No-fuss shepherd's pie

No-fuss shepherd's pie

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(211 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 1 hr


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

  • kcal663
  • fat39g
  • saturates20g
  • carbs49g
  • sugars10g
  • fibre5g
  • protein33g
  • salt1.35g
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  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
    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



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

  • 2-3 medium carrots, chopped



    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



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

  • 85g butter



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

  • 3 tbsp milk



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


  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 (232)

Skynorth's picture

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

helen90's picture

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

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

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

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).

Amyfoodie's picture

Very tasty and simple to make. Just added 1 stick finely chopped celery and garlic in at the beginning with the other veg for flavour and left the lid off when simmering to allow it to reduce (would have been too watery otherwise). And of course grated cheddar on top! I divided it into 4 small containers for the freezer, perfect for an easy meal after work.

Moboduncan's picture

Really easy, quick and tasty. My kids and their friend gobbled it down. Result all round. Just added grated cheese to the top. My daughter didn't even ask for ketchup to go with it!

Lucy5's picture

Amazing shepherds pie, best ive ever had.

stephenarichardon's picture

Great recipe. I like to add beaten egg and cheese to the top. Really nice

cshobbs's picture

Next time I will use slightly less potato. Great with grated cheddar sprinkled over the top and browned under the grill.

wigbatt's picture

Did this last night for the wife, went down a storm, having the left overs tonight! I added a tin of chopped tomatoes to the recipe and just cooked it down for longer than stated, so that there wasn't too much moisture in the pan, I also added a lot more than 85g of butter to the tatties, buttery mash is always best and baked it in the oven with another few small nobs of butter on top! Crisped up lovely and will be happy to do this again and play about with different additions to my taste at the time of cooking!

JoSigal's picture

Exactly what I was looking for. I followed recipe initially but then read other comments so decided to throw in a little frozen garlic to the lamb/gravy at the end and a little horseradish to the potato (which I often do). I left out milk as it was kosher - but really enjoyed cooking something so simple. I bet I get asked for the recipe!

slowhandstan's picture

I love this recipe and enjoy varying it. Recently I added a tin of chickpeas while on the stove for the last 10 minutes. An awesome addition...

eggshelly's picture

I've just made this, followed the recipe, found it to be quite watery so I added a little cornflour! tasted amazing straight away and have made some to freeze. Nice, easy, no fuss :)

dazzlingjessie's picture

I might add the cornflour when I make this then. Thanks for the tip.

holliehobbie's picture

I cooked the sauce a little longer after the lid came off. A flash under the grill made all the difference to crispen up the top. I also added a bit of fresh time and celery and in the cooking and a dash of parsley to serve. This will be my new family shepherd pie for ease, originality great taste, especially the next day.

tedz's picture

Way, way too much liquid. Resulted in a third of the sauce uncovered as mash half-sank into the sauce and would not spread. Semi-disaster.


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