How to cook shepherd's pie

Updated February 21, 2017

Shepherd's pie, originally known as cottage pie, is a meat pie formed by covering a meat filling with mashed potatoes, and then baking to form the crust. It was originally a means of using leftovers to make a meal, but has grown in popularity and is commonly served in both homes and restaurants. This recipe yields six servings of shepherd's pie.

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C. Combine the potatoes, rosemary and thyme in a medium saucepan. Add water until the potatoes are covered, turn heat to high and bring to a rolling boil. Lower the heat to medium and cover.

Simmer the potatoes for 20 minutes, or until fork tender. Drain the water and return the potatoes to the pot. Add the butter, milk, black pepper and salt. Use a potato masher to cream the potatoes until smooth.

Grease a large skillet and place over high heat. Add the beef and onion to the skillet, and cook for 10 minutes, or until the meat is browned through. Break the meat up into small pieces with a spatula while cooking.

Drain the excess fat from the skillet. Combine the ketchup, broth, Worcestershire sauce, salt, black pepper, and corn starch in a separate bowl. Pour the sauce over the beef and onions, and cook, stirring constantly, until thick.

Stir the corn and parsley into the skillet. Pour the contents of the skillet into the casserole dish, and then spread the mashed potatoes evenly over the top. Bake the shepherd's pie for 40-45 minutes, or until the potatoes are golden brown.


Reduce the fat content in this meal by using 1 per cent or skim milk instead of whole milk, and using lean ground beef. If desired, instant mashed potatoes can be used in place of homemade mashed potatoes.

Things You'll Need

  • One kg of russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • ¼ tsp rosemary, dried
  • ¼ tsp thyme, dried
  • Medium saucepan
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 120 ml milk
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • Potato masher
  • Large skillet
  • Half a kilo of ground beef
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • Spatula
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 120 ml of beef broth
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1½ tsp tsp corn starch
  • 350 grams fresh corn kernels
  • 1 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 2 litre shallow casserole dish
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About the Author

Willow Sidhe is a freelance writer living in the beautiful Hot Springs, AR. She is a certified aromatherapist with a background in herbalism. She has extensive experience gardening, with a specialty in indoor plants and herbs. Sidhe's work has been published on numerous Web sites, including