Shepards/Shepherd's Pie

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Most people believe Shepherd’s Pie is made with Ground Beef, this is really the most common way of making BUT it is called Cottage Pie. A true Shepherd’s or Shepards Pie is made with Lamb.


  • 2oz dripping
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tnsp olive oil
  • 2lb minced lamb or (Cottage Pie) ground beef.
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 small tins chopped tomatoes
  • 4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 16fl oz chicken, beef or lamb stock
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the mash

  • 1½lb potatoes
  • 2fl oz milk
  • 3oz butter
  • 1 free-range egg yolk

How to Prepare:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F
  2. In a large non-stick casserole dish heat the dripping. Add the onion and cook for five minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, heat a little olive oil and fry the mince, stirring, until browned all over. While the meat is frying, break up any lumps with the back of the spoon.
  4. Stir the onions and add the flour (this helps to thicken the juices) and stir. Mix well and add the bay leaves, thyme and stir.
  5. To the onion mix add the chopped tomatoes, stock (keep a little aside, for putting into the mince pan to de-glaze the pan) and Worcestershire sauce.
  6. Add the cooked mince and then pour the stock mixture into empty mince pan, scraping off any bits of mince left in the pan. Pour the remaining stock into the pan containing the sauce mixture.
  7. Bring the mixture to the boil, adding a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper and let it simmer for about 45 minutes.
  8. For the mash, boil the potatoes, then drain them in a sieve and place into a clean bowl. Add the milk, butter and egg yolk, and mash together. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  9. Pour the meat into an ovenproof dish and spread the mash on top, smooth over and mark with a spatula.
  10. Put the dish into the oven and cook until the surface is bubbling and golden-brown.
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