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The Best Shepherd’s Pie Recipe (With Colcannon Mash Topping)

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Our BEST Shepherd’s Pie recipe EVER! A rich, meaty lamb filling topped with Irish colcannon mashed potatoes. Quite simply comfort food at its finest.

Why You’ll LOVE This Irish Shepherd’s Pie For Dinner

Easy To Make – shepherd’s pie is one of those really simple dinners to make, plus it’s super easy to double or triple the ingredients to make a huge pie to feed a crowd.

Perfect St Patrick’s Day Dinner – fancy celebrating St Patrick’s Day? You can’t go wrong with a plate of this!

Real Comfort Food – warming cosy dinners don’t come much better than this one. Rich meaty lamb stew, topped with the most delicious Irish colcannon mashed potatoes – creamy mash with cabbage and leeks.

Best shepherds pie with colcannon mashed potato topping

BEST Shepherds Pie Recipe

Serves – 4

Prep Time – 30 minutes 

Cook Time – approx 25 minutes

Total Time – 55 minutes 

Our Most Popular Alternative – Cottage Pie With Cheesy Mash

Shepherd’s Pie Ingredients 

Everything you need to make our classic easy shepherd’s pie recipe

For The Shepherd’s Pie Filling

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion – finely chopped
  • 1 – 2 cloves garlic – finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf (fresh or dried)
  • 1lb ground lamb (500g lamb mince)
  • 2 carrots – peeled and sliced
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree (tomato paste)
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary – you can add dried thyme too if you like
  • 10oz beef stock (approx. 300ml) – or beef broth

For The Irish Colcannon Mashed Potatoes Topping

  • 2lb potatoes – peeled and chopped for boiling (Yukon gold or russet potatoes are good for this shepherd’s pie recipe)
  • 2oz butter
  • 2oz whole milk
  • 1/2 cabbage (use Savoy or Napa) – washed and shredded
  • 1 leek – washed and sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup grated Cheddar cheese – you can substitute this with Parmesan cheese
  • pinch salt
  • pinch black pepper

for protein, carbohydrates, calories and nutrition information see recipe card below

Equipment Needed

How To Make The Best Shepherd’s Pie 

Shepherd’s Pie is super easy to make – plus we’ll pop make ahead instructions below too

Step One – fry the onions and the ground lamb

  • To make the meat mixture, add a tbsp olive oil to a medium saucepan – tip in the chopped onions and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes to soften.
  • Then add in the ground lamb and stir into the onions and garlic, fry until it starts to brown.

Step Two – add the rest of the shepherd’s pie filling ingredients

shepherd's pie filling in a saucepan being stirred with a wooden spoon
  • Next, add the carrots, tomato puree, dried rosemary and hot beef stock.
  • Season with salt and black pepper, mix everything together.
  • Then bring to the boil with the lid on.

Step Three – cook the shepherds pie filling

  • Then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

Whilst the lamb filling is cooking, get on and make the colcannon mash topping.

Step Four cook and mash the potatoes

  • Put the potatoes into a saucepan with a pinch of salt and just cover in cold water.
  • Then bring to the boil, once boiling reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for around 15-20 minutes or until just fork-tender. Then drain using a colander.
  • Then mash with the butter and milk.

Whilst the potatoes are boiling get on with frying the greens.

Step Five – cook the cabbage and leeks

cabbage and leeks frying in a frying pan stirred with a wooden spoon
  • Add a tbsp olive oil to a frying pan or skillet over a low heat.
  • Tip in the chopped cabbage and leeks add a pinch of salt and black peppers and fry until softened.
  • Then stir the fried cabbage and leeks into the mashed potatoes.

Step Six – assemble the BEST shepherd’s pie

  • Make up the Best shepherds pie – first add a layer of the meaty lamb filling to the pie dish, top with the colcannon mashed potatoes, sprinkle with the grated Cheddar cheese, and season with salt and black pepper.
Best shepherds pie topped with colcannon and parmesan shavings waiting to go into the oven

Step Seven – bake the shepherd’s pie

  • Bake in the oven on 400F/200C for around 25 minutes until the top is browning and the meaty filling bubbling through.

Browse all our meat recipes here

What To Serve With Our Best Shepherd’s Pie 

Best shepherds pie with colcannon mashed potato topping

Recipe Tips And Frequently Asked Questions

The question we get asked the most is… What is the difference between Shepherd’s Pie and Cottage Pie? and it’s super simple! Shepherd’s Pie is made using ground lamb and Cottage Pie with ground beef.

Recipe Variations

You can add your own twists to this flavor packed recipe, this is your dinner after all – just swap out or substitute and ingredients you like. I’ve popped some common twists below for you.

Add more vegetables – try adding in extra veggies like chopped swedes, frozen peas or even a can of lentils to bulk up the ground lamb.

Swap the meat – you can switch out the ground lamb for beef or turkey if you like. Alternatively use a plant-based mince product. If swapping to turkey use chicken broth in place of beef.

Make it gluten-free – our shepherd’s pie is easy to make gluten free – just be sure to check all ingredients and use a gluten-free version – pay particular attention to stocks and seasonings which often have hidden gluten.

You might also LOVE our Five Twists On Shepherd’s Pie to really up your pie game!

How To Make Shepherd’s Pie Ahead

When I make this ahead of the time – I follow all the steps above. Except I let both the lamb filling and the colcannon mashed potatoes cool before assembling the pie.

Then wrap the pie dish tightly in foil and store in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours before use (be sure that you use the products within their original use-by date). Be sure to reheat thoroughly as it will take longer to heat from chilled.

You can also freeze this for up to 3 months. Just be sure to defrost thoroughly in the fridge overnight, before reheating in the oven. When reheating the shepherds pie from the fridge it may take up to 45-60 minutes to reheat properly and to a minimum temperature of 75C throughout.

Try Our Delicious Irish Stew Recipe Here

Best shepherds pie with colcannon mashed potato topping

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Best shepherds pie with colcannon mashed potato topping

Best Shepherd's Pie Recipe With Colcannon Mashed Potato Topping

Yield: Serves 4
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

This might just be the BEST Shepherd's PIe we've ever made!

Ingredients

For The Shepherd's Pie Filling

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion - finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic - finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf (fresh or dried)
  • 1lb ground lamb (500g lamb mince)
  • 2 carrots - peeled and sliced
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 10oz beef stock (approx. 300ml)

For The Irish Colcannon Mashed Potatoes Topping

  • 2lb potatoes - peeled and chopped for boiling
  • 2oz butter
  • 2oz whole milk
  • 1/2 cabbage (use Savoy or Napa) - washed and shredded
  • 1 leek - washed and sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup grated Cheddar cheese
  • pinch salt
  • pinch black pepper

Instructions

  1. Add a tbsp olive oil to a medium saucepan - tip in the chopped onions and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes to soften.
  2. Then add the ground lamb and stir into the onions and garlic, fry until it starts to brown.
  3. Next, add the carrots, tomato puree, dried rosemary and hot beef stock.
  4. Season with salt and black pepper, mix everything together. Then bring to the boil with the lid on. Then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Whilst the lamb filling is cooking, get on and make the colcannon mash topping.
  5. Put the potatoes into a saucepan with a pinch of salt and just cover in cold water. Then bring to the boil, once boiling reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for around 15-20 minutes or until just tender when a knife is inserted. Then drain using a colander. Then mash with the butter and milk.
  6. Whilst the potatoes are boiling get on with frying the greens. Add a tbsp olive oil to a frying pan or skillet over a low heat. Tip in the chopped cabbage and leeks add a pinch of salt and black peppers and fry until softened.
  7. Stir the fried cabbage and leeks into the mashed potatoes.
  8. Make up the Best shepherds pie - add the meaty lamb filling to the pie dish, top with the colcannon mashed potatoes, sprinkle with the parmesan shavings, and season with salt and black pepper. Bake in the oven on 400F/200C for around 25 minutes until the top is browning and the meaty filling bubbling through.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 784Total Fat: 44gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 149mgSodium: 564mgCarbohydrates: 60gFiber: 7gSugar: 7gProtein: 39g

Nutritional content will vary depending on the exact ingredients you use and how careful you are with measuring - this nutritional information is given as a general guide only and may not be accurate - you should always calculate your own nutritional information especially if you have specific dietary requirements.

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