The ultimate makeover: Shepherd's pie

The ultimate makeover: Shepherd's pie

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(26 ratings)


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Cooking time

Prep: 25 mins Cook: 1 hr, 25 mins

Skill level



Serves 4

Angela Nilsen works her magic on a classic and gives Shepherd's pie a superhealthy face-lift

Nutrition and extra info

Additional info

  • Freeze before baking
  • Healthy
Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving



For the filling

  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3-4 thyme sprigs
  • 2 carrots, diced (total weight 300g/11oz)
  • 250g lean minced lamb (we used 10% fat)
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tsp vegetable bouillon powder, made up to 350ml/12fl oz stock with boiling water
  • 227g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 400g can green lentils with no added salt, drained
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

For the topping

  • 650g Maris Piper or King Edward potatoes, roughly chopped
  • 250g sweet potatoes, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp half-fat crème fraîche
  • 1 tbsp semi-skimmed milk

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  1. Heat the oil in a large, deep sauté pan or saucepan. Tip in the onion and thyme sprigs and fry for 2-3 mins. Then add the carrots and fry together for 5-8 mins, stirring occasionally until the vegetables start to brown. Stir in the mince to break it down. Fry for 1-2 mins until no longer pink. Stir in the flour, scraping the bottom of the pan in case the meat sticks, then cook for another 1-2 mins. Pour in the stock and stir until thickened. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato purée, lentils and Worcestershire sauce and season with pepper. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 45 mins, stirring occasionally.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the topping. Drop all the potatoes into a large pan of boiling water. Bring back to the boil, then simmer for 12-15 mins or until the potatoes are tender. Drain well in a colander then tip back into the pan. Mash with a masher or, briefly, with an electric hand mixer until smooth. Beat in the crème fraîche and milk with a wooden spoon until light and fluffy. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
  3. Spoon the meat into a 1.5 litre pie dish and remove the thyme sprigs. Top with the mash and smooth over with a knife. Use a fork to create a ridged pattern on top. Place the dish on a baking sheet and bake for about 20-25 mins until piping hot and the filling starts to bubble around the edges. If the top is not brown enough, pop it under the grill for 5 mins or so until the mash is crisp and golden. Let it sit for 5 mins then serve.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, March 2011

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misshellokitty76's picture
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Love this recipie

evilmoon's picture
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Really tasty, I'm not a big lamb fan but the subtle flavour combined with everything else was lovely, looking forward to the leftovers when I get home and starving after the gym tonight! Plenty of it!

wendykr's picture
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This was lovely, would definitely make it again. The only negative is that I found that the flavour of the lamb was lost amongst the other ingredients so I will probably save money (and calories) and replace it with soy/quorn mince and meat stock.

mumsy5's picture

This is fab!! A great take on a classic family favourite : ) I made this for dinner last night & had to double everything as I was feeding 7 but that meant there was enough leftovers for lunch today - woo hoo! Absolutely scrummy - even my fuss-pot 8 year old ate it with less fuss than he makes over pasta. Really nice to know I was feeding my family good healthy food ... and it was sooo filling. Definitely making this again!

amydavis7's picture

This recipe totally rocked. Even our kids ate it. The only downside was that my husband still prefers his mother's version of shepherd's pie. Will have to tweak this a bit so I can make him prefer mine! Game on!

alanminshull's picture
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Tried this last week, substituting some of the meat for the lentils added another taste and texture. Will do again on regular basis

bethocallaghan's picture
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The filling with the lentils.