Shepherd’s Pie

One thing we often have plenty of in the freezer is ground lamb, or lamburger.  It can usually be substituted into a hamburger dish. So I eagerly seek out recipes in which we can use our lamb.

In a Facebook conversation the other day with my British friend Charlotte, she explained to me the difference between Cottage Pie and Shepherd’s Pie. The first uses ground beef, the second, ground lamb. (They call it minced meat.) Charlotte has inspired this evening’s meal!

Here is the recipe I used and it was quite yummy!

Some of the fresh ingredients for Shepherd's Pie


1lb ground lamb (or diced left-over roast)

1 large onion, chopped

1 large carrot, diced

4oz peas (fresh or frozen)

4T butter or margarine

4T plain flour

2t Worcestershire sauce

1T tomato paste

1 can beef broth

2 ½ lbs potatoes

4 T butter or margarine

3/8 cup milk

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 375F.

The mixture just before the mashed potatoes are added.

Melt the butter in a large frying pan. Add the onion and carrot and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes until soft. Add the ground lamb and cook for 3 minutes to brown. Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomato purée, peas, beef stock and Worcestershire sauce. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Taste and season, pour into an ovenproof dish.

Meanwhile boil the potatoes in salted water until soft. Drain and mash with the butter and milk.  Taste to adjust seasoning. Spread the mashed potatoes over the top of the ground meat mixture and bake for 30 minutes until golden brown.  Serves 6.

The Helms Scorecard: 3 out of 4 thumbs up.  Sarah and Julie had seconds, Dave had thirds, Cassie had a cheese sandwich.

Afternote: 2.5 L Corning pan was too small–it overflowed a bit in the oven.

The finished product minus one piece.

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10 Responses to Shepherd’s Pie

  1. laurasaw says:

    So, need help with leftovers? My favorite dish ever…

  2. Julie Helms says:

    I might just have a bit to set aside for you! Aren’t you proud of me– I mashed potatoes tonight for the first time ever. I even had to go out and buy the implement to do so!

  3. Christopher Crocker says:

    Looks FANTASTIC!

    Seriously… you’ve never mashed potatoes before?

    • Julie Helms says:

      LOL! I know, it’s embarrassing. I was raised on the instant, so generally prefer it. But this recipe definitely seemed to call for the thicker, lumpier version.

  4. laurasaw says:

    Yes! Went over and got some for our supper too. It was delish!!! Thank you thankyou thank you. Even fussy papa liked it. So, when are we having it again? We finished off all you packed for us.

  5. Trish says:

    Mmmmmmmmm. Nice sounding recipe and good looking outcome. I am really enjoying your blogs here! I had just taken a package of your lamb chops out for tomorrow night’s dinner! Mmmmmmmm!! But this recipe makes me want to do this up for tonight. I will need to substitute beef though, so it will be cottage pie. You know Dan….. It’s nice to know the difference in terms.
    Your Grammy was a potato lover likely due to that is what they grew on the farm. I imagine they had a lot of lamb and potato dinners. But Grampy preferred rice, so that was what we had mostly growing up. Dan’s preference is potatoes, so a lot of potatoes have been mashed here, but our roasts always have Basmati or Jasmine rice AND potatoes. I make rice as often as I can get away with it! Lamb and rice are a favorite of mine.
    PS Just went to King Arthur for another 50lbs flour. Can’t beat the price!
    PPS You got me hooked on Barley and I had 2 people give me their ham bones and just made pea soup with added barley in it.

    • Julie Helms says:

      Thank you for the family history there! I’m guessing Grammy never used instant potatoes…… LOL! Thanks for mentioning barley– haven’t had that in awhile and it sounds good!

  6. Glory Lennon says:

    So, all along I’ve been making cottage pie??? Why didn’t anyone tell me? Ah, well, such is life on this side of the pond I suppose. Your recipe is very close to mine…still can’t get over you never made mashed potatoes before! If you like them extra creamy you might want to whip them using a mixer. That’s how I do them and then you won’t get any lumps! 😉

    • Julie Helms says:

      Glory, I think on this side of the pond there is no distinction and Shepherd’s Pie covers both. But since I’m sure it originated in the UK it is nice to learn about that distinction. Thank you for the whipping tip. And welcome home!!

  7. Stan says:

    Looks tasty….

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