The Hairy Bikers’ Classic Shepherd’s Pie

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Shepherd’s pie is a quintessential British dish, offering a comforting combination of savory minced lamb, tender vegetables, and creamy mashed potato. This recipe from the Hairy Bikers keeps things simple and flavorful, perfect for a satisfying weeknight meal.


Shepherd’s Pie with Cauliflower Mash

1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 500g minced lamb
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 400g chopped tomatoes
  • 500ml beef stock
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1.2kg potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 100ml milk
  • 50g butter
  • Knob of grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

  • Instructions:

    1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas Mark 4). Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, and celery, and cook for 5-7 minutes until softened.

    2. Increase the heat slightly and add the minced lamb. Brown the lamb on all sides, breaking it up with a spoon as it cooks.

    3. Stir in the tomato paste, thyme, and bay leaf. Cook for another minute, allowing the flavors to meld.

    4. Pour in the chopped tomatoes and beef stock. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for about 1 hour, or until the lamb is tender.

    5. While the lamb mixture simmers, prepare the mashed potatoes. Cook the chopped potatoes in a pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 15-20 minutes. Drain well and return them to the pot.

    6. Mash the potatoes with milk and butter until smooth and creamy. Season with salt and pepper to taste. You can also add a knob of grated Parmesan cheese for extra flavor (optional).

    7. Once the lamb mixture is cooked, preheat the grill function of your oven to high.

    8. Transfer the lamb mixture to a baking dish. Top with the mashed potato, spreading it evenly to cover the surface.

    9. Place the dish under the preheated grill for 5-7 minutes, or until the mashed potato is golden brown and bubbly.

    10. Serve the shepherd’s pie hot, spooned directly from the dish.

    Nutrition Facts (per serving):

    This recipe yields approximately 6 servings. Here’s a rough estimate of the nutritional content per serving:

    Calories: 600-700 kcal

  • Fat: 30-40g
  • Saturated Fat: 15-20g
  • Protein: 40-50g
  • Carbohydrates: 50-60g
  • Sugar: 10-15g
  • Sodium: 800-1000mg (depending on the added salt)

  • Please note: These are just estimates, and the actual nutritional content will vary depending on the specific ingredients you use.


    The Hairy Bikers’ shepherd’s pie is a delicious and hearty dish that’s perfect for feeding a crowd. It’s easy to make and uses simple ingredients, making it a great option for a weeknight meal.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1. Can I use ground beef instead of lamb?

    Yes, you can absolutely substitute ground beef for lamb in this recipe. The cooking time may vary slightly, so keep an eye on the meat as it browns.

    2. What can I use instead of beef stock?

    If you don’t have beef stock on hand, you can use vegetable stock or even chicken stock in a pinch. The flavor profile will be slightly different, but it will still be delicious.

    3. How can I make this dish vegetarian?

    To turn this recipe into a vegetarian option, simply swap the minced lamb for lentils or another plant-based protein source. You may also need to adjust the cooking time depending on the chosen substitute.

    4. Can I make this dish ahead of time?

    Absolutely! You can assemble the shepherd’s pie completely up to the point of grilling the mashed potato topping. Cover it tightly and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Reheat in the oven at 180°C (350°F/Gas Mark 4) until heated through before grilling the top.

    5. What can I serve with shepherd’s pie?