Guinness Shepherds Pie Recipe

March 16, 2013 9 Comments

Guinness Shepherd's Pie

Why Drink Green Beer When Ireland’s Finest is Brown?

Oh, St. Patrick’s Day!

The day when everyone is Irish and green foods—and green beer—abound. I enjoy St. Patrick’s Day as much as the next guy, but I do not understand people’s insistence on making sure that everything they eat and drink on the day is green.  After all, Ireland is the home of some pretty famous beer, and the last time I checked, it is brown.

Guinness Stout, the venerable beer from Dublin, is dark and smooth with just a bit of a bite. Not only does it bring a lot of roasted malt flavor to anything you cook with it, but the alcohol also unlocks some alcohol-soluble flavors that would otherwise be unnoticeable.

What better way to use a nice bottle of Guinness than in a very Irish shepherd’s pie? If you are not a fan of lamb, you can certainly use beef instead, but then technically you’ll be making a cottage pie and not a shepherd’s pie.

Here’s to Spring, and here’s to St. Patrick’s Day. Enjoy!

Guinness Shepherds Pie Recipe

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: Serves 6 - 8

Guinness Shepherds Pie Recipe


2 tablespoons olive oil

2 pounds ground lamb or beef (ask for coarse grind from your butcher if possible)

2 large sweet onions, diced

3-4 cloves garlic, minced

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Leaves from three sprigs of thyme

1 teaspoon fresh minced rosemary

1 - 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes

1 bottle Guinness Stout

3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 cup chicken stock

2 pounds Russet potatoes, peeled and cubed

2 oz (1/2 stick) butter

2 oz white cheddar cheese, shredded

How To Prepare At Home

1. Pour the Guinness and Worcestershire into a sauce pan. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Let this mixture reduce by half.

2. Preheat a large, heavy bottomed skillet.

3. When hot, add a tablespoon of the oil and tilt pan to evenly distribute.

4. Cook the ground meat along with some salt and pepper until browned.

5. Remove the meat to a colander to drain.

6. Return the pan to the heat and add another tablespoon of oil.

7. Add the onions and let cook for a minute.

8. Add in the garlic and herbs and cook for another 3-4 minutes, until the onions take on some nice color and are soft.

9. Add the meat back to the pot along with the canned tomatoes.

10. Stir in the stock and the reduced Guinness mixture.

11. Taste for seasoning and add just a bit of salt and pepper if necessary.

12. Let the meat simmer in the sauce for about 15 minutes, or until thick.

13. Meanwhile, cook the potatoes in salted water until cooked through.

14. Mash or use a food mill or ricer to puree the potatoes. Mix in the butter and cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper.

15. Spoon the meat into a 4 qt casserole and top with the potatoes.

16. Bake at 350F until browned and bubbly, about 30 minutes.




Last modified on Mon 20 March 2017 1:23 pm

Filed in: Lamb Recipes

Comments (9)

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  1. Debra Kerns says:

    Making this tonight. Any tips, comments, suggestions?

  2. LoyHjon says:

    Does it still taste good without the Guinness, for the kids?

    You might want to try using a non alcoholic beer if that is a concern. – RG

    • Tom says:

      The alcohol will completely cook off (alcohol had a lower boiling point than water) so only the flavor remains. No need to use non-alcoholic beer.

  3. susan says:

    I’m trying this tonight. Doesn’t the cooking evaporate the alcohol anyway? I believe it does.

  4. Eric says:

    The cooking kills all the alcohol so the kids will need their own glass of Guinness.

  5. amanda says:

    tred ths wthout the tomatoes was absolutely amazng

  6. Sarah says:

    What size can tomatoes do you use?

    • Sorry, I should have put a 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes. That’s what I used but if you are making this at home and you think it could use some more tomato, by all means add some more.

  7. Tami says:

    St Patrick’s Day 2018 Wanted corned beef n cabbage but hubby had yesterday at safety meeting and now sick…? So, Shepard’s Pie to the rescue! My kitchen smells AMAZING!
    Question. Why no shredded carrots n corn? I’m adding them. It’s how I was brought up. Me mum’s mum was from County Mayo.

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