• STEP 1

    Heat the oil in a large pan and cook the onions until soft and starting to brown, about 8-10 mins. Push to one side of the pan and add the lamb. Leave the meat alone until the underside is browning, then break it down with the back of a spoon. Leave to brown for a few mins more, then stir in the ginger, garlic, spices and tomato purée. Stir for a few mins until the mixture is sticky and aromatic. Add 600ml water, the stock cube and the sugar.

  • STEP 2

    Bring to a simmer, then lower the heat and cook for 45 mins, stirring occasionally to prevent it from sticking. The sauce should be thick but if it reduces too quickly, add a splash of water or cover with a lid.

  • STEP 3

    Put the sweet potatoes and potatoes in a pan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, cover with a lid and simmer for 15 mins until tender. Drain and leave to steam dry for 10 mins.

  • STEP 4

    Mash the potatoes with the cheese and some seasoning. Tip the mince into a baking dish about 20 x 35cm and 10cm deep. Stir in the peas. Cover with the mash, making dips and peaks with the back of your spoon, or pipe the mash on for a neater finish. Crush the poppadums in your hands and scatter over the mash, then drizzle over a little oil. You can now chill for up to two days or freeze for two months. If cooking straightaway, heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.

  • STEP 5

    Bake for 45 mins until golden and bubbling around the edges. Leave to cool for 5 mins, then serve with the green chilli scattered over, if you like.


Sweet potatoes can retain more liquid than regular potatoes when boiled, which can result in soggy mash. To prevent this, make sure you leave them to steam dry in a colander for at least 10 mins until the edges look flaky.


For super-smooth mash, use a potato ricer – this is like a giant garlic crusher for spuds! Alternatively, push them through a fine sieve with the back of a large metal spoon. This is how The Ivy achieves super smooth fluffy mash on its signature shepherd’s pie.


We’ve used a piping bag with a star nozzle attachment to pipe the mash on the pie. This creates lots of peaks, which become crispy in the oven. You can simply spoon the mash on top if you like, then use a fork to rough it up a little.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, January 2019

Goes well with


Comments, questions and tips

Rate this recipe

What is your star rating out of 5?

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Overall rating

A star rating of 4.8 out of 5.44 ratings