The best homemade shepherd's pie in the world

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Serves: 4


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  • 500g onion peeled and finely chopped

  • 1 tbsp tomato puree or ketchup

  • 1 tbsp flour

  • 450g minced lamb

  • 200g parsnips peeled and roughly chopped

  • 450g minced beef for melting on top

  • 1l beef stock (a good-quality cube will do)

  • 250ml red wine

  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and crushed

  • 1 tsp thyme chopped

  • 500g potatoes peeled and quartered

  • 25g butter

  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce


  1. Season the minced meat with salt and pepper and mix well.
  2. Meanwhile heat some vegetable oil in a frying pan. When it is almost smoking, cook the meat in small batches for a few minutes each, turning it with a wooden spoon until well coloured, then drain in a colander to remove all the fat.
  3. Heat some more vegetable oil in a heavy-based saucepan and gently fry the onion, garlic and thyme in it until these are very soft.
  4. Add the meat, dust it with the flour and then add the tomato purée. Cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly. Slowly add the red wine, Worcestershire sauce and the beef stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the liquid has thickened. Take it off the heat, adjust the seasoning and allow it to cool.
  5. Meanwhile, cook the potatoes in boiling, salted water for about 15 minutes until tender. Drain and return to the pan over a low heat to dry out for a minute or so. Mash the potatoes, season and add the butter and enough milk to give a firm mash.
  6. While the potatoes are cooking, also boil the parsnips in boiling, salted water for about 10-12 minutes until they are soft. Drain in a colander and dry them in the pan over a low heat for a minute or so. Purée the parsnips in a food processor or mash them smoothly with a potato masher and mix them with the mashed potato. Season.
  7. Pre-heat the oven to 200C/Gas Mark 6. Put the meat into a large serving dish and top with the potato and parsnip mixture, spooning it on and evening and roughing up the surface with a fork.
  8. Bake for 35-40 minutes until the topping is golden. Add cheese at the last minute.

Additional Information

  • lamb

  • beef

  • Potato

  • Winter

  • Main Course

  • Gluten Free

  • Nut Free

  • Egg Free

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  • RICKEN 18/01/08 17:16

    it's the best shepherd's pie recipe i've ever tasted. spending a bit more on meat at the butchers is worth it too