No-fuss shepherd's pie

No-fuss shepherd's pie

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(240 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, questions and tips

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22nd Mar, 2018
I followed the recipe with the slight twist of doing 50/50 sweet potato and ordinary potato. It looked lovely and tasted delicious and filled us all up very comfortably!
10th Feb, 2018
Great family meal that my kids always love. I add a clove of garlic, glass of red wine, and some fresh thyme for an extra depth of flavour.
Bananas Bread's picture
Bananas Bread
5th Feb, 2018
This and all the Bbc shep. pue recipe cite an excess of spud to meat. This is a mistake. It turns a lush dinner into a stodge pot. In put ill try a max of = amounts spud and depending how that is, maybe 4/5 the amount of spud.
8th Nov, 2017
This is a great recipe, grated some cheddar cheese on top of the potato! Delicious!
11th Oct, 2017
Delicious, doesn't need any alterations but we added some peas and used ground beef instead (as ground lamb is not available in my country). Some thyme is nice, too!
AndyTastes's picture
29th Aug, 2017
for a delicious twist, add a teaspoon and a half of garam masala to the sauce. absolutely delicious.
catherine.hunter's picture
23rd Apr, 2017
This a total winner in our house. My little boy (7) loves it and ate every last morsel in his plate. It has good flavour and is a wholesome, healthy family meal. Five stars from me!
Jezebel Bates
12th Apr, 2017
Mine came out with way too much liquid, so the potato topping ended up a bit steamed and waterlogged, too. Would use half as much stock in future.
6th Jan, 2017
This is a very tasty recipe but it was far too watery for me. Simmered it for about 40 mins to get it to the consistency I like. Will definitely make again but will try with much less stock to avoid the long simmer stage I added.
11th Dec, 2016
I don't use any (liquid) stock just a tin of chopped tomatoes, a good dash of worcestershire sauce and then a teaspoon of marmite in a little hot water. Add a few bay leaves and half a teaspoon of powdered stock to up the flavour. It reduces quicker and is moist without the sloppiness.


29th Oct, 2017
After freezing, can I defrost in fridge and then cook in microwave?
goodfoodteam's picture
8th Nov, 2017
Thanks for your question. We would recommend cooking this in the oven. You can do this from frozen. Cook it at 160C/fan 140C/gas 3 for 1 hr-1 hr 20 mins until piping hot in the centre.
8th Sep, 2017
Roughly what size oven dish would you recommend using for this recipe?
21st Aug, 2017
Once prepared how long would this keep in the fridge for? I'm looking to prepare this today for later in the week. Thanks
goodfoodteam's picture
22nd Aug, 2017
Thanks for your question, you can keep this in the fridge for 2 - 3 days or freeze it for up to a month. Instructions on how to cook from frozen are in step 3. If fridge cold, you'll want to cook the dish for around 30 - 40 mins. Check it is hot in the centre before serving.
27th Apr, 2016
Hi I would love to know the make of the saucepans used in the video ?
5th Aug, 2015
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
26th Oct, 2015
you set the meat in the casserole dish, layer the mashed potato on top, cover with foil then put in the freezer.
31st Mar, 2015
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
20th Apr, 2015
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. 


25th Jun, 2016
taught how to make this at school in the 60s, I prefer beef in mine, add a can of sweet corn and some garlic salt, also add slice tomatoes and grated cheese on top of mashed pots.
7th Jan, 2016
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
7th Feb, 2015
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.