Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd’s Pie

I decided to make this Shepherd’s pie in an effort to use up the thousands of pounds of leftover buttermilk mashed potatoes we had (I’m quite sure Bryan trained as an army cook).  I really hadn’t heard of Shepherd’s pie until I moved to New England where it appears on the menus of most family style restaurants. The dish is often made with ground beef, but if it is, it’s not technically Shepherd’s pie. Being an English teacher makes me a bit of an etymologist as well; so let’s be clear- a shepherd is one who herds sheep, not cattle. Hence, Shepherd’s pie should be made with lamb. Given my penchant for lamb, this is the ultimate casserole. There are some variables with this dish (not including the type of meat you use). Some people start with a layer of mashed potatoes and then top the dish with more mashed potatoes (not a bad idea when you have thousands of pounds of leftover potatoes). Some people layer the vegetables as well, rather than mixing them with the meat. And then there is the whole debate about which vegetables are traditional. Carrots, peas and corn are the most often included. I suggest you do as I do, and include the vegetables your family likes. This proved to be quite eye-opening for me because I was under the misguided impression that my family members did not like peas – they informed me otherwise, and I included peas. Finally, there is the question of how to serve the “pie.” You can make one large casserole and serve from that, or you can make individual servings (I did both, but the photos are only of the individual servings because I froze the large one). This dish is easy to make, and you could certainly add a shortcut by using store bought mashed potatoes. As for the family rating, out of the mouth’s of babes came: “Why don’t we have this more often?”


  • 2 Lbs. Ground Lamb
  • 1 TBS. Olive Oil
  • 1 Cup Chopped Onion
  • 1 Cup Chopped Carrots (about 2 carrots)
  • 1 Cup Peas (frozen- thawed)
  • 1 Can of Corn or 1/2 Cups Frozen Corn
  • 2 TBS. Chopped Garlic
  • 2 TBS. Thyme (fresh is preferable)
  • 1 TBS. Rosemary
  • 3 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 5 TBS. Flour
  • 4 TBS. Tomato Paste
  • 3 TBS. Worcestershire Sauce
  • 6-8 Cups Mashed Potatoes (link to Buttermilk Mashed Potato Recipe)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large saute pan over medium heat, cook ground lamb. Drain off excess fat, mix in flour and set aside. Heat olive oil over medium heat, add garlic, chopped carrots and chopped onion. Saute until onion is translucent and carrots are tender.  Add carrots, onion, and all remaining ingredients except for mashed potatoes to the lamb mixture and combine thoroughly. Add mixture to a baking dish, or individual oven proof dishes to form a layer about an inch and a half thick. Layer the mashed potatoes on top of the meat mixture. Set baking dish on a foil lined baking sheet (you will likely get some bubble over) and bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes (potatoes should be brown on the edges). Allow to rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.

One response to “Shepherd’s Pie

  1. Pingback: Dealing with Leftovers – Savoury Pies | Writings of a Pagan Witch

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