Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

November 5, 2008 3 Comments

Shepherd's Pie Recipe

This recipe comes to you from Chef Dave Nelson who is a big potato fan. Also known as Cottage Pie, this dish is an adaptation of traditional English meat pies that go back to the Middle ages.

As potatoes became more popular in England, the addition of mashed potatoes became part of the dish. I read somewhere that if the meat pie includes beef, it’s called a cottage pie but if filled with lamb, it’s called a Shepards Pie. Not sure if that’s true, but it sounds like it should be.

Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Serving Size: 6 servings

Shepherd’s Pie Recipe


3 large russet potatoes

1 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons butter

1 clove garlic, minced

1 medium yellow onion, small dice

1 and 1/2 pounds lean ground beef

Salt and fresh cracked pepper

Beef broth

1 and 1/2 cups canned shoe peg corn, drained

1 cup frozen peas

1/2 cup heavy cream, warmed

2 tablespoons butter

1 egg yolk, slightly beaten

Fresh grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

How To Prepare At Home

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Scrub the potatoes and peel them. Cut the peeled potatoes into uniform pieces about one inch cubed and rinse in cold running water. Place the cubed potatoes into a pot with the salt and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook until fork tender.

While the potatoes are cooking, saute the onions and garlic in the butter for two minutes, then add the ground beef. Cook the ground beef, stirring with a wooden spoon until it has lost all redness. Season with salt and pepper and add a half cup or so of beef broth to keep it moist and flavorful.

Place the meat and onion mixture into a 2 quart casserole dish and top with an even layer of the shoe peg corn and peas.

Drain the cooked potatoes in a colander and return them to the pan and continue to cook on the stove over low heat for an additional 2 minutes to remove any excess moisture. Process the potatoes in a potato ricer or by hand, incorporating the warm cream and butter. Season with salt and pepper.

Top the meat and corn with an even layer of the mashed potatoes and make some squiggly lines on the surface with a fork. Then brush the surface with the beaten egg yolk to produce a nice color and add flavor. (Optionally, you can dust the surface with some fresh grated Parmesan)

Bake for 30 minutes until top of the casserole is golden brown and the contents a bit bubbly. Allow to sit for a couple of minutes before serving.


This dish can be made with a number of meats or vegetables. Lamb can be substituted or carrots and peas could be used. Many English versions of this recipe used Worcestershire Sauce to flavor the meat. When lamb is used in many countries, the dish is called Cottage Pie.


Last modified on Tue 15 July 2014 9:55 am

Comments (3)

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  1. Avi says:

    What is “shoe peg corn” in the Shepherd’s Pie recipe?

  2. RG says:

    Shoepeg corn (correct spelling), also called Gentlemen’s corn is a variety of sweetcorn and has small, narrow kernels. Of course you can substitute any corn for this recipe.

  3. Jessica Clews says:

    Chef got it wrong. He said in many countries when lamb is used the dish is called Cottage Pie. Hallo – Shepherds Pie as in sheep as in lamb! Cottage Pie is made with beef.

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