No-fuss shepherd's pie

No-fuss shepherd's pie

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(220 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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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.
6th Aug, 2016
Cooking it right now... Instead of lamb i'm using beef and i will put peas and mozzarella on top i'll post later the results just can't wait to eat it...
Clare B
18th Aug, 2016
Hi. How did the mozzarella work out? I'm just making this and am thinking on adding some in?
12th Jul, 2016
i made this and i put cheddar cheese on the top it went all crispy and was really nice you should defiantly try this
17th Apr, 2016
I brown the mince first then drain off all the fat. I used lamb stock about 300mls and added some thyme. Love it.
3rd Apr, 2016
I too halved the stock,added peas to the mixture and added feta cheese to the mash,delicious!
1st Apr, 2016
Been making this for a while now and it's a favourite in our house. Would strongly recommend a serious cheese injection in the mash, I usually add an obscene amount of extra mature cheddar and it really makes this dish. Definitely not sloppy, but I probably cook for at least 20 minutes uncovered which reduces the consistency beautifully. Salivating just thinking about it...


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. 
21st Aug, 2014
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?
10th Nov, 2013
I do not own an oven proof dish, would it be possible to make this in several mugs?
goodfoodteam's picture
13th May, 2014
Hi there. Good value ovenproof dishes are widely available, we would suggest investing in one as they are useful for many recipes. Thanks.
30th Apr, 2014
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!
14th Oct, 2013
I think the prep time of 15 mins is optimistic! Maybe edit that to 50 mins and cook time 25 mins? Otherwise, great recipe


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.