On TV Tonight

  • 20:00 - Rachel Khoo's Kitchen Notebook: Cosmopolitan Cook - Istanbul
  • 20:30 - Rachel Khoo's Kitchen Notebook: Cosmopolitan Cook - Amalfi Coast
  • 21:00 - MasterChef: The Final Three - MasterChef

This recipe is classed as easy

Rating 2.89 / 5 (201 votes)

Prep time:
40 min
Cook time:
1 hr 45 min

Sophie Grigson's fabulous Shepherd's Pie oozes full on flavour and makes a simple but sensational family meal


1. Take a large, deep frying pan and heat half the fat in it. Add the vegetables, and fry gently, until patched with brown. Scoop them out onto a plate.

2. Raise the heat under the pan and add half the mince. Pat it down flat and leave to fry without disturbing for several minutes until the underneath has browned properly. Then break it all up, turning it over. Repeat the browning process, and then lift the mince out of the pan with a slotted spoon. Repeat with the remaining mince.

3. Drain off excess fat and return the mince and vegetables to the pan. Sprinkle over the flour and stir for about 30 seconds. Add the herbs (tie bay leaf and thyme in a bundle for easy retrieval at the end of the cooking time), enough water to cover, the tomato ketchup and Worcestershire sauce. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

4. Simmer for about 45 minutes - adding a little more water if it is drying out. By the time it is cooked, the mince should be succulent and thickened. Adjust seasoning, then tip into a pie dish and leave to cool.

5. While the mince is cooking, heat the oven to 220C/gas 7 and bake the whole potatoes in the oven until tender. Turn the heat down to 190C/gas 5.

6. Scoop the potato flesh out of the skins, and mash with 45g of the measured butter and enough hot milk to give a mash which is fairly soft, but still hold its shape.

7. Dollop the mashed potato over the mince, then spread down lightly in an even layer. Use the prongs of a fork to make patterns on the surface. Dot with the remaining butter.

8. Bake for around 30 minutes until the top is browned and the juices from the meat are bubbling up round the edge.


  • 2 tbsp bacon, fat (or dripping, or 1 tbsp sunflower oil and 1 tbsp butter)
  • 1 onions, chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely diced
  • 2 sticks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaves
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 675 g minced lamb, (or beef for a cottage pie)
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 pinches black pepper

For the topping:

Tips and suggestions

What is the difference between shepherd's pie and cottage pie? Shepherd's pie is made out of lamb (or mutton), therefore cottage pie is made out of beef.

Comments & Ratings

Rate this recipe by clicking on the stars.

You need to be logged in to comment on this recipe

Forgotten your password?
Resend activation

Login Register

Latest Comment



LeoF61828 LeoF61828  Posted 26 Oct 2013 5:48 PM

me and my sister are going to make shephard pie sunday for 4 off us. we are going to copy this recipe

belindaF35766 belindaF35766  Posted 14 Oct 2010 7:15 PM

delicous and the thyme gives great flavour

StephenM89957 StephenM89957  Posted 06 Dec 2009 10:11 PM

Very nice and rasty

MisyM95453 MisyM95453 Posted 07 Nov 2009 12:46 AM

i made this for the family and they loved it and am making it again.yum yum.

sue 220 sue 220 Posted 16 Nov 2008 3:34 PM

traditionally, shephard's pie (and cottage pie) were made on a Monday to use up left over Sunday roasted meats and veg. So what do we call a pie made from left over pork?
I don't think cottage pie is named because Shepard's pie is made from lamb/mutton, one does not follow on from the other. And what about Cumberland pie, containing carrots and topped with cheese??

Waaza Waaza Posted 09 Jun 2008 2:16 PM