How Do You Layer Shepherd’s Pie

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How To Thicken Shepherds Pie With A Good Recipe

SHEPHERD’S PIE RECIPE | how to make shepherd’s pie easy healthy

Measure your ingredients accurately and dont skip any steps in your recipe.

Baking is more science than art. Eyeballing ingredients isnt good practice for baking! Also, dont make changes or substitutions to the recipe that may add moisture and cause runny shepherds pie.

For example:

  • Chopping ingredients instead of grating them if the recipe calls for grated
  • Skipping steps like not draining excess liquid
  • Using the wrong baking dish

What Is A Shepherds Pie

Ok, so before you head to the comments section to really give me a history lesson, we know this isnt a true Shepherds Pie. It is more of a Cottage Pie, which is an English dish and traditionally made with ground beef. A traditional classic Shepherds Pie recipe hails from Ireland and is made with ground lamb . But, like many cultural and traditional cuisines over the years, the lines have been blurred here in America. So you will often see the dish we are making here referred to as a Shepherds Pie.

Is Shepherds Pie Healthy

Because Shepherds Pie uses lamb mince it can be quite high in fat.

If youd like to reduce this, when you brown the mince, you can drain off an fat in the pan at that point before you add any other ingredients, that will reduce the fat you are actually consuming.

You can try to buy lean lamb mince but its quite difficult to find.

To add some more nutrients, you could also replace the regular white potato mash with sweet potato mash if you fancied.

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Ingredients For Deviled Eggs:

Note* The printable step by step recipe card is at the bottom of this post.

  • 6 large hard boiled eggs
  • 3 Tablespoons mayonaise
  • 1-2 teaspoons dill pickle juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

I always start with 1 teaspoon of pickle juice. Then, I taste the filling. If it needs a little extra saltiness and tanginess, I add another teaspoon of pickle juice.

If you dont have or dont like pickle juice, white vinegar or red wine vinegar are good substitutes. However, you may want to add a pinch of salt to the filling if you use vinegar instead of pickle juice.

Read The Labels On Your Worcestershire Sauce


Diving into the meat filling, youll see that Worcestershire is a key ingredient. This is a vinegar based sauce made from fermented onions and garlic, along with molasses, tamarind, anchovies, spices and more. Yep, you can say this sauce has an intense depth of flavor, making it perfect to add to meats.

But if youre gluten-free, youll need to be mindful of the brands you buy. Worcestershire often includes a wheat-based soy sauce to get that deep dark brown color. So, I recommend purchasing one of the below brands that are gluten-free .

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To Make The Mashed Potatoes:

  • Add potatoes to pot with water: Place potatoes in a medium pot or large saucepan. Cover with water by 1-inch and season water with salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Cook potatoes until tender: Let gently boil until potatoes are fully tender when pierced with a fork, about 10 15 minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse under hot water for about 5 seconds to remove excess starches .
  • Rice Potatoes: Drain potatoes then pass through a food mill or potato ricer into same pot .
  • Stir with liquid ingredients: Melt 5 Tbsp butter and add to potatoes along with half and half and sour cream. Stir just to combine while seasoning with salt to taste. Cover and set aside if filling isnt yet complete.

How To Thicken Shepherds Pie On The Stove

Heres how to fix watery shepherds pie filling with reduction on the stove:

  • Remove the top potato crust and scoop out the meat filling.
  • Strain the excess liquid.
  • Heat the filling on the stove until the juice reduces. Let cool.
  • Replace the crust with a new potato mash and parmesan topping.
  • Wait until it cools/sets before slice into it.
  • If you baked your shepherds pie in a large baking pan, removing the top crust could get messy. Consider making a new batch of the potato topping.

    Can you blame your oven for runny shepherds pie? Some ovens dont heat evenly and/or display the wrong temperature. Bad oven, bad!

    Hot Tip: Try a toaster oven if your gas oven has hot spots, fluctuating temperatures, or the dial isnt accurate. Gas ovens also release moisture which can cause baking issues. Toaster ovens use less electricity than electric ovens and dont heat up your kitchen as much.

    Important! Do Not Over-Layer Your Potato Topping

    To prevent watery shepherds pie, the ratio of meat to potato should be 1:1. Too much potato topping can prevent evaporation causing excess moisture.

    • The potatoes ought to be mashed to creamy richness and spread over the meat in an even layer.
    • The key is to have both layers be about the same size so that each mouthful contains just the right amount of each.

    Tip: Drain your potatoes properly before mashing. And dont place a runny-looking shepherds pie in the oven.

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    Can You Freeze Shepherds Pie

    A Shepherds Pie is the perfect make ahead food.

    Once your pie is assembled you can chill and then freeze for up to one month. It can also be cooked from frozen. To bake from frozen, cook at 160C/fan 140C/gas 3 for 1 hr-1 hr 20 mins until piping hot in the centre. Flash under the grill to brown, if needed.)

    If not freezing, you could also keep in the fridge 2 days before cooking.

    Whats The Difference Between Shepherds Pie And Cottage Pie

    How to Make Shepherd’s Pie

    Its all in the meat. Shepherds pie contains minced lamb .

    Whereas Cottage Pie contains mince beef .

    Whilst we are getting our pie names sorted out Cumberland Pie refers to any type of meat pie topped with mashed potatoes and then a layer of bread crumbs. Whilst not strictly traditional a sprinkling of grated cheese over your mashed potato on both a Shepherds and Cottage Pie is delicious.

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    What Can You Serve With Shepherds Pie

    The great thing about Shepherds Pie is that is a complete meal just by itself! With combination of meat, vegetables and mashed potatoes, there really isnt a need for any side dish. But you could also serve this with a salad or some bread or biscuits to dip into the rich sauce!

    We hope you enjoy this recipe for an easy Shepherds Pie. Let us know what you think in the comments!


    Vegetables In Shepherds Pie

    For the vegetables, I used frozen peas, celery and leek instead of onion. You can add any vegetables you have in your fridge or pantry, actually! Use different vegetables every time you prepare delicious easy Shepherds pie for dinner! You can also replace half the potatoes in the recipe with the pumpkin mash, which will add interesting color to this easy dish.

    Shepherds pie is a classic winter comfort dish. Yes, I know it is March in calendar, but it is cold and snowy outside my window!

    I think Shepherds pie is a filling dish that can be served for any family gathering to feed a lot of people. Moreover, you can freeze it or chill ahead of time!

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    The Best Shepherds Pie Recipe

    I made shepherds pie FIVE times this week to perfect it and Id have to say I dont know that it could get any better! This has honestly got to be the coziest meal-in-one out there. And while it may not be the fastest easiest dinner its worth every minute of prep and patience!

    Hearty ground beef is browned and seasoned with aromatics including fresh veggies and herbs, then red wine and beef broth are added and its simmered and reduced to a light gravy. And then comes my favorite part its topped and finished with the most heavenly mashed potatoes!

    How This Pie Is Different From Traditional Shepherds Pie

    Easy Shepherd

    The shepherds pie of my upbringing features a hefty portion of meat, with vegetables playing a supporting role, and a thick topping of buttery mashed potatoes. My updated version bumps up the ratio of vegetables to meat and calls for extra-lean ground beef, which is the leanest option in the butcher case.

    For the mashed potatoes, the recipe swaps in olive oil for butter, which means more heart-healthy fats in every bite. The sum total of these swaps is a lighter dish with no shortcuts on flavor.

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    Easy Shepherds Pie Recipe

    by Kathy

    This Classic Shepherds Pie Recipe is the ultimate comfort food. Hearty ground beef is mixed frozen vegetables like peas, carrots and corn and topped with a garlic potato topping. This will warm you up on even the coldest day!

    Rich gravy, hearty meat, plentiful vegetables and a garlic mashed potato layer that is baked to a golden brown. This Shepherds Pie is a classic dish that has been filling bellies for centuries!?!? Weve made our version as easy as possible along with some shortcuts and substitutions to make it even easier, quicker or healthier. Read below to find out more or jump to the recipe card to get cookin!

    Traditional Shepherds Pie With Lamb

    Traditionally, Shepherds pie is made with lamb chops. However, lamb may be hard to find in your local store If you dont live in Britain, I believe! So I used mainly more common beef and a small amount of lamb mixed mince.

    Moreover, lamb has a stronger, meatier flavor and its quite fatty. Tender and juicy lamb is a delightful dish, however not all like its flavor. Of course the flavor of lamb depends on how the animal was raised, fed and how old it was.

    But to my mind it is totally worth making the dish with beef. This will be classic cottage pie. Any way, this meat pie is a great dinner idea, if you have leftover mince!

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    Ingredients You Need For Easy Shepherds Pie Recipe

    To sum up, you will need only few ingredients for the Shepherds pie. Potatoes check. Any vegetables in your pantry and freezer like carrots, celery, peas, corn Check. The only thing you will need, if you dont have leftover mince put it on your shopping list.

    Moreover, you will need few spices and a Worcestershire sauce . If you dont have Worcestershire sauce, dont panic, you can add soy sauce, lemon juice and garlic to your taste.

    Also you may have a stick of butter and few tablespoons of milk in your fridge. Thats it!

    Hope that you will enjoy this British meat pie with your family!

    Check also our Irish Colcannon recipe to make tasty potato mash and Rigatoni pasta bake with beef. These main dishes can be followed by a rich Irish dessert Baileys cheesecake.

    Easy Shepherd’s Pie How To Make Shepherd’s Pie

    Lastly Assemble And Bake The Pie:

    Shepherd’s Pie Recipe | How to Make Perfect Shepherd’s Pie
  • Preheat oven to 400F.
  • Use a spatula to spread the beef mixture into an even layer on the same skillet. Carefully add spoonfuls of the mashed potatoes on top, and spread it evenly on top using a fork.
  • Bake in a 400F preheated oven for 25-30 minutes until the top turns golden brown. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.
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    Easy Shepherds Pie How To Make Shepherds Pie

    Easy Shepherds pie is a classic British dish that any one should try at least once in a lifetime! This Shepherds pie has layers of beef and lamb, vegetables, covered with potato mash. Wonder what to cook for dinner? Want to know how to make Shepherds Pie?

    Try this simple and filling meat pie. Turn meat and potatoes into one of your dinners!

    How To Make Shepherd’s Pie In A Pressure Cooker

    When I first came across this recipe, I was puzzled. Maybe I hadn’t had my coffee yet, but I imagined tossing ground beef, veggies, and a few whole potatoes into the Instant Pot and then lifting off the lid to reveal a table-ready Shepherd’s Pie topped with mashed potatoes.

    In reality, there are a few more steps involved — though not many!

    Coco has you start by prepping the filling using the Sauté function on the Instant Pot. Then you place a tall steamer rack in the pot and place the peeled potatoes on top.

    Then the lid goes on and everything pressure cooks together. At the end of cooking, the potatoes are perfectly cooked and ready to be mashed with milk.

    For a traditional casserole-style shepherd’s pie, you transfer the filling to an 8×8 pan, top with the mashed potatoes, and broil until the top is golden. You can also serve this in bowls by scooping out some filling and topping it with a generous dollop of mashed potatoes. So easy!

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    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.

    Easy Shepherds Pie With Cheese


    We recently shared our cheeseburger shepherds pie that was also amazing. This is my favorite when I am looking to cheat on my healthy diet and go all in!

    When my gram was alive, she would always say, Shepherds Pie is a staple kind of food. She said she made it all the time when her kids were little because it was affordable and filled them up.

    I kind of agree with her. If you need an inexpensive meal that feeds a lot of people, this is a great recipe.

    Be sure to check out my moms crockpot chicken & dumplings, corned beef & cabbage , chicken casserole and chicken pot pie.

    I would love to hear who has another recipe version of Shepherds Pie on hand. Sometimes changing the recipe around is fun and I am always looking for alternative ideas. Leave your recipe ideas in the comment section below!

    This post contains affiliate links.

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    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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