Recipe Exchange: Shepherd’s Pie


Here’s a new and improved Shepherd’s Pie Recipe post for the Recipe Exchange! If you’ve been reading for very long, you know we love all things Irish and enjoy the culture year round, but especially like to celebrate Ireland in March. So I made Shepherd’s Pie and Brown Soda Bread last night and took some new and improved photos! I usually make White Soda Bread, but I’ll be making brown more often now that I think I’ve figured out a little trick for the flour for us Americans.


I ALWAYS make it the same way, the way we made it when I lived in Ireland, where I first ate it, until the last few times when I shook it up a bit. But the whole idea of this dish is that you (the shepherds) use whatever you have on hand and throw it all in together. The original would have had, and still does sometimes, lamb instead of the ground beef or “mince” that I use.


This meal always takes me back to my days of living in Ireland and all of those great memories!

Shepherd’s Pie


1 1/2 lbs ground beef (mince)

1 tsp minced garlic

6 lg potatoes

3 lg carrots

dash of parsley

1/2 cup cheese

2 T brown gravy powder (I always use Irish Bisto)

splash of milk

1 3/4 cups water

2-3 T butter

**Brown the ground beef and garlic in a large frying pan or skillet deep enough to hold the carrots and gravy later. At the same time, boil the carrots and potatoes until just tender. Mix the gravy powder with 2 tablespoons water to make a paste. Add the rest of the water and stir. Immediately pour over drained ground beef, stirring constantly  on medium-low heat as gravy thickens. Add the cooked, drained carrots. Keep warm on low while you drain and mash the potatoes, adding a splash of warmed milk and butter, if desired.

You now have a choice:

**Shepherd’s Pie: Pour gravy mixture into a 9×13 baking dish, spoon the potatoes on top and smooth them out to cover the meat mixture. Sprinkle the cheese and parsley over the top and bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the potatoes are a bit crispy. You can also make it ahead of time and just do the baking the day you serve it.

**Mince and Potatoes: Spoon potatoes onto the plate, make a well in the center and pour the meat and gravy mixture into the well.

This time I added Brussels sprouts and forgot the garlic, so I poked it in before the oven bit, as you’ll see in the photos. :>


I like my potatoes smashed and a bit lumpy. :>


The “gravy.”



The Mince and Potatoes version.


Spreading the potatoes over the gravy.


A sprinkling of cheese.


The finished product. See the garlic cloves? :>

Happy Irish Celebrating and Happy Eating!!

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7 thoughts on “Recipe Exchange: Shepherd’s Pie

  1. Yummy! This looks like a perfect St. Patrick’s Day meal for the whole family. Some of my pickier family members are not into corned beef and cabbage but this looks like a great alternative!

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