Assemble The Shepherds Pie
Spoon the lamb meat into your casserole dish, making an even layer that fully covers the bottom of your dish. Spoon the mashed potatoes over the lamb layer and use a spatula to even the potatoes layer out. The mash should fill in any holes in the mince, and be a smooth mounded appearance in your casserole dish.
Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan cheese on top and use a fork to run through the mashed potatoes layer, creating texture. These raised bits will crisp nicely for both appearance and taste!
Transfer your assembled Gordon Ramsay shepherd’s pie into the preheated oven and cook at 350ºF for 18-20 minutes, or until golden browned on top and bubbling around the edges. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire cooling rack for about 5-10 minutes before serving.
Serve this traditional English shepherd’s pie recipe with a side salad or steamed veggies, with some fantastic Yorkshire puddings!
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Sweet Potato Pie Tips
- Boil extra sweet potatoes. Use the extras as a side dish for a simple Chicken Dinner tonight.
- Measure the potatoes. You want to have 2 ½ cups of mashed sweet potatoes. Adding too much or not enough to the filling could keep it from setting properly or it could overflow the crust! Use a measuring cup to measure the potatoes after youve mashed them.
- Consider Ricing: Using a potato ricer creates sweet potato filling with a lighter texture since you arent compressing the potatoes as much. If you have a ricer, this is definitely the time to use it.
- Make a Smooth Filling. Small lumps of potato in the filling arent a huge deal, but you can strain the filling mixture using a sieve to remove them so that your pie is silky and lump free.
- Let it rest. Sweet potato pie needs to cool down completely before you cut into it. Give it at least two hours at room temperature to set.
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The Best Mashed Potatoes For Cottage Pie
You can easily use leftover Creamy Mashed Potatoes or even Garlic Mashed Potatoes if you have some on hand, but be sure to add parmesan and egg. Heres what youll need to cook mashed potatoes for Shephards Pie:
- Russet Potatoes whip up super creamy and smooth
- Heavy Whipping Cream makes potatoes luxuriously creamy
- Salt add to taste after mashing
- Parmesan cheese gives the potatoes the best taste
- Egg creates that lovely golden hue in the oven
- Butter helps with color and keeps the potatoes moist
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Why Would I Ever Make Shepherds Pie From Scratch
Ill tell you why: Frozen Shepherds Pie tastes like cat food compared to this.
Yes, my Shepherds Pie may LOOK like cat food, but I assure you its delicious! My middle daughter had seconds, my oldest daughter had thirds, and my husband ate all that was remaining later that night.
How To Make Deviled Eggs:
- Cut the hard boiled eggs in half, lengthwise.
- Pop out the yolks and put them in a mixing bowl.
- Mash the yolks with the back of a fork until no large clumps remain.
- Add the mayo, mustard, pickle juice, and pepper to the bowl. Mix it together.
- Transfer the yolk mixture to a plastic food storage bag.
- Squeeze and roll the bag around in your fingers until the yolk mixture is completely smooth.
- Cut one corner off of the bag to create a piping bag.
- Pipe the yolk mixture into the holes of the egg whites.
- Serve cold.
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Ingredients For Sweet Potato Pie
- Sweet Potatoes I like to use medium sweet potatoes.
- Butter Softened butter will mix more easily into the baked sweet potatoes when making this pie.
- Sugar My family has traditionally used granulated sugar for this pie.
- Vanilla extract The vanilla extract enhances the flavor of the pie. I do recommend using pure vanilla extract rather than imitation vanilla flavoring as I believe you can taste the difference in the baked pie.
- Eggs Youll need 3 large eggs for this pie recipe. I also like to have them at room temperature to mix into the pie filling more easily.
- Milk Use whole milk or evaporated milk in this recipe. You will not want to use a lower fat content milk.
- Unbaked Pie Crust There is NO need to pre-bake these pie crusts. While I hope you try my homemade pie crust recipe, you can also use your favorite 9-inch pie crusts from the store if you wish.
What Makes This Recipe So Easy
This really is an easy homemade shepherds pie. It uses mostly premade ingredients that you can get at your local grocery store, and you may already even have on hand. Youll save a lot of time by not having to make your potatoes from scratch. Instant or prepared mashed potatoes are perfect for this recipe. Of course, if you have an Instant Pot, you can follow my easy mashed potatoes recipe if you have the time.
While I do use some premade ingredients, this is still a reasonably healthy shepherds pie recipe. I do my best to buy prepared foods with as few additives as possible. My local supermarket, HEB, carries a brand of prepared mashed potatoes that is just potatoes, milk, butter, salt, and pepper. Many other brands come packed full of additives. So youll definitely want to look at the ingredients list before purchasing.
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The History Of Southern Sweet Potato Pie
Sweet potato pie actually originated among the African American slave community in the southern United States during the colonial time period.
While yams were a more traditional ingredient in African cooking, they were not readily available in the Americas. Sweet potatoes, on the other hand, were a native vegetable and in great supply in the south, especially compared to the more popular pumpkins in the north. Combining European baking techniques of the classic custard pie with the the expertise and traditions of the African American community brought forth the delicious, soulful sweet potato pie we know and love today.
Ingredients For Shepherds Pie
- Ground Beef we used lean beef, or you can substitute with ground lamb.
- Salt and Pepper after several tests, we found this simple seasoning is all that is needed. Thyme and rosemary are commonly added but we found it overpowering in any quantity.
- Onion we used yellow onion, but you can substitute any variety
- Garlic aromatic that enhances the sauce
- All-purpose flour thickens the sauce
- Red Wine use a dry red wine to add rich flavor. Use any dry red wine such as Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet, or Sauvignon
- Beef Broth you can use Chicken broth if that is what you have on hand.
- Tomato paste rounds out the flavor of the sauce
- Worcestershire sauce adds the umami
- Frozen vegetables we use a combination of carrots, peas and corn
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Make The Mashed Potatoes
Prepare your potatoes and place them into a large stockpot. Add enough water to cover the peeled and cut potatoes, then bring the stockpot with potatoes to a boil. Cook at a rolling boil for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork-tender. *Russet or Yukon gold potatoes can be used, I prefer Russet potatoes for this recipe.
Preheat your oven to 350ºF around the time that you are straining off your cooked potatoes.
Strain the cooked potatoes and transfer them to a large mixing bowl. Use a fork or ricer to make your mash.
Season the potatoes with the remaining portion of 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Add the egg yolks and butter, then stir them in quickly and vigorously. Add the Parmesan cheese and stir to combine.
Gordon Ramsay Shepherds Pie Recipe
My husband grew up with a hamburger pie casserole that his mom made, which was actually one of the first posts here on the blog . He also grew up enjoying roasted lamb on holidays. So when the two of us watched our favorite celebrity chef put together what was basically a hamburger pie with ground lamb, we knew it wouldn’t be long until we watched closely to emulate the best copycat Gordon Ramsay Shepherds Pie recipe!!
This take on a classic shepherd’s pie is as Chef Gordon Ramsay would make it! Like he says in his shows, the requirement to being a ‘shepherds pie’ vs cottage pie or hamburger pie casserole, is that the meat is indeed lamb meat. Thus, the shepherd would be required.
I know, even wikipedia defines the base as including a red meat:
Shepherd’s pie, cottage pie, or hachis Parmentier is a ground meat pie with a crust or topping of mashed potato of English origin. The recipe has many variations, but the defining ingredients are ground red meat cooked in a gravy or sauce with onions, and topped with a layer of mashed potato before it is baked. ~ Wikipedia
So please note that in my definition, any shepherd’s pie would include ground lamb meat. You can substitute meats to make an equally fabulous meat entree or casserole, but here on the blog they would be titled as a different recipe.
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Sweet Potato Pie Ingredients:
- Unbleached all-purpose flour this is used to make the base of the pie crust. Standard bleached flour will work too if thats what you have, unbleached just has better flavor.
- Granulated sugar and brown sugar the white sugar is used in the pie crust to add a faint sweetness and the brown sugar is used for the filling. The added molasses of the brown sugar pairs perfectly with the sweet potato flavor.
- Salt this brings out the flavors of the pie crust and filling so it doesnt taste flat.
- Unsalted and salted butter unsalted butter is used in the pie crust , and salted butter for the filling. Salted browned butter tastes so much better than unsalted.
- Ice water be sure to add lots of ice to the water, stir and rest before you use it. This helps the butter stay cold so you end up with a flaky crust.
- Sweet potatoes I like to use red garnet variety. Other orange varieties work as well but dont use white or purple sweet potatoes.
- Evaporated milk I like to use the small 5 oz. can so I dont have leftover but if you only have a larger can that will work but be sure to measure amount listed.
- Eggs this helps bind the pie filling together and make a custard type filling. They are crucial to the recipe.
- Cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger with the ratios here I recommend sticking with each separate spice rather than using a spice blend.
- Vanilla extract this adds another faint background flavor in the pie. Use real vanilla for best flavor.
Scroll down for full printable recipe.
Tips For Making Shepherds Pie
There are a few stages to making Shepherds Pie, but its a straightforward recipe. Theres just two little things that you dont 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 dont 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 One last time Cottage Pie is made with beef. Shepherds Pie is made with lamb!
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What To Serve With Shepherds Pie:
Youre welcome to serve this shepherds pie with extra gravy on the side, if you would like. Otherwise, we enjoyed ours with:
- A simple side salad: Such as my Everyday Salad recipe.
- A loaf of crusty bread: If youre interested in more carbs. )
- Corn on the cob: A simple and colorful side dish.
- A nice cold Guinness: Cheers!
Happy early St. Patricks Day, everyone! Hope you enjoy!
- 1/2 cup whole milk, or more as needed
- 2 ounces cream cheese
- sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper
How To Freeze Healthy Shepherds Pie
Once the shepherds pie is baked, cool completely and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Place it in the freezer until fairly firm, about two hours. Then, cover tightly with plastic wrap, followed by aluminum foil. Mark the date on the outside and store in the freezer for up to two months.
When ready to serve, remove the foil and plastic wrap. Use the foil you just removed to loosely cover the pie. Make sure that your casserole dish can go straight from freezer to oven if not, set the casserole in the oven while the oven preheats so that the dish warms slowly.
Bake the casserole for an hour, or until the pie is hot all the way through. Remove the foil for the last 15 minutes to allow the top to brown.
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Cook The Ground Lamb Meat Or ‘mince’
Bring a large cast iron skillet, skillet, or frying pan to high heat with two tablespoons of olive oil. *If you like lamb meat, but want to take the ‘lamb’ flavor down a notch, try a drizzle of sesame seed oil.
The oil should be shimmering and just beginning to smoke when it is fully heated. Add the ground lamb meat to the skillet, and spread it in a thin layer over the bottom of the pan. *Your lamb meat will brown and crisp better if it has set out for about 30 minutes prior to cooking so that it is closer to room temperature when starting the cooking process.
Let the meat cook until browned and crisped on the underside. Then split the pan into portions that you can easily flip and turn them so that the topside is now facing downward and getting browned too.
When the bottom side has browned and crisped, break apart the lamb meat and season with 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Add the grated or finely chopped onion, minced garlic, and grated carrot. Stir into the ground lamb and cook for 2 – 4 minutes, or until the onion is softened.
Pour the Worcestershire sauce into the pan along with tomato puree and stir to combine. Add the red wine, thyme, and rosemary. Stir to combine and cook until most of the wine has evaporated off.
Stir in the chicken broth or stock and cook for 3 – 4 minutes, then remove from heat. Set aside.