Shepherd's Pie
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Yield: Serves 2
Mash Potatoes
  • 2 to 3 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1.5-inch chunks (you'll need about 400 grams peeled potatoes, see Naggy 1)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 tablespoons cream / milk
  • 10 grams grated parmesan
  • 20 grams mixed cheese (mozzarella and cheddar)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives (optional)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Meat Filling
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • ½ onion, peeled and finely diced
  • ½ carrot, peeled and finely diced
  • 200 grams ground beef / pork (See Naggy 2)
  • 100 grams fresh button mushrooms (about 6 to 8 pieces), sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ½ teaspoon dried herbs (can use a mix of oregano, parsley etc)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Mashed Potatoes
  1. Place the potatoes in a small pot. Add water to cover the potatoes. Add in the 2 teaspoons of salt.
  2. Cover the pot with a lid, place over high heat and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until the potatoes are fork-tender. (A fork should be able to pierce through a piece of potato and break easily.)
  3. Drain the potatoes (see Naggy 3). Leave the potatoes in the sieve for 5 minutes to steam-dry the potatoes.
  4. Transfer the potatoes into a mixing bowl. Mash the potatoes then stir in cream (or milk), cheeses and chives (if using). Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Preheat the Oven
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C / 400F (not fan-assisted). Lightly grease a baking dish (mine is a 7-inch) or two if you are serving in individual portions.
Meat Filling (Make it while the potatoes are boiling away)
  1. Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add in oil, then add in onion and carrot. Sauté until the onion is soft and translucent.
  2. Add in the ground beef or pork. Break them into small pieces and stir-fry until they are no longer pink in colour (see Naggy 4).
  3. Stir in mushrooms and garlic. Add in Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, dried herbs, a pinch of salt and as much freshly ground black pepper as you like. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms have softened and shrunk in size. Taste and adjust seasoning. The Meat Filling should be moist but not wet. Remove from heat and transfer the mixture into the greased baking dish.
  1. Scoop the Mashed Potatoes on top of the Meat Filling and carefully spread to cover it. Use a fork to score the top of the Mashed Potatoes as this will help the top browned. (See Naggy 2 and 3)
Bake the Pie
  1. Bake for 20 minutes in the middle rack until the Meat Filling is bubbling and the top is lightly browned. If the top is not browned enough to your liking, shift the baking dish to the top and switch on the broiler. Broil for 5 to 10 minutes, watching the pie constantly, until it's browned to your liking.
  2. Remove the pie from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
1) It's always better to have more mashed potatoes than insufficient mashed potatoes to cover the top. Keep extra mashed potatoes in the refrigerator up to another 2 days for another meal. Alternatively, use a mini ice cream scoop and scoop mini mashed potato balls onto a parchment paper. Bake at 200C / 400F for 15 to 20 minutes until golden-brown and serve as an appetizer.

2) Try to use a ground that has 10-20% fat so that the Meat Filling stays moist.

3) Save the potato water as vegetable stock in other recipes. Let the potato water cool down completely and freeze in small containers.

4) If the beef/pork has rendered a lot of fat, you can drain off the excess fats by using a spoon to scoop them out. Leave enough fats in the Meat Filling to ensure it will stay moist.

5) The pie can be made ahead right up to assembly. Keep the pie covered and keep in the fridge (especially if the weather is warm) until ready to bake. Bake at 200C / 400F for 30 to 40 minutes until the Meat Filling is hot and bubbling. Broil until the top is golden-brown if needed.

6) If you plan to freeze the Shepherd's Pie, allow the Mashed Potatoes and Meat Filling to cool down completely before assembling the pie. Score the top as usual, then freeze the pie, uncovered, for 2 hours. Wrap with 2 layers of aluminum foil and store in the freezer for another day. Thaw the pie overnight in the refrigerator the day before you want to eat it. Bake the pie, still wrapped with aluminum foil, straight from the refrigerator at 190C / 375F for 45 minutes to 1 hour until the Meat Filling is hot and bubbling. Remove the aluminum foil and broil until the top is golden-brown.
Recipe by Foodie Baker at