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No-fuss shepherd's pie

No-fuss shepherd's pie

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(199 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 1 hr

Easy

Serves 4
We've got some lovely twists on shepherd's pie on the site, but we were missing a definitive version of this classic family recipe - here it is!

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freeze once assembled

Nutrition per serving

  • kcalories663
  • fat39g
  • saturates20g
  • carbs49g
  • sugars10g
  • fibre5g
  • protein33g
  • salt1.35g
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Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil

    A variety of oils can be used for baking. Sunflower is the one we use most often at Good Food as…

  • 1 large onion, chopped

    Onion

    un-yun

    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 2-3 medium carrots, chopped

    Carrot

    ka-rot

    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 500g pack lamb mince
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • large splash Worcestershire sauce
  • 500ml beef stock
  • 900g potato, cut into chunks

    Potato

    po-tate-oh

    The world's favourite root vegetable, the potato comes in innumerable varieties. A member of…

  • 85g butter

    Butter

    butt-err

    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 3 tbsp milk

    Milk

    mill-k

    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a complete food. While cow…

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Method

  1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan, then soften the onion and carrots for a few mins. When soft, turn up the heat, crumble in the lamb and brown, tipping off any excess fat. Add the tomato purée and Worcestershire sauce, then fry for a few mins. Pour over the stock, bring to a simmer, then cover and cook for 40 mins, uncovering halfway.

  2. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 180C/ fan 160C/ gas 4, then make the mash. Boil the potatoes in salted water for 10-15 mins until tender. Drain, then mash with the butter and milk.

  3. Put the mince into an ovenproof dish, top with the mash and ruffle with a fork. The pie can now be chilled and frozen for up to a month. Bake for 20-25 mins until the top is starting to colour and the mince is bubbling through at the edges. (To bake from frozen, cook at 160C/fan 140C/gas 3 for 1 hr-1 hr 20 mins until piping hot in the centre. Flash under the grill to brown, if you like.) Leave to stand for 5 mins before serving.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Comments (224)

liseh's picture

Made this tonight and really enjoyed it. After reading comments that it can be sloppy at times I only added 250ml of the stock & also a tbsp of beef gravy granules, which thickened it up perfectly and added extra flavour. Definitely making again :)

cyclefly's picture
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Yes it will be "sloppy" if you don't reduce it before transfering to the dish. The people who say this is boring (of course it is theres nothing to make it interesting) need to smash a load of parmesan and garlic in the mash. Try adding some bovril beefy as well as the standard beef stock. This is a perfect basis from which to start you own version of a shepherds pie - it just needs some messing around with.

lizleicester's picture
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Simple and delicious. I think the 20 minutes of cooking without the lid on probably reduced the "sloppiness" perfectly and intensified the flavours.

maryyoung's picture
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After trying this very simple and straightforward recipe, it is now a firm favourite in our household. Easy to make and can freeze even half of it if there aren't enough people eating that night. Delicious. (I like having it with soda scones which are usually only available in winter sadly). For my husband, who is a pescetarian, I use quorn mince and vegetable stock and he loves it too.

buffduffdan's picture
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One of the best Shepherd's pies that I've eaten. I added mushrooms to mine and also some grated cheese onto the mash for the last 5 minutes - plus I used a bit more tomato puree and worcestershire suace than the recipe suggested. I didn't find it runny at all - just very tasty!

carla89's picture

I add a tsp of rosemary and time to the mixture...is devine!

cyclefly's picture
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Very simple recipe, unfortunately it is also very boring.

JMTD77's picture

Seems a few people found this a little 'sloppy' as they put, maybe a bit more liquid than wanted. Either reduce down the amount of stock you're using at the start or cook it out longer so that more of the liquid/sauce reduces. If part one, go from 500ml to about 250/300ml. If the second option, just take that bit of extra time if you aren't in a rush, reducing it and cooking it down more will add extra depth to the flavor too.

NoPickedOnions's picture
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Great shepherds pie I added mushrooms to mine as well but like others to much liquid. Adding 2 tablespoons of flour did the trick.

callum2903's picture

Really good. Would would recommend using a slotted spoon when putting in the mince mix. Its really nice to cook it in a lot of stock, but this was you can easily adjust the gravy ratio in your final dish :)

geethuweb's picture
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nice

CalMamaCook's picture
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This is the same as the recipe my mum has used for the last 45 years, so already well tested by us. I looked this up as I was out of Worchester sauce and was looking for an alternative recipe without... well I used this and a tbsp anchovy paste and tbsp soy sauce instead, remarkably the taste was very similar and still very good! Recommend

Skynorth's picture

A good, no frills recipe. But why use beef stock cubes rather than lamb?

helen90's picture
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Tried this for the first time this evening - delicious, will make again. Found the mince was still a bit runny after 40 mins so thickened with cornflour before putting in the ovenproof dish. Served with steamed kale and broccoli.

georgelikescake's picture
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Made this last week and thought it was delicious... I haven't eaten shepherds pie for years but plan to make this a lot more often now! So simple to make.

I substituted about a third of the potato topping for sweet potatoes which was nice and also added half a can of beans to the filling. Served with tenderstem broccoli and kale. Very moreish!

dazzlingjessie's picture

@Poonagirl actually a shepherds pie was lamb hence the name shepherds pie a cottage pie was beef you couldn't call it shepherds pie if it was beef. My grandad cleared this up for me when I was younger as he was a farmer in Norfolk. Always used to get these mixed up. Looking forward to trying this tonight ☺️

Poonagirl's picture

I think the name has been lost over the years....A shepherds pie was mince and veg covered in potato mash....a cottage pie was left over lamb and veg with a pastry base and a potato mash topping. A cottage pie has a lot less gravy for obvious reasons, but very tasty, and very tidy.

Working Mummy's picture
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Made a vegartarian version of this today, using quorn mince, went down well with both hubby and son (aged 6). Added peas to the mixture and grated cheddar cheese over the top before putting in the oven. I did think there was too much stock and so held some back when transferring to the oven dish so that it wasn't too sloppy. Very tasty, will make more next time to freeze.

jbenyon's picture
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I made this for tonight's supper but found it extremely sloppy. As per the other comments, it certainly needs bulking up, a lot as 2 cups of stock seems excessive. Taste was good but I might check out some other BBC recipes instead of this one.

annaloufood's picture

Absolutely yummy! I added a few mushrooms to bulk it out a bit and found I needed more potato to cover the mince (about 1-1.2kg).

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Questions (10)

astoelli's picture
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Hello, URGENT! I would like to double the amount and precook for the weekend. How does this work? If I put the shepherd's pie in the casserole it is supposed to be baked in after freezing, how do I put it in the freezer? If I put the shepherd's pie into a freezing box with a lid, how do I get it in to the casserole after freezing? Excuse this maybe "silly" question and my bad English, I live abroad... Thanks so much! Regards1

geneticcrazybaker's picture

you set the meat in the casserole dish, layer the mashed potato on top, cover with foil then put in the freezer.

Thishan's picture

Hi,

I would like to make this for 30 - 50 guests. can you help with how much ingredients I would need?

many thanks in advance

Thishan

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi Thishan, thanks for getting in touch and glad to hear you're keen to make this recipe. For that number you would probably want to at least multiply these ingredients by 10, possibly even 15 (depending on final numbers and whether or not you are going to be serving additional dishes alongside) we would also suggest baking it in lots of batches, following the above method as closely as possible. However, we haven't tested this recipe with such large quantities so would not be able to guarantee perfect results. Let us know how you get on. 

tjbolton's picture

If you're making this to freeze, do you cook completely and then freeze or should you freeze it before it goes in the oven?

jonodee's picture

I do not own an oven proof dish, would it be possible to make this in several mugs?

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi there. Good value ovenproof dishes are widely available, we would suggest investing in one as they are useful for many recipes. Thanks.

wigbatt's picture

They are not expensive, buy one for a few quid from asda or the like, you don't need a le creuset one or anything! I can't see your average mug withstanding the heat of an oven very well!

paul_hogan's picture

I think the prep time of 15 mins is optimistic! Maybe edit that to 50 mins and cook time 25 mins? Otherwise, great recipe

goodfoodteam's picture

Thanks for the feedback on timings, they are usually just a rough guide as speed is variable from person to person, glad you enjoyed the recipe though, thanks.

Tips (2)

liseh's picture

Made this tonight & loved it. After reading the comments that it can be a little sloppy at times, I decided to halve the stock (250ml) & then add a tbsp or 2 (depending on how you want it) and it worked a treat, also added a bit more flavour to it. Definitely making again :)

Skynorth's picture

Buy lamb from a butcher as it will be cheaper. Add peas and/or green beans to bump up your vegetable portions. Also, try mashing parsnip with the potato, and add some freshly chopped parsley. finally, why not add some grated cheese to the top, and heat under the grill until bubbling.
You could use Quorn mince if you are vegetarian or want to cut down on your red meat consumption.

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