Traditional recipes

Our Boozy Shepherd's Pie recipe

Our Boozy Shepherd's Pie recipe

  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Beef
  • Beef pie

This is a favourite of our family. There's nothing quite like it for an easy Sunday night dinner in winter. Quick, easy and big time comfort food!

9 people made this

IngredientsServes: 6

  • Filling
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 500g premium minced steak
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 - 2 cloves garlic
  • 5 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tsp beef stock granules
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 small bottle beer
  • 100g frozen mixed vegies
  • salt and pepper
  • fresh oregano
  • fresh parsley
  • Topping
  • 1kg potatoes
  • 150g grated cheese
  • 2 tbsp butter

MethodPrep:30min ›Cook:30min ›Ready in:1hr

  1. In a heavy based pan, heat oil and butter until butter is melted and bubbling but not brown. Add finely diced onions and garlic and cook until soft and transparent. Add steak and cook through, breaking up into fine pieces for about 5 minutes - until juices separate.
  2. Add flour, stock granules, tomatoes and finally beer gradually - stirring all the time. Next add frozen veggies, oregano and parsley, salt and pepper to taste. Cook for about 14 minutes then cool slightly and transfer into ramekins or a casserole / pie dish.
  3. Meanwhile peel and steam potatoes for approx 30- 40 mins until soft. Mash finely and mix with cheese and a little milk or cream if you would like. (Very good for the waistline!!)
  4. Spread potato on top of meat mixture and dot with butter and a little more cheese if you like. Cook in a pre-heated oven (180 C / Gas 4) until golden on the top and warmed through. Serve hot - accompanied with warm crusty bread.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(5)

Reviews in English (4)

FantasticMade enough for six of us but wish I'd made double the amountScared to tweak this recipe as It's so good !-17 Jul 2016

by Venice

... I am yet to try this Recipe, but it looks and sounds like a real Winner --- well done Yummum73 --- you have inspired my next Shepherd's Pie --- thanks-a-lot from Sydney, Australia.-05 Sep 2011(Review from this site AU | NZ)

Lamb and Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

Tomorrow is my birthday and I had hoped this week would be a little quieter than usual so that I could have some time to prepare myself for becoming a year older. In fact, the opposite happened and I have been busier than ever. Such is often the way. This also means that I have not had time to write up a shepherd’s pie that I cooked a couple of weeks ago that was more successful than I anticipated.

It started with us cooking a the lamb shawarma from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem for a family Sunday supper. I usually look to Ottolenghi for my vegetarian recipes, but could not resist this lamb. It has had a post-it marking the page for longer than I care to admit. If you have the book, it is worth making for an alternative Sunday roast: it is marinated in no less than 11 spices and slow roasted for about four and a half hours. We served ours with the usual array of kebab accompaniments – shredded iceberg, pickled chillies, hot sauce and a little hummus – and with a butternut squash, lentil and feta salad on the side.

Of course, we had some lamb left over, although not a great deal as we were all rather hungry. Once I had shredded it from the bone, there was about 250g of meat, which would make a very skimpy Shepherd’s pie indeed. I almost popped it in a tupperware to use for sandwich meat, and then remembered that I used to pad out vegetarian ‘shepherd’s’ pies with lentils and that it could also work well with the lamb. As it happens, it worked perfectly. Not only did it stretch the filling to make a pie for two people with a little leftover, but it added another dimension of texture to the shredded lamb. I was worried that the spices from the shawarma would overpower the dish a little, but in the end I could barely taste them, save for a bit of extra heat.

Food waste is one of my biggest bete noires, so the thrill of creating a new meal from old leftovers is pretty unrivalled as far as culinary thrills go. I have always found more satisfaction in creating something from the odds and ends of the fridge than having a whole supermarket full of ingredients at my disposal. This is partly why I shop daily rather than do a big ‘weekly shop’ – it is far easier to see what you already have, and then figure out something to do with it. A shepherd’s pie, or cottage pie, is a perfect way of using up leftovers: the meat, old bits you have lurking around the veg drawer, and the ends of bags of potatoes. As far as the filling goes, you can add in more or less anything you like. The idea of creating this as a completely new dish seems like an odd one. Some people do this with mince, which I prefer not to use if I can help it.

Lamb and Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

100g dried green lentils
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, diced
2 celery sticks, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp dried thyme
100ml red wine
250g leftover roast lamb
100ml chicken stock
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
3 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tbsp tomato puree
Salt and pepper
750g potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 tbsp salted butter
Grated cheese, for topping

Cook the lentils according to packet instructions and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 200ºc. Heat the oil in a large frying pan, or chef’s pan, and cook the onion, carrots and celery over a medium heat until soft but not browned, approximately 10 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme in the last two minutes of cooking.

Pour in the wine and increase the heat a little to let it bubble. Cook for a couple of minutes until it has reduced a little. Add the lamb, stock, Worcestershire sauce, tomato ketchup, tomato puree, salt and pepper. Cook on a medium heat for around 15-20 minutes until the mixture has thickened and most of the liquid has been reduced. Stir in the lentils and transfer to a suitable pie dish.

Meanwhile, cook the potatoes until tender. Drain and mash with the butter and a little milk until smooth. Check the seasoning.

Pipe or spoon the mash over the lamb mixture and top with a layer of grated cheese. Bake in the oven for around 30 minutes until the top has browned and the edges are bubbling. Serve with green vegetables.

Recipe Summary

  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (Optional)
  • 1 (14 ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
  • ¼ cup raw honey
  • ¼ cup spiced rum
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine almond milk and cinnamon sticks in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. Simmer for 5 minutes. Cover, remove from heat, and add coconut oil. Allow to steep and cool for 30 minutes.

Remove lid and strain out cinnamon sticks. Whisk in coconut milk, honey, rum, and vanilla extract. Chill for 1 hour.

Pour into an ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer's instructions, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately for 'ice milk' consistency or freeze overnight until firm.

How to Make Skillet Shepherd’s Pie

Start by browning ground beef with chopped shallot or onion in a large, oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Season with homemade seasoned salt and pepper then add minced garlic and big pinches of dried parsley, thyme, and rosemary. Saute until fragrant, 1-2 minutes.

Greek Zoodles

Next add worcestershire sauce (Lea & Perrin’s is gluten-free in the states,) and tomato paste then stir to combine. Sprinkle in gluten-free flour then stir and cook for 1 minute.

Slowly drizzle in beef stock while stirring to avoid lumps then simmer until the mixture has thickened, 3-4 minutes. Taste then add more seasoned salt and/or pepper if necessary.

Take the skillet off the heat then stir in frozen vegetables. I just use a standard medley.

Last step is to spoon prepared mashed potatoes on top then spread into an even layer and brush with a mixture of melted butter and garlic powder. Use a fork to give the mashed potatoes a rustic look, which will also help the ridges brown in the oven. You can use your own mashed potato recipe, or store bought, OR I’ve included my go-to recipe in the notes section of the recipe card below.

Bake the Skillet Shepherd’s Pie for 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees then finish with a blast from the broiler to really brown the top. Let sit for 5 minutes before digging in and serving up. I hope you love this hot and comforting dish – enjoy!



Step 1

Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium. Cook bacon, stirring often, until browned and crisp, 8–10 minutes. Transfer bacon to a plate with a slotted spoon.

Step 2

Increase heat to medium-high and cook half of ground lamb in same skillet undisturbed until well browned underneath, about 4 minutes. Break up lamb using 2 spoons or spatulas, then continue to cook, tossing occasionally and breaking into small pieces, until nearly cooked through but with some pink still remaining. Season with salt and transfer to plate with bacon. Repeat with another 1 Tbsp. oil and remaining lamb. Resist the temptation to cook all of the lamb in one batch it will steam instead of searing, and you’ll miss out on the flavor that comes from browning.

Step 3

Heat remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in same skillet and add onions, fennel, carrot, and celery. Season with salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are lightly browned and very soft, 12–15 minutes. Add tomato paste and flour and cook, stirring constantly, until paste darkens, about 1 minute. Add wine, bring to a simmer, and cook until reduced by half (it should no longer smell boozy), about 5 minutes. Add broth, rosemary, and thyme return meat to skillet and simmer, stirring occasionally, until liquid is almost completely evaporated and any remaining sauce is the consistency of gravy, 15–20 minutes. Transfer filling to a 3-qt. baking dish.

Step 4

Do Ahead: Filling can be made 4 days ahead. Let cool cover and chill.


Step 5

Preheat oven to 375°. Place potatoes in a large saucepan and add water to cover by at least 2" season generously with salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until a paring knife easily slides through potatoes, 25–35 minutes. Let cool slightly.

Step 6

Bring half-and-half and butter to a simmer over medium heat.

Step 7

Halve potatoes, skin and all (skins won’t go through ricer or mill, but you can peel if you really want to), and pass through ricer or food mill set over a large bowl. If you don’t have a ricer or food mill, use a potato masher and aim to get the potatoes as smooth as possible. Mix in warm half-and-half mixture. Whisk egg yolks and sour cream in a small bowl, then mix into potatoes season with salt and pepper.

Step 8

Carefully top filling with half of mashed potatoes smooth out over filling so that no meat is peeking up through potatoes. Repeat with remaining potatoes, swirling decoratively.

Step 9

Bake shepherd’s pie until filling is bubbling around edges and top is golden brown, 45–50 minutes.

Step 10

Do Ahead: Pie can be assembled (but not baked) 3 days ahead. Cover and chill.

18 of 18

Why Is St. Patrick's Day So Boozy?

Now, about that whole drinking on Saint Patrick's Day business.

According to legend, the dear saint himself used a touch of the tipple to teach a stingy innkeeper a lesson in generosity. It seems that after receiving a less than brimming pour, the future saint declared there was a devil living in the cellar of the inn, whose wicked ways caused the innkeeper to be greedy and cheat his customers of their full measure of drink.

The only way to rid the place of this devil, St. Patrick said, was to fill each cup to overflowing. This the innkeeper did, St. Patrick proclaimed the devil banished, and now we drink on Saint Patrick's day to commemorate banishing the devil with a generous outpouring of spirits. So, there you have it.

All that remains is to learn how to say sláinte (good health) in Gaelic when you raise your glass to cheer your fellow merrymakers.

What you can expect

  • This recipe for Shepherd’s pie carries a thick, velvety gravy from the tomato paste and flour.
  • The sweetness comes from the whiskey, which, after the alcohol is cooked off, adds a sweet undertone to the meat.
  • Mushrooms add another layer of meatiness and body to the dish.
  • Peas and corn add little pops of freshness to the whole thing

Zucchini Shepherd’s Pie

*To avoid a runny casserole, shred zucchini 2 hours in advance, place into a strainer like in the photo above, sprinkle with salt and let it sit. This will draw out much of the unwanted moisture.

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 med onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8–10 oz package fresh mushrooms, chopped (optional)
  • 2 envelopes Simply Organic mushroom sauce mix (or use a slurry made with 2 cups beef broth and 1 tbsp flour)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 medium to large zucchini, shredded (with moisture pressed out)
  • 4 medium potatoes, shredded
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 8 oz package shredded cheddar cheese (The whole 8 oz makes it really cheesy, so you may not need the whole thing. I used about 3/4 and it was great.)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic salt
  • Chopped fresh or dried parsley, to taste (optional)

In a large skillet, brown ground beef. (While beef is browning, whisk mushroom sauce mix into 2 cups water or create beef broth slurry.)

Drain fat from beef add onion to beef and cook until fragrant and translucent. Add garlic cook one minute more. Add sauce mix or beef broth mixture and black pepper and cook, stirring, until thickened.

Preheat over to 375º. Lightly spray a 9吉″ baking dish with non-stick spray. Spread beef mixture in bottom of pan. In a large bowl, mix together zucchini, potatoes, egg, milk, half of bread crumbs, cheese and garlic salt. Spread zucchini mixture on top of beef mixture. Top with remaining bread crumbs and parsley, if desired. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 15–30 minutes or until bubbly and browned on top.

Our Boozy Shepherd's Pie recipe - Recipes

Chop the onion and garlic finely and fry in an oiled pan. Once softened, sprinkle the flour over to make a very loose roux. This will help thicken the gravy later.

Add the mince and stir through to break up any clumps, allowing the mince to brown all over.

Whisk two cups of water with two tablespoons of stock and add to the mince pan along with the red wine. Turn to the lowest heat possible, and allow to simmer for at least fifteen minutes.

Start peeling 1200g of potatoes. Once peeled, cut the potatoes into small chunks and boil them vigorously. You'll need quite a large pan for 1200g of potatoes.

Add the anchovy powder, worcester sauce and mixed herbs to the mince pan. Taste, and season accordingly.

Gravy is built in to a shepherd's pie, so don't simmer the entire thing away. Taste again at this point - I felt there wasn't enough boozy flavour so added 25ml of rum, our red wine stock having been depleted by this stage of cooking. The heat can be turned off at this stage, although be sure to keep it warm to avoid re-heating dangers.

Drain the potatoes, which should have been boiled to almost breaking point, and mash them with milk, butter and more salt and pepper.

Tip the beef mixture into a large, deep dish (ours is 23cm across, 77cm around, and 8cm deep). Carefully spread the mash on top, and then use a fork to create mountains and troughs. A smooth topping seriously detracts from this dish.

Bake for at least twenty minutes at 180 degrees (360 Fahrenheit). It could probably withstand up to forty minutes. It's a good idea to put the bowl on a large sheet of foil, because the pie will try to escape a little.

Real British Shepherd’s Pie

The real, proper, original, cheeseless British Shepherd’s Pie, with meat and red wine and gravy and rustic-looking potatoes on top.


  • 1 whole Onion
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Flour
  • ¾ pounds, 2-⅛ ounces, weight Mince, Preferably Beef Or Lamb
  • 3 cups Cold Water, Divided Use
  • 3 Tablespoons Gravy Or Beef Stock Powder, Divided Use
  • 1 cup Red Wine
  • 1 teaspoon Anchovy Powder
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Mixed Herbs
  • 1 head Broccoli
  • 1 tablespoon, 2 teaspoons, 1-¼ pinches Rum, Or Red Wine
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • Mustard, For Serving
  • _____
  • 2-½ pounds, 2-⅓ ounces, weight Potatoes
  • 1 Tablespoon Milk
  • ½ cups Butter
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste


Chop the onion and garlic finely and fry over medium heat in an oiled pan on the stovetop. Once softened, sprinkle the flour over to make a very loose roux. This will help thicken the gravy later.

Add the mince and stir through to break up any clumps, allowing the mince to brown all over.

Whisk 2 cups of cold water with 2 tablespoons of stock powder, and add it to the mince pan along with the red wine. Turn the flame down to the lowest heat possible, and allow to simmer for at least fifteen minutes.

Peel and chop the potatoes into chunks, and boil vigorously on a high heat until very soft.

Add the anchovy powder, worcestershire sauce and mixed herbs to the mince pan. Taste, and season accordingly.

Cut or break the broccoli head into small florets and add to the mince pan, along with the remaining cup of water whisked with one tablespoon of stock powder. Turn the heat up to medium-low and simmer for ten minutes or longer.

Taste the mince-gravy mixture and add the 25ml extra of alcohol if you think it necessary. Don’t simmer away too much of the liquid, because gravy is built into a shepherd’s pie. Turn the heat back down to very low while you mash the potatoes.

Drain the potatoes, which should have been boiled to almost breaking point, and mash them with milk, butter and more salt and pepper. This amount of butter should create a gorgeous mash, the buttery taste of which can even withstand the beefy boozy filling later on.

Tip the mince mixture into a large, deep dish to go in the oven. Spread the potato mash carefully over the top, then use a fork to create mountains and troughs in the mash by raking and lifting. A smooth topping seriously detracts from a real shepherd’s pie.

Bake for twenty minutes to forty minutes, depending on how desperately you need the pie, at 180 degrees C (360 Fahrenheit). It’s a good idea to put the bowl on a large sheet of foil, because the pie filling will try to escape a little.

Serve with a teaspoon or so of mustard on the side. I think it works best with whole grain mustard.