Shepherd’s Pie with Lamb

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Shepherd’s Pie is perfect comfort food for the cold winter months!

Shepherd's pie on a white plate.

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Shepherd’s Pie is an English recipe that is traditionally made with lamb. But here in the U.S. it is usually made with ground beef, which in my opinion makes it not nearly as tasty! So I make Shepherd’s Pie with lamb, and I use chunks of lamb too, so it is more like a delicious stew, with lots of meat and vegetables.

A bowl of stew with meat and vegetables in it.

I like this meal because the thick rich gravy goes perfectly with the cream mashed potatoes baked on top. And it is a great meal to use lots of vegetables in also. For this recipe I added in a rutabaga, which is an under appreciated root vegetable. If you don’t have a rutabaga you could substitute turnips, potatoes or just more carrots.

Carrots, celery and garlic on a kitchen counter.

This meal does take a little bit of prep, but you could speed it up by using store bought mashed potatoes instead of making your own. And the resulting casserole is well worth the effort!

Shepherd's Pie with Lamb - a tasty comfort food casserole featuring chunks of lamb and vegetables topped off with creamy mashed potatoes.

5 from 2 votes

Shepherd's Pie

Published By Anne
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 4
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Mashed Potatoes

  • 1 1/2 lbs potatoes
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 Tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • 1 lb lamb
  • 2 Tablespoon olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 rutabaga chopped
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 2 celery stalks chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 quart beef stock


  • First make the mashed potatoes. Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1/2-inch cubes.
    1 1/2 lbs potatoes
  • Put them in a saucepan and cover with water, then bring to a boil.
  • Boil until they are done, about 10-15 minutes.
  • Drain the potatoes and add the milk, butter and salt. Mash until they reach the desired consistency, and then set aside while you make the filling.
    1/4 cup milk, 2 Tablespoon butter, 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  • Heat a frying pan over medium heat and add the olive oil.
    2 Tablespoon olive oil
  • Cut the lamb into small pieces and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
    1 lb lamb, salt & pepper to taste
  • Brown in the olive oil and remove from pan when browned on all sides. Set lamb aside for a few minutes.
  • Add the butter to the frying pan along with the onion, rutagaba, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme, rosemary and water. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 15 minutes.
    2 Tablespoon butter, 1 onion, 1 rutabaga, 2 carrots, 2 celery stalks, 4 garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon thyme, 1 teaspoon rosemary, 1/4 cup water
  • Add the lamb, tomato paste, flour, and stock to the pan and bring to a boil, and simmer for 10 minutes to let the sauce thicken slightly.
    2 Tablespoon tomato paste, 1/4 cup flour, 1 quart beef stock
  • Spoon the filling into a large casserole dish or multiple small ones.
  • Top with mashed potatoes, spreading them all the way to the edges of the dish so the filling won't bubble out. It is probably a good idea to put the casserole dishes on a tray, just in case some filling spills over as it cooks.
  • Bake in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes, then broil for 2 minutes to brown the potatoes.
  • Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

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Nutrition Information

Calories: 755kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 46g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 19g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 115mg | Sodium: 1047mg | Potassium: 2021mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 5712IU | Vitamin C: 66mg | Calcium: 158mg | Iron: 5mg

Nutrition facts are estimates.

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Shepherd's pie in a white bowl on a wooden table.

So if you have only tried Shepherd’s Pie with ground beef I’d urge you to give it chance with lamb, because it is like a totally different dish!


Hi, I’m Anne!

I love to cook and I want to share my recipes with you. I believe cooking should be approachable and fun, not a chore. I want to make simple recipes using everyday ingredients that you can make again and again, whether it is for a busy weeknight, a summer cookout or a special dessert. Read more...

6 thoughts on “Shepherd’s Pie with Lamb”

  1. This certainly looks like a tasty meal, but it is definitely not English Shepherd’s Pie, which is made with minced (ground) lamb. Indeed, Shepherd’s Pie, and Cottage Pie (the version made with minced (ground) beef, were frequently made with the ground leftovers from the Sunday roast, including some of the vegetables and the tasty rich gravy. The mashed potatoes are not pureed as most US ones are. They taste better not pureed.
    Also, may I suggest you make the potato topping a little more attractive by fluffing it up with a fork, as the English usually do.


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