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Shepherd's Pie

Traditional Shepherd’s pie recipes using lamb mince often don’t include many vegetables. However, our version adds carrots, swede and peas to the ingredients, which is helpful when trying to encourage children (or anyone else) to eat more veg.

This classic British dish originates from the Victorian era, typically made to use up leftover meat. However Shepherd’s pie is a still a family favourite today and is perfect as a midweek meal.


  • 675g/1½lb lean lamb mince
  • 15ml/1tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 100g/4oz green peas
  • 30ml/2tbsp plain flour
  • 30ml/2tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 30ml/2tbsp brown sauce
  • 30ml/2tbsp freshly chopped rosemary
  • 1 lamb stock cube, crumbled
  • 300-425ml/½-¾pint good, hot lamb or vegetable stock
  • Salt and freshly milled black pepper
  • Topping:*
  • 675g/1½lb floury potatoes, peeled and cut into medium chunks
  • 450g/1lb swede, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 100ml/3½floz milk or single cream
  • 50g/2oz butter
  • 30-45ml/2-3tbsp freshly chopped parsley or chives

Serves 6

Difficulty Rating:**

Prep Time: 10 mins

Total Time: 70 mins


Heat the oil in a large pan and cook the onion and carrot until soft but not coloured.

Add the mince, in batches and cook for 5 minutes until brown on a moderate heat, turning frequently and mashing any large lumps with the back of a wooden spoon. Remove and discard half the oil. Stir in the peas.

Stir in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes, then add the ketchup, brown sauce, rosemary, lamb stock cube and lamb stock. Season. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile prepare the potato and swede topping. Place the potatoes and swede in a large saucepan with boiling water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes. Drain and mash together with the milk or cream and butter. Season, if required and stir in the parsley or chives.

Preheat the oven to Gas mark 4-5, 180-190°C, 350-375°F.

Spoon the meat filling into a 1.7L/3pint ovenproof dish and pipe or spread the surface with the potato mixture. Run a fork across the top of the mash. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes, or until the top is brown.

Top tips for an easy shepherd’s pie

You can buy fresh lamb mince to go in your shepherd’s pie, or use the leftovers from your Sunday roast by popping them in the food processor.
Shepherd’s pie tastes so much better with a crisp top. To achieve this, run a fork across it to create ridges in your swede and potato mash before it goes in the oven.

Try any vegetable combination in the topping and to ring the changes, why not stir 50g /2oz grated cheese into the mash?

Images courtesy of AHDB.

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