Shepherd’s Pie

March 16, 2016 By Cathy — 15 Comments
Shepherd’s pie is the ultimate in comfort food…a hearty and satisfying one pot meal.

Individual Shepherd's Pie

I’m not a big fan of parades. I know, I know, it’s a little like saying I don’t like Elvis or apple pie or puppies. But I’ve simply never liked them. I guess I’ve just never understood the point. I could never quite figure out where to stand, what I was supposed to be looking at and if I should be cheering or waving. But then a holiday rolls around and it just seems so festive. Am I missing out?

Individual Shepherd's Pie

Tomorrow the streets will be lined with marching bands and Irish men and women dressed in festive green. There will be cheering and singing and flags waving for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. I love the energy and the tradition and the idea of it all. And yet, I won’t be trekking into the city to celebrate. I’ll be getting my Irish on in another way.

Of course, it’s no secret that my favorite way to celebrate is with food. I asked my boys what they would like to eat for St. Patrick’s Day and I was met with a resounding chorus of “shepherd’s pie!” Now as I understand it, shepherd’s pie is English in origin, but who am I to argue? It’s our favorite pub food and if I serve it alongside a Guinness (for me, not them silly) then it makes it Irish in my book.

Individual Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd’s pie is traditionally made with lamb, but you can feel free to substitute beef (this technically makes it “cottage pie”, but I won’t tell). I cook the ground meat with vegetables in a rich sauce with a healthy scoop of vegetables and top it with fluffy mashed potatoes. If I’m feeling especially fancy, I use a pastry bag fitted with a rose tip and pipe pretty mashed potato swirls on top, but dolloping and smoothing works just fine too.

You can bake your shepherd’s pie in a large baking dish, but I love individual servings. It’s not because I don’t like to share, it’s, well, yeah, it’s because I don’t like to share. That and it gives me an excuse to use my favorite mini cast iron skillets. You can use oven safe ramekins here too.

Individual Shepherd's Pie

So I won’t be drinking my green beer amongst the parade goers tomorrow, but that doesn’t mean I’m not feeling festive. I’ll tie on my best green apron, crank up the Dropkick Murphys and maybe even drop a bit of green food coloring in our eggs in the morning. And shepherd’s pie will definitely be on the menu for dinner. Because it doesn’t matter how you celebrate, on St. Patrick’s Day, we’re all Irish.

5 from 3 votes
Shepherd's Pie
Prep Time
25 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hr 10 mins
Shepherd's pie is the ultimate in comfort food...a hearty and satisfying one pot meal.
Course: Main Dish
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Cathy Roma |
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • 4 medium russet potatoes peeled and quartered
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 1 cup carrots minced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 1/2 lbs ground lamb or beef
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1 tsp thyme minced
  • 2 Tbsp parsley minced
  • 1 cup green peas
  • *4 - 6" cast iron pans or 4 - 12 oz ramekins greased or 1 large casserole pan (greased)
  1. Place the potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover with cool water. Add two tsp salt, cover and bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
  2. Cook until potatoes are fork-tender, then remove from heat and drain.
  3. Strain potatoes through a ricer or mash with a fork or masher. Add milk, cream, butter, salt and pepper and stir well. Cover and reserve.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  5. Heat the oil in a large saute pan over med/high heat. Add onion and carrots saute until softened, 5-10 mins. Add the garlic and saute 1-2 additional mins.
  6. Add the meat and cook, stirring often, until browned. Stir in the flour and cook 2 mins.
  7. Add the tomato paste, mustard, dijon and worcestershire sauce. Mix well and cook 2 mins.
  8. Add the wine and cook until reduced by half, then add the stock.
  9. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until sauce is reduced and thickened, about 5-10 mins.
  10. Stir in the thyme, parsley and peas.
  11. Divide meat mixture between individual pans or ramekins. Pipe or dollop mashed potatoes over the top to completely cover.
  12. Bake for 20-25 mins or until potatoes are golden.
Individual Shepherd's Pie

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Filed Under: Main Dishes, Recipe


15 responses to “Shepherd’s Pie”

  1. I guess I’ve been missing out Cathy because I’ve never tried Shepherd’s Pie! These look so savory and delish! I guarantee my husband Tom would love them! On my list! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Shepard’s pie is the best!! These look too delicious! Your mash potato art is on point!! xox

  3. Miriam - says:

    Shepherd’s pie is one of my favourite comfort foods. The mashed potatoes swirls on top look gorgeous. Happy St Patrick’s Day!

  4. Hahaha. I’m not the biggest fan of parades either, Cathy… but I do love my pup. Sooo, I’m not sure what that says about me. ūüėČ Also on my list of things I love, Shepherd’s pie!! It reminds me of my father, because it was one of his favorite things to make. I know he would have loved yours, my dear, because it looks perfect!! Those fluffy, perfectly pipped potatoes on top are EVERYTHING! I wasn’t planning on making anything special for St. Patty’s today, but after drooling over this I’m thinking I need to go to the store and get the ingredients to make this pie. SO much yum! Pinned! Cheers, friend and Happy St. Patty’s day!

    • Cathy says:

      ha. i actually love elvis and apple pie and puppies…i was just feeling a little un-american for disclosing my parade issues and likening it to those favorites. never fear…i would sit in a room feeding your puppy apple pie while listening to elvis any day! happy st. patrick’s day!!!

  5. Jennifer J says:

    Made this for St. Paddy’s Day this past Friday. Lots of happy leprechauns in our house! Cheers!

  6. Colleen Beauregard says:

    Can I make these 1 day ahead, refrigerate, take out and bring to room temperature, then bake? I have 14 people coming for St. Patrick’s Day Dinner and would like to do ahead.

  7. Colleen Beauregard says:

    Thank you!

  8. Claudia says:

    Happy St. Paddy’s Day! I made this a few weeks ago and froze the individual pies for my elderly mother-in-law to pop in the oven because she hates to cook. I LOVE to cook so we get along great. I also made a family-size one in a deep dish pie pan and everyone loved it so making it again tonight for a small dinner party and can’t wait to eat it! Totally pinned this one…it’s a keeper.

    • Cathy says:

      That sounds like a win/win in the cooking/eating dept Claudia. I’m happy to hear that the deep dish version worked well for you and learn your great tips on freezing. Thanks so much for commenting!

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