Fragrant shepherd’s pie with apricots

Fragrant shepherd’s pie with apricots

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(19 ratings)

Prep: 3 hrs, 50 mins


Serves 8

Shepherd's pie lovers will love the new addition of spices and apricots in this make-ahead crowd pleaser

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal662
  • fat26g
  • saturates12g
  • carbs79g
  • sugars28g
  • fibre9g
  • protein34g
  • salt0.97g


  • 1kg minced lamb
  • 2 onions, roughly chopped



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

  • finger length piece fresh root ginger



    Mainly grown in Jamaica, Africa, India, China and Australia, ginger is the root of the plant. It…

  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp cumin



    An aromatic spice native to eastern Mediteranean countries and Upper Egypt. This warm,…

  • 2 tbsp cinnamon



    A fragrant spice which comes from the inner bark of a tropical tree. When dried, it curls into…

  • ½ tsp hot chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp 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…

  • 6 large tomatoes, roughly chopped



    A member of the nightshade family (along with aubergines, peppers and chillies), tomatoes are in…

  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tbsp honey



    Honey is made by bees from the nectar they collect from flowers. Viscous and fragrant, it's…

  • 550ml lamb or beef stock
  • 200g dried apricot, chopped
  • large bunch coriander, leaves only, roughly chopped

For the mash

  • 1¼kg sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
    Sweet potatoes

    Sweet potato

    sweet po-tate-toe

    Sweet potatoes have a creamy texture and a sweet-spicy flavour that makes them ideal for savoury…

  • 1¼kg potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks



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

  • 50g butter



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • splash of milk
  • toasted cumin seeds, to serve


  1. Brown the lamb in batches in a large, deep frying pan (there’s no need to add oil). Once each batch is browned, transfer it to a sieve and pour off the excess fat from the pan before cooking the next batch. Set aside the browned mince and wipe out the pan with some kitchen paper. Whizz the onions, ginger, garlic and spices together in a food processor until finely chopped and a little pulpy (you can add a drop of water if you need to), then tip into the same pan with the oil. Cook over a medium heat for 5-6 mins until the onion is softened and the spices become fragrant.

  2. Return the meat to the pan along with the chopped tomatoes and purée, honey and the stock. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 1 hr, adding the apricots after 30 mins. The lamb and apricots should be tender, and the sauce thickened; if it’s a little wet still, simmer, uncovered, for another 10 mins. Remove from the heat, stir in the coriander leaves and season well.

  3. While the lamb is cooking, prepare the potato topping. Boil the potatoes in salted water for 15 mins until tender. Once cooked, drain well and mash with the butter, seasoning and enough milk to give you a creamy consistency.

  4. Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Tip the lamb mixture into a large ovenproof dish and pile the mash roughly over. (It helps if you start from the edges and work your way towards the middle.) If you’re making ahead, cool then freeze the pie at this point, uncovered. Once frozen, cover with cling film and use within 1 month, defrosting thoroughly before reheating.

  5. Bake for 40 mins from warm, or for 1 hr from cold, until the topping is beginning to brown and the filling is hot. If you like, scatter with some toasted cumin seeds to serve.

You may also like

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.
9th Sep, 2018
Loved this. It is sweet, but I like that. I could imagine though that some people might find it too sweet, especially with the sweet potato topping - maybe could be better just with normal potatoes for those people? I made the whole recipe and froze half for another day. As others have said, no idea what you are supposed to do with the red onions! I just didn't bother with them.
Art Anderson's picture
Art Anderson
9th Feb, 2018
Really delicious and easy to make. This has become a staple now
28th Jan, 2017
Amazing this was a great hit with the family, I took a lot of time to prepare and cook but, was worth every minute! Very nice
7th Nov, 2015
Blimey - this is good! I made it exactly to the recipe, which is unusual for me, and it turned out really very well. I ignored the red onions in the ingredients list - no indication as to what to do with them and I think they have been mistakenly included. Lovely 'Moroccan Tagine' flavours. Big thumbs up from my lot.
17th Mar, 2014
Made this for the first time yesterday and it was delicious and certainly one I will make again. Although got confused re the onions - pulped up the 2 onions with spices etc and made the dish as per recipe, and then noticed that there were also 2 red onions at the bottom of the ingredient list - although no mention of them in recipe. Do they get pulped with the others or what ? It was too late for that for me, so just chopped them and added them to the meat dish
4th Apr, 2012
Really good, easy recipe. Cooked for informal meal when kids home for weekend with friends. Made slightly more spicy as I knew my lot would enjoy and it went down really well. Worth a go for something traditional with an up to date slant. Will make again.
22nd Sep, 2011
Yum, made this without the apricots and it was lovely. I'd use a bit more stock next time and put loads more veg in with the mince.
23rd Jun, 2011
Lovvvved this - made it in 2 individual portions and then froze the remaining filling in 2-person-servings for easy prep in future. It was really delicious and the smell took over the whole house!
21st Jun, 2011
I was rather disappointed with this recipe. It wasn't nearly as 'fragrant' as I was expecting, and I'm not sure it was worth the lengthy preparation time. I'm unlikely to repeat.
11th Mar, 2011
I can't deny that this was really tasty. However my husband who prefers savoury to sweet, found this too sweet with the apricots and honey. I made half the quantity of mash and that was more than plentiful.


9th Mar, 2019
What are we supposed to do with the two roughly chopped red onions listed at the end of the ingredients!?
goodfoodteam's picture
16th Mar, 2019
Thanks for pointing this out. The red onions were added by accident - we have now removed them from the ingredients list. Apologies for the confusion.
15th Sep, 2016
Does this recipe really need 2.5kg of potato in total or have the additional potatoes been listed in error?
Be the first to suggest a tip for this recipe...Got your own twist on this recipe? Or do you have suggestions for possible swaps and additions? We’d love to hear your ideas.
Want to receive regular food and recipe web notifications from us?