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Classic Shepherd’s Pie with Lamb

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Classic Shepherd’s Pie with Lamb and fluffy mashed potatoes is comfort food at it’s finest! This isn’t just food to serve for St. Patrick’s Day, this is a soul soothing meal the whole family will love. Yes you can substitute ground beef or turkey for the lamb if you are not a fan, but then you are technically making Cottage Pie…..

This Classic Shepherd's Pie recipe is made with lamb and topped with fluffy mashed potatoes! © COOKING WITH CURLS

Just look at that yumminess, who would not fall in love with this Classic Shepherd’s Pie with Lamb?

Classic Shepherd's Pie with Lamb, topped with mashed potatoes © COOKING WITH CURLS

What is the difference between Cottage Pie and Shepherd’s Pie?

Cottage Pie was first created way back in the 17th century when potatoes were first introduced as an edible crop for the poor, aka rural workers that lived in cottages. Both terms are used interchangeably in America, but most Europeans and Australians will school you on the difference between using lamb in “Shepherd’s Pie” and not beef. As I learned first hand after I posted my Sheep Herder’s Pie, but more on that in a minute!!

Both Cottage Pie and Shepherd’s Pie are made with minced meat, a gravy made with onions and other vegetables such as carrots and peas. There is no traditional crust with either pie, they are both topped with mashed potato. Some old cookbook recipes are made with leftover meat of any kind and a bottom crust of mashed potato in addition to the top layer!

Why do they call it Shepherd’s Pie?

Because a shepherd looks after sheep. Seriously!

How do you make Shepherd’s Pie with Lamb?

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

To make the potato topping:

Place the potatoes and parsnips in a large pot. Cover with water and heat over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cook until fork tender, about 15 to 20 minutes…..

Potatoes and Parsnips boiling in water © COOKING WITH CURLS

Remove from heat and drain.

Combine the potatoes, parsnips, and butter in a large bowl. Add the milk, parsley, salt and pepper. Beat/mash until smooth and creamy. Set aside…..

Large bowl with mashed potatoes, turnips, milk, and parsley © COOKING WITH CURLS

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until they begin to soften, about 3 to 4 minutes…..

Saute chopped onions in a skillet © COOKING WITH CURLS

Add the garlic, stir and cook for one minute.

Add the lamb and cook until browned, breaking it apart with a wooden spoon…..

Ground lamb browning in a skillet © COOKING WITH CURLS

Drain the fat from the pan…..

Drain the fat from the skillet © COOKING WITH CURLS

Stir in the flour and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes…..

Add flour to the lamb in the skillet © COOKING WITH CURLS

Stir in the tomato paste, thyme, rosemary, paprika, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, and 1 Tablespoon of parsley…..

Add the tomato paste and herbs to the lamb in the skillet © COOKING WITH CURLS

Add the beef stock, wine (if using), Worcestershire sauce, peas and carrots. Cook stirring constantly until the mixture starts to thicken, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Pour into a 9-inch, deep-dish pie pan or leave in the 12-inch cast iron skillet.

Scoop the potato mixture into a large freezer, zipper bag fitted with a large, fluted tip. Pipe the potato mixture over the meat until the entire pie is covered…..

Pipe the mashed potatoes on top of the classic shepherd's pie with lamb in the skillet © COOKING WITH CURLS

Place the pan/skillet on top of a baking sheet and place in the oven. Bake until the potatoes are golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes*…..

Classic Shepherd's Pie with Lamb is comfort food at it's finest! © COOKING WITH CURLS

OMGosh, so delicious!! I never get tired of eating Shepherd’s Pie! 🙂

Notes:

  • *My potatoes never brown in the oven, any oven! Turn on the broiler for about 5 minutes to give your pie a tan.
  • Your Shepherd’s Pie will be very loose while it is still hot. After an hour or two is will set-up and hold together better.
  • Classic Shepherd’s Pie with Lamb is just as delicious the next day, making it perfect for leftovers!
  • If you do not wish to use red wine, simply substitute with additional beef stock.

Items used to make this meal: {affiliate links}

Other Classic Dishes for you to try:

I loooooove this time of year! Enjoy!!

Classic Shepherd's Pie in a cast iron skillet with a scoop out of the lower right corner.

Classic Shepherd's Pie with Lamb

Classic Shepherd's Pie with Lamb and fluffy mashed potatoes is comfort food at it's finest! This isn't just food to serve for St. Patrick's Day, this is a soul soothing meal the whole family will love. 
4.41 from 10 votes
Print Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: British, Irish
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 552kcal
Author: Lisa Johnson

Ingredients

For the Potato Topping

  • 2 ½ pounds Yukon gold potatoes (peeled and cut into chunks)
  • 1 cup parsnips (peeled and sliced)
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup heavy cream or whole milk (I used unsweetened CashewMilk)
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped parsley
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste

For Meat Filling

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 2 large cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 pounds ground lamb
  • 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped, fresh rosemary (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 10 ounce package frozen peas and carrots (defrosted)
  • sea salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

For the Potato Topping

  • Place the potatoes and parsnips in a large pot. Cover with water and heat over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cook until fork tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and drain.
  • Combine the potatoes, parsnips, and butter in a large bowl. Add the milk, parsley, salt and pepper. Beat/mash until smooth and creamy. Set aside.

For the Meat Filling

  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until they begin to soften, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic, stir and cook for one minute.
  • Add the lamb and cook until browned, breaking it apart with a wooden spoon. Drain the fat from the pan.
  • Stir in the flour and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes.
  • Stir in the tomato paste, thyme, rosemary, paprika, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, and 1 Tablespoon of parsley.
  • Add the beef stock, wine (if using), Worcestershire sauce, peas and carrots. Cook stirring constantly until the mixture starts to thicken, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Pour into a 9-inch, deep-dish pie pan or leave in the 12-inch cast iron skillet.
  • Scoop the potato mixture into a large freezer, zipper bag fitted with a large, fluted tip. Pipe the potato mixture over the meat until the entire pie is covered.
  • Place the pan/skillet on top of a baking sheet and place in the oven. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven until the potatoes are golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes*.

Notes

  • *My potatoes never brown in the oven, any oven! Turn on the broiler for about 5 minutes to give your pie a tan.
  • Your Shepherd’s Pie will be very loose while it is still hot. After an hour or two is will set-up and hold together better.
  • Classic Shepherd’s Pie with Lamb is just as delicious the next day, making it perfect for leftovers!
  • If you do not wish to use red wine, simply substitute with additional beef stock.

Nutrition

Calories: 552kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 94mg | Sodium: 265mg | Potassium: 1187mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 3855IU | Vitamin C: 29mg | Calcium: 103mg | Iron: 7.8mg

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3 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I’ve been following this recipe for quite a few years already and every time I’m amazed how great is the outcome for so little efforts. Thanks a bunch

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