Chilli beef shepherd's pie

Chilli beef shepherd's pie

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(39 ratings)

Prep: 5 mins Cook: 30 mins


Serves 4
The family favourite with a spicy kick and parsnip mash topping

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal518
  • fat18g
  • saturates6g
  • carbs52g
  • sugars22g
  • fibre18g
  • protein39g
  • salt1.48g


  • 2 tsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 1 large onion, chopped



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

  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 500g pack lean minced beef
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 420g can kidney bean in chilli sauce
    Kidney beans scattered on a white surface

    Kidney beans

    kid-nee beenz

    Native to the Americas, kidney beans are so called because of their shape and come in very…

  • 400g can chopped tomato
  • 1kg parsnips, peeled and chopped into chunks



    The fact that the parsnip is a member of the carrot family comes as no surprise – it looks…


  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan, then soften the onion with 1 tsp cumin for a few mins. Push the onion to the edge of the pan, add the beef, then brown well, breaking up the lumps as you go. Add the garlic, kidney beans, chopped tomatoes and half a can of water, season and cover, then simmer for 20 mins.

  2. Meanwhile, cook the parsnips in boiling salted water until tender, drain well, then mash with some freshly milled black pepper and a little salt. Heat the grill to high. Tip the chilli mince into a large ovenproof dish, spoon over the mash, scatter with the remaining cumin seeds, then grill for 5 mins until golden.

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Comments, questions and tips

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timmychan123's picture
26th Jul, 2020
Great piece of cooking I love it!
timmychan123's picture
25th Jul, 2020
This recipe is great the beef really makes my day!
10th Oct, 2019
Ok recipe nothing special. Suggest using potatoes. Mashed parsnips are an acquired taste and odd texture. Oh and in answer to the question what is half a can, it’s half of the empty can the beans were in!
26th Feb, 2019
This is not a shepherds pie if it is using beef.
timmychan123's picture
26th Jul, 2020
Traditionally the shepherds pie was made with lamb but now people have changed it to beef.
25th Apr, 2016
I cooked this recipe with plain mash it was yummy x
30th Jan, 2016
The chili tasted great and I'm overall quite pleased with the ingredients in it. I had two big issues with this recipe, though, and I found them quite problematic since this was not cheap for me to make, especially since I'm a student, but I thought it would be worth it and was quite looking forward to make this. First of all, if you like parsnips, like me, don't assume that you're going to like mashed parsnips. It literally made me sick. My flatmates thought it was funny at first, but then they brought me a bucket. Just the smell of the mashed parsnips almost had me vomiting. I couldn't stand it. I don't even want to remember it. Safe to say that I removed the mash and tried to keep on eating, but God, I could still taste it!! I recommend that you either use mashed potatoes or try and taste mashed parsnips before including them in your pie. I never remember having such an awful reaction to any food before. I hated it so much that I created this account just so I could complain about it. The second problem was that I followed this recipe religiously (I'm not experienced enough to experiment) and yet, the pie was very loose and liquid. It felt like more of a stew than a pie. Anyway, I can see that most commentors did it their way and that's probably a good idea. I don't recommend you do it like it says in the recipe word by word. PS: How much even is half a can of water? I checked online and I asked my flatmates and no one knew. In the end, a friend of mine's dad had the answer. I'm still not completely sure, but I did 150ml based on his tip.
Norma. mackey
18th Sep, 2015
Absolutely delicious! I did add the water (as i stupidly did not read the commments first!) but i just took the lid off and let it simmer down a bit. I also added another teaspoon of chilli but that is just personal taste. LOVED the parsnips topping - so simple and yet just a little bit different. Anyone eating shepherds pie in my house will be eating THIS recipe every time. YUM.
13th Feb, 2015
Great recipe. Cook the meat as said, leave to marinade in the pan for an hour and serve with Mexican rice for a change. Gorgeous.
13th Dec, 2014
I am making this for dinner with friends tonight. I agree that the 'chilli' factor was a bit thin so I have added more chilli, plus a bit of sugar to add depth to the flavour. I have also done the mash as half and half parsnip and celeriac with a little fresh parmesan grated on top. The kids love it, just hoping my friends do too.... ;0)


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