Shepherd’s Pie is an classic Welsh dish made for the sheep herders returning home after a long day of, you guessed it, herding sheep. Originally made with stewed lamb, it is made today with ground lamb or ground beef, or a combination of both. Combine with chopped vegetables and top with mashed potatoes. Cheese is often added atop the mashed potatoes to make this dish extra comforting.
Traditional Shepherd’s Pie
- 2 cup measuring cup
- Large pot
- 9 by 13-inch ovenproof casserole dish
- Food Processor or blender (optional)
- 1 RECIPE Irish mashed potatoes
- 1½ cup Chicken broth
- 2 packet Unflavored gelatin packets (about 5 tsps)
- 2 tbsp Vegetable oil
- 2½ lb Ground lamb, beef or both
- 1 large Yellow onion, diced
- 3 medium Carrots, diced
- 2 ribs Celery, diced
- 2 cloves Garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp Tomato paste
- 1 cup Dry red wine
- ½ tsp Dried thyme
- 1 Bay leaf
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp Marmite, soy sauce, or Asian fish sauce
- 2 tbsp Flour
- 8 oz Frozen baby peas
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Optional: grated parmesan cheese for topping
- Prepare Mashed Potatoes – Make an Irish mashed potato recipe and set aside. Store bought are fine as well.
- Prepare Meat Filling – Stir gelatin into 2 cups of warm broth in a measuring cup. Set aside. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add half of the ground meat and cook, stirring, 5 or 6 minutes to brown. Use a potato masher to break-up meat. Add remaining meat and stir-mash for another 3 minutes. Spoon out excess fat in pan leaving 3 tbsps. Add onion, carrot, celery, and garlic and cook, stirring, another 4-5 minutes.Reduce heat to medium and stir in tomato paste for another minute. Add red wine and turn heat up until mostly evaporated, scaping up the brown bits from the bottom. Add reserved chicken broth, Worcestershire sauce, soy (or Marmite or fish sauce), thyme, and bay leaf. Sprinkle flour over meat and stir to combine. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer until sauce is reduced and thick, about 20 minutes. Discard bay leaf, stir in peas, and season with salt and pepper.
- Assemble and Bake – Preheat oven to 425°F. Fill a casserole ½ up with meat mixture. Top with a thick layer of mashed potatoes, spreading them evenly over the top. Make a pattern in the potatoes with the spatula. If using, sprinkle parmesan cheese on top.Bake until top is browned, about 20 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes. Serve.
- Casserole may be fully cooked in advance and refrigerated up-to days. Reheat in a 350F oven for 35 minutes.
- Dish can be placed under broiler to get a deeper brown top.