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Traditional English Recipe - Shepherd's Pie

Traditional Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd's Pie - source wiki
No shepherds were harmed in the making of this pie.


1lb (450g) Minced lamb
3lb (1.3kg) potatoes for mashing
1 large or 2 small onion(s)
2 tbsp flour
2 cups Lamb Stock (Alternatively, beef stock can be used or gravy powder if the flour is omitted)
Cheese, grated (optional)
A handful of mixed vegetables such as peas, sweetcorn or carrots (optional)
Mixed herbs to taste


  1. Brown the mince in a frying pan. There is no need to add oil, as the meat is fatty enough.
  2. Finely chop the onion and lightly fry in a little butter until clear.
  3. Add the onions to the mince along with the mixed herbs and some pepper.
  4. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir and cook for 3 - 4 minutes (If using gravy powder, omit this step).
  5. Cover with lamb stock (or add water and beef stock/gravy powder) and simmer for 30 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile peel, chop and boil the potatoes for 20 mins until cooked.
  7. Once the meat is cooked, skim off the excess fat then boil rapidly to reduce the liquid until it just covers the mince and onions.
  8. Drain the potatoes very well until completely dry. Mash with a masher until smooth and free of any lumps.
  9. Add butter to the mashed potato, taste and adjust the seasoning. Add enough milk to make the mash very soft (heavy mash will not float properly on top of the mince).
  10. Put mince mixture in a shallow ovenproof dish.
  11. Spread the mash on top of the meat and brush the tops of the potatoes with melted butter.
  12. if desired, sprinkle the grated cheese on top of the mash.
  13. Create a pattern on the mash with a fork then cook in a hot oven for about 30-50 minutes until the top is golden brown.


To boil: To cook in water at a temperature of at least 100°C.

To brown: To cook food until it has a brown-coloured appearance, in this case this is achieved by gently frying the meat.

To brush: To cover food with an even layer of liquid by applying it with a pastry brush, eg brush the pastry with beaten egg or milk to glaze.

To chop: To cut food into small even-sized pieces using a knife or food processor.

To drain: To remove water from ingredients cooked in liquid or from raw ingredients that have been washed in water by placing them in a sieve or colander.

To fry: To cook in hot fat.

To mash: To break down a cooked ingredient such as potatoes into a smooth mixture using a potato masher or fork

To peel: To remove the outer layer of a food.

To simmer: To keep a liquid just below boiling point, usually in a pan on the hob, e.g. simmer the sauce until it starts to thicken.

To skim: To remove a layer of scum or fat from the surface of a food.

To sprinkle: scatter a powdered ingredient or tiny droplets of a liquid, eg sprinkle the caster sugar over the fruit or sprinkle the brandy over the fruit cake.

To stir: To agitate an ingredient or a number of ingredients using a hand held tool such as a spoon.

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