Are you searching for an old fashioned shepherd’s pie recipe? This hearty shepherd’s pie is super cheesy and comforting. This classic Irish dish is also the perfect recipe for getting into the St. Patrick’s Day spirit!
This old fashioned shepherd’s pie recipe is full of hearty ingredients like savoury beef, creamy potatoes, well seasoned vegetables, and lots of cheese.
Why you'll love this recipe
- EASY: This shepherd’s pie recipe is quite simple. All you need to do is make a meat mixture, make some mashed potatoes, layer them in a dish and top it with lots of cheese!
- HEARTY: This shepherd’s pie its full of hearty ingredients like meat and potatoes and topped with a ton of cheese. Just like our hearty stove top beef stew, hearty chili, cheesy chicken and rice casserole, and creamy chicken pot pie recipe, this shepherd’s pie is super hearty and the most comforting meal on a cold day.
- TRADITION: Shepherd’s pie is a dish traditionally from Ireland so this recipe is perfect to make for St. Patricks Day!
- POTATOES: This recipe uses russet potatoes, but you can also use white potatoes. For this recipe you need to make mashed potatoes so the potatoes will need to be peeled and roughly chopped before boiling and mashing. Use 3 pounds worth.
- BUTTER: Use butter or margarine to add flavour to the potato layer of the shepherd’s pie. Use a ¼ cup.
- MILK: To make the potato layer creamy, use two ⅓ cups milk or cream. Add more milk or cream as you go if you think it needs more.
- OLIVE OIL: Olive oil will be used to fry the meat and vegetables. You can also use butter if you don’t have olive oil. You will need about 3 tablespoons.
- CARROTS AND ONIONS: Peel and dice the carrots and onion into small pieces. You will need 1 large carrot and 1 onion.
- BEEF: This recipe uses extra lean ground beef, but you can use lean as well. Traditionally lamb is used in shepherd’s pie, which you can also use if you prefer. Use 1 pound or 454 grams worth.
- GARLIC: Fresh garlic adds a lot of delicious flavour to this recipe. Mince 3 cloves worth of garlic.
- ONION SOUP MIX: This is the secret ingredient to the best shepherd’s pie recipes! It adds so much flavour and tastes amazing. Use 1 pouch of dried onion soup mix
- BEEF BROTH: Beef broth adds a savoury beefy flavour that enhances the beef used in this recipe. Use 1 cup worth.
- CORN: Canned corn is the easiest option for this recipe. You should strain the liquid from the can of corn before adding it in. Use 341 ml or 12 oz worth.
- CHEESE: Shredded cheddar cheese is sprinkled on top to make this shepherd’s pie super cheesy and delicious. Use 2 cups worth.
- SALT AND PEPPER: For enhancing flavour.
- CHIVES: To garnish and for some fresh flavour, cut up some fresh chives and sprinkle over the top of the shepherd’s pie.
Kitchen tools to help you
- CUTTING BOARD and KNIFE: To chop the vegetables.
- POTATO PEELER: To peel the carrots and potatoes.
- LARGE POT: To boil the potatoes.
- STRAINER/COLANDER: To strain the boiled potatoes.
- ELECTRIC HAND MIXER or POTATO MASHER: To mash the potatoes.
- CAN OPENER: To open the canned corn.
- LARGE PAN: To make the meat mixture.
- CHEESE GRATER: To shred the cheese.
- 9 x 13 OVEN SAFE BAKING DISH: To bake the shepherd’s pie.
- MEASURING SPOONS AND CUPS: For measuring the ingredients.
MASH POTATO LAYER:
- In a large pot filled ¾ with water, bring the water to a boil on high heat.
- Once water is boiling, add the potatoes and boil until a fork can easily pierce through - about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Carefully strain the potatoes into a colander and place the potatoes back into the pot or a mixing bowl.
- Add the butter, milk or cream, and a pinch of salt.
- Mix with an electric mixer or hand masher until smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Set aside while you make the meat mixture.
- Preheat the oven to 350° F or 177° C.
- In a large pan on low to medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, carrots and onions. Cook until soft, about 15 minutes.
- Spread the carrots and onions to the sides of the pan. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the beef and garlic, and a pinch of salt and pepper to the middle of the pan.
- Break up the meat using a wooden spoon until no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
- Add in the onion soup mix, beef broth, corn, salt and pepper and simmer on low for 1 - 2 minutes.
LAYERING THE SHEPHERD’S PIE:
- Transfer the meat mixture to a greased 9x13 oven safe baking dish, then spread the mash potato layer over top of the meat mixture, and sprinkle with cheddar cheese.
- Bake for 25 - 30 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.
- Garnish with fresh chives (optional).
- Let the shepherd’s pie cool down after baking and before serving. This dish needs time to set and firm up, so you should let the shepherds pie rest for a minimum of 10 minutes otherwise it will be runny when you serve it. its hard to wait but so worth it!
- Use an electric mixer. It is much easier to make the mashed potato layer for this recipe using an electric mixer instead of a hand masher. It will help reduce any clumps of potatoes and make it really creamy!
This can happen if the meat mixture doesn’t simmer long enough which helps some of the liquid evaporate. This also happens if you don’t allow the shepherds pie to cool down before serving because it needs time to set and firm up.
Some sides that match great are Irish soda bread, Yorkshire pudding, glazed carrots, green beans or salad.
Once cooled, use plastic wrap or tin foil to cover the leftovers and store in your refrigerator for up to 5 days.