Famous Homemade Shepherd’s Pie

Famous Homemade Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

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This Famous Homemade Shepherd’s Pie is a comforting and hearty dish that’s perfect for a cozy family dinner. Made with a rich and flavorful meat filling topped with creamy mashed potatoes, it’s a classic recipe that’s sure to please everyone at the table. Whether you’re serving it for a special occasion or a weeknight meal, this Shepherd’s Pie is always a hit!


For the Meat Filling:

  • 1 1/2 cups (360ml) homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
  • 2 packets unflavored gelatin (about 5 teaspoons; 1/2 ounce; 14g)
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) vegetable oil
  • 2 1/2 pounds (1kg) ground beef or lamb, or a combination
  • 1 large yellow onion (about 14 ounces; 400g), diced
  • 3 medium carrots (about 8 ounces; 225g), diced
  • 2 ribs celery (about 4 ounces; 110g), diced
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) tomato paste
  • 1 cup (240ml) dry red wine
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) Marmite (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons (15g) all-purpose flour
  • 8 ounces (225g) frozen peas
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For Assembly:

  • 1 1/2 cups (360ml) heavy cream
  • Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for topping (optional)


Step 1: Prepare the Meat Filling

  1. Bloom Gelatin: In a small bowl, combine the chicken stock and gelatin. Let it bloom for about 5 minutes, then stir to dissolve the gelatin completely.
  2. Cook Meat: In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef or lamb and cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until browned and cooked through.
  3. Add Aromatics: Add the diced onion, carrots, celery, and minced garlic to the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 8-10 minutes.
  4. Add Tomato Paste: Stir in the tomato paste and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  5. Deglaze: Pour in the dry red wine and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet.
  6. Add Flavorings: Add the thyme sprigs, bay leaf, Worcestershire sauce, and Marmite (if using). Stir to combine.
  7. Thicken: Sprinkle the flour over the meat and vegetable mixture and stir to combine. Cook for 2-3 minutes to cook off the raw flour taste.
  8. Add Peas: Stir in the frozen peas and bloomed gelatin mixture. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until the mixture is thickened and the peas are heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Step 2: Prepare the Topping and Assemble

  1. Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Make Mashed Potatoes: While the meat filling is cooking, prepare your favorite mashed potatoes recipe. Set aside.
  3. Assembly: Transfer the meat filling to a large baking dish or individual ramekins. Spread the mashed potatoes over the top in an even layer.
  4. Finish: Pour the heavy cream over the mashed potatoes, allowing it to seep down into the filling. Sprinkle grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese over the top, if desired.
  5. Bake: Place the baking dish or ramekins in the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbly.
  6. Serve: Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes before serving. Garnish with additional thyme leaves, if desired.

Cook’s Tips and Variations:

  • Make-Ahead: You can prepare the meat filling and mashed potatoes ahead of time and assemble the Shepherd’s Pie just before baking. Store the components separately in the refrigerator until ready to assemble.
  • Vegetarian Option: For a vegetarian version, substitute the ground meat with cooked lentils or your favorite meatless crumbles.
  • Gluten-Free: Use a gluten-free all-purpose flour or cornstarch to thicken the filling if you need to make this recipe gluten-free.
  • Customize Toppings: Feel free to customize the topping with your favorite cheese or herbs. Cheddar cheese or a sprinkle of chopped parsley would also be delicious.


This Famous Homemade Shepherd’s Pie is a timeless classic that’s sure to become a staple in your recipe repertoire. With its rich and flavorful meat filling and creamy mashed potato topping, it’s a dish that’s perfect for any occasion. Whether you’re serving it for a special dinner or a cozy night at home, this Shepherd’s Pie is guaranteed to satisfy your cravings and warm your soul!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: Can I use store-bought mashed potatoes instead of homemade?

A: Yes, you can use store-bought mashed potatoes if you’re short on time or prefer the convenience. Simply spread the store-bought mashed potatoes over the meat filling and proceed with the recipe as directed.

Q: Can I freeze Shepherd’s Pie?

A: Yes, Shepherd’s Pie freezes well. Once assembled, let it cool completely, then cover tightly with foil or plastic wrap and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating in the oven.

Q: Can I use ground turkey instead of beef or lamb?

A: Yes, ground turkey can be used as a leaner alternative to beef or lamb in this recipe. Adjust the cooking time as needed, as turkey may cook faster than beef or lamb.

Q: What can I serve with Shepherd’s Pie?

A: Shepherd’s Pie is a complete meal on its own, but you can serve it with a simple side salad or your favorite steamed vegetables for added freshness and nutrition. Enjoy!

Enjoy your famous homemade Shepherd’s Pie and savor the comforting flavors of this classic dish!

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