British Recipe for Shepherd’s Pie

A lot of people find this British recipe for shepherd’s pie perfect for the colder months, and I fall into that group. Really, is there anything more comforting or delicious than shepherd’s pie when the nights are getting cooler?

Shepherd’s pie is often confused with cottage pie, but shepherd’s pie is made with ground lamb not ground beef. Think about it – shepherds have sheep not cows! If you want to use ground beef, then that’s also tasty but it’s technically cottage pie. Our British recipe for shepherd’s pie is made with lamb.

We are making this in the British style, using bay leaves, thyme and Worcestershire sauce for flavor, along with meaty stock, an anchovy (that might sound like a strange ingredient but honestly it really complements the dish) and onion. The result is a fantastic British recipe for shepherd’s pie dish which the whole family will go crazy for. This is nice served by itself or you can have some carrots, broccoli, peas or another vegetable on the side.

Optional Ingredients in this British Recipe for Shepherd’s Pie

Some people like to finely chop the veggies and put those into the shepherd’s pie, which you can do. I sometimes add a small can of baked beans in there too (white beans in tomato sauce) and I know some people add peas, finely chopped carrots or a drained small can of corn. Any of those works. If you want to add anything else, consider 1 or 2 minced cloves of garlic. Garlic seems to agree with pretty much every kind of main course. If you are curious how to make a British recipe for shepherd’s pie on the stove, click here to see that recipe instead.

British Recipe for Shepherd's Pie
Ground lamb is flavored with tomato, herbs, Worcestershire sauce and more. It is then topped with wonderful, creamy mashed potatoes, and baked in the oven, for a perfect, authentic shepherd's pie.
Cuisine: British
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 4
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 1 oz (25g) dripping (bacon grease or similar)
  • 1 finely chopped yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lb 2 oz (500g) ground lamb
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 finely chopped anchovy (optional)
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 14 oz (400g) canned chopped tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 16 fl oz (450 ml) lamb, beef or chicken bouillon
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)
For the Mashed Potatoes
  • 1½ lbs (700g) peeled, chopped potatoes
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 fl oz (55ml) milk
  • 3 oz (75g) butter
  1. Heat the drippings in a pot, then sauté the onion in there for 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat some oil in a skillet and fry the ground lamb, stirring often, until browned.
  3. Break up any lumps of meat using a wooden spoon.
  4. Stir the onions then add the flour and stir again.
  5. Add the anchovy (if using), thyme and bay leaves.
  6. Stir again, then add the tomatoes, all but 2 tablespoons of the bouillon and the Worcestershire sauce.
  7. Add the browned ground lamb and then pour the bouillon mixture into the empty lamb pan, scraping up any stuck-on bits.
  8. Pour the rest of the bouillon in the pan with the sauce and bring it to a boil.
  9. Grind in some salt and black pepper.
  10. Let the mixture simmer for 30 minutes, stirring often.
  11. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  12. Cook the mixture for a further 15 minutes.
  13. Meanwhile, boil the potatoes for 15 minutes or until tender, then drain and add the butter, egg yolk and milk.
  14. Season with salt and black pepper.
  15. Transfer the meat into a 2½ pint (1½ liter) ovenproof dish and spread the mashed potatoes on top.
  16. Bake for 25 minutes or until the surface is golden brown.
  17. Sprinkle some parsley over the finished shepherd's pie before serving if liked.
You can make this in individual dishes rather than one big one if you like.

Photo by Wendy, on Flickr

Some More Hot Content For You

Other Posts You Might Like
  • Authentic Egg Fried Rice without Soy Sauce
    Egg fried rice without soy sauce is a dish lots of people want to make but since soy sauce is one of the key ingredients it can be puzzling working out how to get around that. Fried rice is one of the best-known Chinese dishes, but the authentic recipe is quite different to what you might be used to. For example, have you tried making egg fried rice without soy sauce? That is how it is made in China, well in many parts of the country, and the more authentic option in many cases. Egg Fried Rice without Soy Sauce: Such a Tempting Dish to Make Egg fried rice is the dish to make when you want to use leftovers to rustle up something quick and .....
  • Pad Thai RecipeBest Traditional Pad Thai Recipe
    I never get tired of this wonderful dish – it really is the best traditional Pad Thai recipe. The rice noodles, shrimp, tamarind, nuts, lime juice and other ingredients work together in perfect harmony and the flavor is simply wonderful. The full name of pad thai (sometimes spelt pat thai) is kway teow pad thai, which means stir-fried rice noodles in a Thai style, and it is thought to be a southern Chinese dish which was introduced to Thailand in the mid-20th century. Pad Thai Noodles It is important to cook the noodles perfectly in order to make the very best traditional Pad Thai recipe. You will need ‘rice sticks’ which .....
  • Different Types of Kitchen Knives
    When you shop for kitchen knives there are a few things to think about because there are different types of kitchen knives for different things. You will need different knives for different purposes. A santoko, or chef’s knife, is important. This knife is long enough to use for slicing and carving. If you only had one knife, a chef’s knife is the one to go for. The next knife you will need is one you can dice, mince and chop with. This would be a utility, usuba or paring knife. Any of these would be ideal for preparing the ingredients to add to a dish. A long, thin knife like a carver or slicer is good for cutting meat, fish and .....
  • Can You Freeze Wonton Wrappers – Freeze Wontons
    A lot of people wonder can you freeze wonton wrappers? The answer is yes you can freeze wonton wrappers (and you can also buy them frozen). The problem is if you freeze a pack of 50 wrappers and only want to make 10 wontons, how do you pull them apart? From trial and error, I have found that if you let the package thaw at room temperature until you can peel a few off the top without breaking any, then pop the unused ones back in the freezer, that works well. Alternatively you can thaw them all, make wontons and then freeze the wontons. It all depends on the wonton recipe you want to make, but sometimes if you are taking the trouble to make .....
  • Easy Salmon Patties with Breadcrumbs
    Whip up some of these easy salmon patties with breadcrumbs and you have a quick and easy evening meal for the whole family. I use canned salmon to make these easy salmon patties but you could use tuna instead or even crab. Just ensure it is drained well before incorporating with the other ingredients. Drain the salmon in a sieve and then combine it with a beaten egg, some onion and breadcrumbs, and that is all you need to add to make easy salmon patties with breadcrumbs. If you want to add extra ingredients though, go ahead and consider herbs, garlic, or anything else you wish to throw in there. I use a food processor to combine the .....
  • Classic Prawn CocktailClassic Prawn Cocktail
    This classic prawn cocktail recipe combines succulent Atlantic prawns with a homemade Marie Rose sauce and more. Shell-on prawns are the best variety to use for both texture and flavor. Classic Prawn Cocktail: Tips for the Prawns You can make a nice risotto stock from the shells after peeling them too. Most Atlantic prawns are sold cooked and frozen and the best way to defrost them is to leave the in the fridge for several hours. Don’t defrost them in water because they will lose some of their flavour. When you peel them, you should split them almost in half through their backs and remove the bitter dark vein running through them. This .....
  • Eating Authentic Mexican Food in Mexico
    I think it’s fair to say Mexican food has to be one of the most misunderstood cuisines of all. People who aren’t familiar with it assume it’s all tortillas, beef and chilies, while those who eat at fast food outlets might believe those dishes are more authentic than they are. Eating authentic Mexican food in Mexico isn’t difficult but there are lots of tourist places you ought to avoid if you want to be eating the real deal. And then you have Tex-Mex, Cali-Mex and all the other hybrids and regional variations, so it’s hardly surprising knowing what is authentic Mexican food and what is not can be confusing! .....
  • Oven Roasted Tomatoes with GarlicOven Roasted Tomatoes with Garlic
    This oven roasted tomatoes with garlic recipe is perfect if you want a side dish. Combining the natural sweetness of fresh tomatoes with garlic and herbs, this is such a simple recipe and it makes a change from the usual platter of roasted root vegetables, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob or broccoli. Not that there is anything wrong with those of course but sometimes it’s nice to have a change of pace. Everyone loves tomatoes whether they are canned, fresh, cherry, plum or another kind, because this vegetable (well, technically a fruit) goes with just about everything. Try this oven roasted tomatoes with garlic dish and you’ll .....
  • How to Sear Scallops without StickingHow to Sear Scallops without Sticking
    Searing scallops is so simple, and searing them without sticking is just down to ensuring your pan is hot enough when you add them, and also down to adding enough fat. I know firsthand that learning how to sear scallops without sticking can be a frustrating learning curve. Scallops aren’t cheap and ruining a batch by cooking them wrong is a costly mistake! You will need to use oil or butter (I like to use both) to stop them sticking and you will also want to wait until the fat begins to smoke before adding those scallops. How to Sear Scallops without Sticking Pro Tip: Get the Pan Really Hot! If your pan is hot enough the scallops will .....
  • Tomato Onion FoccaciaEasy Tomato and Onion Focaccia
    Focaccia is a tasty Italian bread which complements all kinds of dishes. Although you can buy it from the bakery or grocery store, making your own easy tomato and onion focaccia loaf is worthwhile because let’s face it – you can’t beat freshly baked bread! And this one is certainly no exception. How to Serve Focaccia You can serve this easy tomato and onion focaccia as an appetizer, either alone or with dips like sour cream dip or onion dip, or else have it with your main dish. If you are having beef, chicken or similar in a sauce, focaccia bread can be used to scoop up every last drop of those yummy meat juices, making it .....

Tasty Query - recipes search engine