Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd's Pie

While Shepherd’s Pie is traditionally made with lamb, beef is just as tasty in this recipe. This is the sort of food that brings a smile to everyone’s face – that saucy, deeply flavourful filling, that creamy potato topping, and that awesome golden cheese crust!

When I shared my Cottage Pie on Facebook, there was almost an all out cyber-war about whether it was in fact Cottage Pie or Shepherd’s Pie.

So let me just answer the burning question first, to get that out of the way:


Cottage Pie is made with beef and Shepherd’s Pie is made with lamb.

Shepherds herd sheep. Not cows. That’s how I remember it!!

Other than beef vs lamb, they are essentially exactly the same recipe.

So a Shepherd’s Pie made with beef is Cottage Pie, and Cottage Pie made with lamb is Shepherd’s Pie!

If you’re new to Shepherd’s Pie, let me be the first to welcome you to your new favourite comfort food. Essentially, it’s lamb and veggies smothered in a gravy – and who doesn’t love an excuse for tons and tons of gravy? All those times you were limited to just a small drizzle on a few slices of roast lamb because there wasn’t enough to go around… Bah! This is how you get your gravy fix!!

There are a few stages to making Shepherd’s Pie, but it’s a straightforward recipe. There’s just two little things that you don’t see in most recipes, little things that bugged me:

Cool the filling before topping with potato: It thickens and makes it easier to spread the potato across the top and it stops the potato weeping into the filling;

Creamier mashed potato= easier to spread and just an all round better eating experience. I just don’t like dry, very firm mash. When I break through the mash, I want it to be borderline collapsing, rather than being able to cut cleanly through it like cake.

I stress again – these are little things that bug me, so feel free to by-pass them! – Nagi x

PS Yes, that crust is as crazy golden in real life as it looks in the photos. I even had to dial back the colour when I was editing the photos!

PPS One last time – Cottage Pie is made with beef. Shepherd’s Pie is made with lamb! (Shepherd’s herd SHEEP!)

Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd’s Pie is one of those foods that brings a smile to everyone’s face – especially when you get seconds! Switch the lamb with beef, and you have Cottage Pie. Terrific make ahead! Recipe video below.


  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves (, minced)
  • 1 onion (, finely chopped)
  • 1 carrot (, finely chopped)
  • 1 rib celery (, finely chopped)
  • 1 beef bouillon cube (, crumbled)
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 cup frozen peas
Read the whole recipe on RecipeTin Eats