made with lamb chops. However, lamb may be hard to find in your local store… If you don’t live in Britain, I believe! So I used mainly more common beef and a small amount of lamb mixed mince.

Moreover, lamb has a stronger, meatier flavor and it’s quite fatty. Tender and juicy lamb is a delightful dish, however not all like it’s flavor. Of course the flavor of lamb depends on how the animal was raised, fed and how old it was.

But to my mind it is totally worth making the dish with beef. This will be classic cottage pie. Any way, this meat pie is a great dinner idea, if you have leftover mince!

Vegetables in Shepherd‘s pie

For the vegetables, I used frozen peas, celery and leek instead of onion. You can add any vegetables you have in your fridge or pantry, actually! Use different vegetables every time you prepare delicious Shepherd’s pie for dinner! You can also replace half the potatoes in the recipe with the pumpkin mash, which will add interesting color to this easy dish.

Shepherd’s pie is a classic winter comfort dish. Yes, I know it is March in calendar, but it is cold and snowy outside my window!

I think Shepherd’s pie is a filling dish that can be served for any family gathering to feed a lot of people. Moreover, you can freeze it or chill ahead of time!

Shepherd's pie on a plate

Make ahead dinners

What’s great, Shepherd‘s pie can be frozen! You can prepare all the ingredients, put them in ovenproof dish, cover with a lid or plastic wrap and place in a freezer until needed. Of course frozen pie will need extra baking time in the oven, about 1,5 hours in total to defrost and deliver tasty dinner.

Great to have it in a freezer, when you’re out of dinner ideas!

By the way, you can also grill the cottage pie in the oven for few minutes to get extra crispy potato topping!

Meat pie as one of easy dinner ideas

What I love about Shepherd‘s pie, it was a lot much easier to prepare, comparing with other comfort dishes like lasagna or moussaka. Mainly because it is tasty even without Bechamel sauce, and you will need to make only two layers! And believe me, it has nothing complicated during the cooking process, if you follow my step-by-step instructions.

So this Shepherd‘s pie will turn amazing every time you make it! Oh, and cheese is the must, don’t miss this step!

Shepherd's pie on a plate with baking tray aside

Ingredients you need for Shepherd‘s pie recipe

To sum up, you will need only few ingredients for the Shepherd‘s pie. Potatoes – check. Any vegetables in your pantry and freezer like carrots, celery, peas, corn… Check. The only thing you will need, if you don’t have leftover mince (beef, lamb, or even turkey) – put it on your shopping list.

Moreover, you will need few spices and a Worcestershire sauce (which, to my taste, can be an optional ingredient in your list). If you don’t have Worcestershire sauce, don’t panic, you can add soy sauce, lemon juice and garlic to your taste.

Also you may have a stick of butter and few tablespoons of milk in your fridge. That’s it!

Hope that you will enjoy this British meat pie with your family!

Check also our Irish Colcannon recipe to make tasty potato mash and Rigatoni pasta bake with beef. These main dishes can be followed by a rich Irish dessert – Baileys cheesecake.

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5 from 1 vote
Shepherd's pie on a plate
Shepherd's pie – Meat pie - Easy dinner recipes
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
1 hr 10 mins
Total Time
1 hr 20 mins

Shepherd's pie is a classic British dish that any one should try at least once in a lifetime!

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: British
Keyword: beef, easy, lamb, low carb, paleo
Servings: 8
Calories: 232 kcal
Author: Cooking Journey
  • 1 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1/4 leek stalk chopped
  • 1 celery stalk chopped
  • 200 g lamb mince /7 oz
  • 300 g beef mince /10.5 oz
  • 1 cup stock
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 60 g butter /2 oz
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 4 tbsp peas frozen
  • 1/4 nutmeg
  • 1 tsp marjoram
  • 3 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 50 g cheese /1.8 oz
  1. Heat oil on a pan. Cook meat with chopped celery until browned, stirring the lumps. Add tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce. Cook few minutes stirring.

  2. Lower the heat, add stock, stir in flour and simmer 30 minutes until you have thick sauce. 10 minutes before the end of cooking stir in peas and chopped leek.
  3. Remove from heat, add salt, pepper, marjoram.

  4. Meanwhile the meat sauce is cooking, prepare potato mash. Peel and cut the potatoes, cover with water, bring to the boil and cook 15 minutes or until soft. Remove excess liquid, return the pan to the stove and cook few minutes more until liquid evaporates.
  5. Remove from heat. Add butter, milk, pepper, salt and grate 1/4 nutmeg. Mash or blend the potatoes until smooth.
  6. Preheat oven to 355 F / 180 C
  7. Put the meat sauce in a baking dish. Cover with mashed potatoes. (You can chill or freeze the Shepherd’s pie before baking. Bake frozen pie 1,5 h) Ruffle potato mash with a fork till the edges of the dish.
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden. Leave to stand 5-10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes

This recipe makes one 7 x 10 inch / 18 x 25 cm baking dish.

Shepherd's Pie – Meat Pie - Easy Dinner Recipes

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Shepherd’s Pie is my ultimate comfort food. I love that you use leeks and lamb – this recipe sounds so good!