A British classic, this Shepherd's pie is the perfect home-cooked comfort food for winter.






Skill level

Average: 2.8 (67 votes)


  • oil, for cooking
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced (optional)
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) minced (ground) lamb
  • pinch of ground cumin
  • few shakes of Worcestershire sauce
  • 400 g (14 oz/1⅔ cups) tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 250–500 ml (9–17 fl oz/1–2 cups) beef stock
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 155 g (5½ oz/1 cup) frozen peas
  • sliced potato topping
  • 6 potatoes, peeled
  • melted butter

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Heat a large heavy-based saucepan over medium–high heat and add a splash of oil. Add the onion, carrot and celery, if using, and cook for 5–6 minutes, stirring often. Add the lamb and cook for a further 5–6 minutes, stirring often, until brown. Add the cumin, Worcestershire sauce, tomatoes and enough stock to cover. Bring to the boil and season with the salt and pepper. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring often. Check the seasoning and adjust to your liking.

Meanwhile, place the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and cook for 12–15 minutes, until tender. Allow to cool.

When ready to cook the shepherd’s pie, preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4).

Spoon the lamb into a deep casserole dish. Slice the potatoes and arrange in an overlapping layer over the top of the lamb mixture. Season with salt and pepper and brush with the melted butter. Bake for 20–30 minutes, or until the surface is golden brown and crisp.


Recipe from What’s For Dinner by Michele Curtis. Published by Hardie Grant Books.