A Good Old English Shepherds Pie Recipe




This is my first Instructable, its a recipe for shepherds pie that was taught to me by my mother when I was young. As I have grown up I have made some of my own additions and changes to it.

I hope you like it.


Step 1: The Ingredients

Heres what you'll need to make shepherds pie;

500g Lamb Mince
1 Handful of Mint
1 Medium Onion
6 Medium Potatoes
4 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
4 or 5 Medium Carrots
3 Anchovy Fillets
Salt & Pepper
50g Butter
1 Egg Yolk
Olive Oil
1/2 Glass Red Wine
Dried Rosemary
400ml Lamb or Veg Stock
2 Large Handfuls of Frozen Peas
Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp Brown Sugar

Step 2: Lets Get Started!!

Slice the onion.
I prefer to slice it as then you get larger pieces in the final product adding texture to the dish.

Fry the sliced onion in olive oil and 1/2 the butter (the oil stops the butter from burning).

Step 3: More Stuff With the Onion.

Fry the onion until it starts to brown then add 1 tsp brown sugar and stir.

Step 4: Balsamic

Add 4 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar and reduce it down until it become thick and syrup like.

Then add a large pinch of dried rosemary. If you have fresh rosemary add that later on when you add the mint so it doesn't loose its fresh flavor.

Step 5: Anchovy Time

Once the vinegar has reduced add the 3 anchovies and stir until they have melted into your onion mix.

It may sound odd to be adding anchovy to lamb, but they really work together. It doesn't make the end result fishy in anyway, it help enrich the sauce.

*Next time you roast a lamb joint, before cooking it cut a few slits in the lamb and stuff them with some anchovies (not fresh... never fresh anchovies!). The fish will melt away in the heat and add a great rich flavor to your lamb*.

After the anchovy add 1/2 glass of red wine and reduce until thick and syrup like.

Have a glass of wine yourself.

Step 6: Mince It Up

Add the mince to your onion, stir and fry for about 10 min until any water that was in your mince has boiled off, and the mince has browned.

Season with salt and pepper and also 4 or 5 splashes of worcestershire sauce.

Don't add too much salt as you have already added anchovy which is salty. Also you will be adding stock in later which - if you are using a stock cube - contains a fair bit of salt.

Step 7: Carrots

Chop the carrots into 1cm sized pieces and add to your mince and onion mix.

Step 8: Stock

Make up your stock and add half to your mince. Bring to a simmer and leave to reduce for about 10 - 15 mins. Then add the rest of the stock and reduce for another 10 - 15 mins, until it looks like a thick gravy thats coating the mince.

Whilst the second amount of stock is reducing, peel and boil your potatoes.

Step 9: Peas Please

By this time your mince should be cooked and your potatoes should be ready for mashing.

Add your frozen peas and stir. Take the mince mix off the heat and add your chopped mint.

Give your mince one last season and a good stir then put it into a oven proof dish and pat down (make sure there's at least a 1 1/2 inch gap between your mince and the rim of the dish.

Step 10: M.A.S.H

Drain your potatoes and then leave them in the pan for 2 min to steam off any excess water, this will give u an extra fluffy mash.

Give them a good old mashing, season, add he rest of the butter and 1 egg yolk. The egg yolk will give your mash a rich creamy taste and help it brown in the oven/grill.

Step 11: M.A.S.H Cont.

Add your mash to the top of your mince in the oven proof dish. Use a fork to spread it out and to make look nice and pretty... not like mine.

Step 12: Finished!!

Place in a preheated oven or grill (oven 220 c) to brown the mash.

Thats it, your done!!

Enjoy it with a nice glass of wine and some pickled gherkins on the side.

Some people add tomato puree to the mince while its cooking, I've never tried it but I'm sure thats good too.

Shepherds pie freezes really well, so its great to make a large batch of it and freeze it for another time.

Hope you enjoyed my very first (but not last) Instructable!!



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    15 Discussions


    5 years ago

    Any non-alcoholic substitute suggestions for the 1/2 glass of wine?


    10 years ago on Introduction

    looks good - if you grate cheese over the potato it becomes cumberland pie...apparently ;)


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    under the potatoes, i would suggest adding corn,cheese, and maybe a little more meat.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    English shepherd's pie looks good, in Quebec we top a layer of minced meat, a layer of kerneled corn and a layer of mashed potatoes, this is the basic but there is many variations. I'll definitely try this one though, makes me think of what my granny used to cook.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    That sounds great, I shall give it a go. My mum likes to put grated cheese on top before putting it in the oven, might be worth a try. Thanks.

    Mr. Rig It

    10 years ago on Step 2

    This is one of the best recipes I have seen so far on Instructables. You have made it look so easy and it looks soooo GOOD! Great job on a first instructable, it is well written, the photos are great, capitalization and grammar are in good order. I will be look out for more form you. Great Job!

    1 reply
    gavnetMr. Rig It

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you, I'm looking forward to doing my next Instructable... I just need to think of one now.

    Tasty looking recipe, but by Her Majesty's decree, you are obligated to insert the caption, "Shaky shaky; Wakey wakey" , in the Worcestershire sauce photo in step 6.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    that looks like a mighty fine shepherds pie matey:) my mouth is watering mmmmmmmm