Skip to main content
Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd's Pie

Makes 6 servings


  • 2 pounds (900 grams) ground lamb
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus additional
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus additional
  • 2 medium onions, grated
  • 2 large carrots or 2 medium parsnips, grated
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated or minced
  • 6 large mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup red wine (optional)
  • 1 cup Brown Beef or Chicken Stock
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 1/2 pounds (1+ kilograms or 4 to 5 medium) yellow potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese


1. Move a rack to the middle rung and heat the oven to 425°F.
2. Heat an extra-large frying pan or saucepan over medium-high. Add the lamb, rosemary, thyme, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Cook, gently breaking up the lamb with the back of a wooden spoon and stirring occasionally. When the lamb is no longer pink, add the onions, carrots, garlic, and mushrooms. Cook until the vegetables are softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain off excess fat and return to the stove.
3. Add the tomato paste and stir constantly for about a minute. Deglaze with the red wine and reduce, stirring and scraping up the brown bits, until almost dry, about 2 minutes. Add the stock and Worcestershire sauce, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer for 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
4. While the meat is cooking, place the potatoes in a large pot with 2 inches of cold, salted water. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to medium and steam, covered, until tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Drain and allow them to steam dry in the saucepan, off the heat, for 2 minutes. Mash, add the butter and egg yolks, then mash again until smooth. Add half of the Parmesan and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
5. Spoon the meat mixture into a 2-quart baking dish, spoon the potatoes over the meat, sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan, and bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until the top is golden. Let the meat rest for 10 minutes before serving to allow the juices to settle.
6. Store leftovers in the fridge up to 3 days.


1. No lamb? Substitute regular ground beef and enjoy a scrumptious cottage pie.
2. Because there are only two of us, I divide the recipe into two loaf-size pans and freeze one for dinner down the road.
3. Yellow potatoes result in a slightly creamier mash, but russets work well if that is what you have on hand.