Serving: 15

Shepherd’s pie has loads of regional variations around the UK. This is how I make it for the family, it is a complete meal for us and it is one of those dishes that I place onto the middle of the table and everyone helps themselves. Some sources suggest that the Shepherd’s pie originated in Scotland, but in a slightly different form as it was topped with pastry hence the name pie. It wasn’t until the recipe reached the shores of Ireland that it got its potato topping.

Creme Brulee


4Ib                                  Lamb mince

4                                     Onion, finely chopped

6                                     Carrots chopped into 1cm dice

12oz                               Mushrooms, Sliced

4                                     Garlic cloves, crushed

6 tbsp                           Tomato purée

2 x 14oz                        Canned chopped tomatoes

1 pint                            Beef or lamb stock (a good quality cube will work for this)

3 tbsp                           Worcestershire sauce

2Ib                                 Potatoes, cut into chunks 

2 oz                               Unsalted butter

1 tbsp                           Oil

4 oz                               Cheddar cheese, grated


  1. Heat the oil in a large deep pan over a medium heat.
  2. Once the pan is hot and you can test this by putting a little bit of meat in and if it makes a sizzling noise it’s hot enough, don’t just tip the meat in, separate the mince and place it into the bottom of the pan using just enough to cover the bottom of the pan.
  3. If you have to do this stage a couple of times it will be worth it. Don’t shake or shuggle the pan allow the mince to brown. Lots of caramelisation at this stage will create loads of flavour. Once all the mince has been browned remove from the pan and put to one side.
  4. Next add the onion and carrots, then fry for about 8 minutes until starting to soften. Add the mushrooms and garlic, then fry for a further 5 minutes. It’s important that the crushed garlic enters the pan at a cooler stage in the process as it reduces the risk of burning.
  5. Add the mince and stir to combine and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  6. Add the tomato purée, chopped tomatoes, stock and Worcestershire sauce, then simmer for 25 minutes.
  7. Heat the oven to 200°C/400˚F
  8. Meanwhile, put the potatoes in a pan of water and bring to the boil. Boil until tender.
  9. Drain in a colander and allow to “steam out” this gets a good bit of the water out of the potatoes all the steam that you see is moisture that you don’t need, return the potatoes to a dry pan and put back onto a medium heat. This stage achieves two things it gets the potatoes back to being nice and hot, having the potatoes piping hot is vital when mashing them it also helps get rid of more moisture.
  10. After a couple of minutes you are ready to mash with the butter, salt and pepper. 
  11. When the mince is cooked, pour ovenproof dish, then spoon or pipe the mash on top to cover.
  12. Sprinkle with the cheese, then bake for 40 minutes to an hour until the cheese has melted and turned golden and the sauce is bubbling around the edges. Leave it to stand for 5 minutes, then serve.


This will keep for 72 hours in the fridge.

Once cooked cool as quickly as possible, this can be done in the pot in a sink of ice-cold water of in a large tray.

Make sure the food is piping hot before serving.

Generously funded by The Russell & Josephine Kott Charitable Memorial Trust