My Traditional Irish Shepherd's Pie Recipe - Cottage Pie embraces traditional Irish goodness. And what's more Irish than a scrumptious Irish Shepherd's Pie, or as some might call it, Cottage Pie? This version, while traditional, is a bit more Americanized with the use of beef in place of lamb.
Every bite of this Traditional Irish Shepherd’s Pie takes you to the rolling hills of Ireland. With a meat mixture of ground beef, and yes, you can use ground lamb for that authentic touch, nestled under a creamy mashed potato crust - it's the perfect meal. The rich gravy with garlic cloves and tomato paste infuses flavor in every spoonful, making it so good you'll wish St. Patrick’s Day came more than once a year.
WHAT'S SO GOOD ABOUT THIS SHEPHERD'S PIE?
- The ease of preparation is truly a game-changer. Even if you're not a seasoned chef, this recipe is fuss-free and straightforward.
- The speed with which it comes together is another big win. There's no need to spend hours in the kitchen, as it's designed to be a fast yet fulfilling meal. For all the times we’ve stared into our pantries, wondering what to make for dinner, this pie comes to the rescue. The ingredients are readily available at most grocery stores, making it convenient for those last-minute dinner plans or impromptu gatherings.
- Then there's the flavor profile. With a blend of ground beef and the rich undertones of tomato paste, accentuated with a hint of garlic cloves, every bite is a harmonious blending of classic flavors. Remember, for those leaning more traditional, you can always incorporate ground lamb, giving it that authentic Irish touch.
- Versatility is at the heart of this recipe. Whether you're hankering for a weeknight dinner or aiming to impress at a potluck, this pie fits the bill. Warm, comforting, and packed with layers of taste—it truly embodies the essence of good food.
MARY'S TWO CENTS
Absolutely! While the ingredients are simple and some might even be in your pantry already, it's all about the technique. And in terms of our Oh, That's Good price categories, I'd slot this recipe in the "frugal" category. Great taste without breaking the bank!
NOTE: I am posting this recipe for four servings instead of two. I always make this in two separate casserole dishes and freeze one without baking. I can bring it out, bake it, and serve it without doing any work. It is a great option for your meal plan for two on a budget.
For the full recipe with quantities, see the recipe card at the end of this post.
- Worcestershire sauce: A tangy sauce that adds depth to the beef mixture.
- Tomato paste: Enhances the flavor, giving a rich base to our meat mixture.
- Russet potatoes: Perfect for mashing, these potatoes become fork tender and creamy when boiled.
- No ground beef at hand? Ground lamb is your friend and lends a more authentic Irish touch.
- Out of beef broth? No worries, beef stock can come to the rescue, bringing its rich flavor along.
- No time to mash potatoes? Use instant mashed potatoes from a box as I did in this recipe, Easy Shepherds' Pie Recipe with Instant Mashed Potatoes.
Consider adding a splash of red wine or even some Guinness stout for a deeper flavor in the ground beef/onion/garlic mixture.
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- Have a large skillet handy for frying the meat
- A wooden spoon for stirring
- A large pot of salted water for boiling those russet potatoes.
- And of course, a baking dish or casserole dish to assemble it all together.
STEP 1: Put the potatoes on to boil for 20-25 minutes. Heat the oil while the potatoes cook, and add the onions to the pan. Cook on low heat for 5 minutes, stirring. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 more minute.
STEP 2: Add the ground beef and cook everything together for another 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
STEP 3: Add all-purpose flour and mix, cook for another 2 minutes.
STEP 4: Add beef broth, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper.
STEP 5: Stir and cook for 6-7 minutes until the broth becomes thick. Then add the frozen vegetables, stir, and turn off the heat after 2 minutes.
STEP 6: Preheat the oven to 360F. Transfer the filling to a baking dish.
STEP 7: When the potatoes are cooked, drain the water. Add whipping cream, salt, butter, and Parmesan cheese.
STEP 8: Make mashed potatoes by using a potato masher or electric hand mixer.
STEP 9: Spread the mashed potatoes on top of the minced meat filling. Put the pie in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
STEP 10: Remove from oven when golden brown and bubbly on top. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.
Certainly! Olive oil not only works as a replacement but brings its unique flavor to the pie.
A simple fork test will do the trick. If they're fork-tender, they're ready to be mashed.
Certainly! Just ensure they're fork-tender when you boil them. Store them covered until ready to use. If they have gotten too firm just add a little milk or heavy cream and mix well.
Yes, beef stock can be a great substitute, just adjust the salt accordingly.
A splash, about ¼ cup, should suffice. It adds depth without overpowering the ground beef, or beef mince as they say in Ireland.
Serve your shepherd's pie hot or warm, preferably with a side of Irish soda bread. Top with fresh herbs, and for an added twist, add some additional grated parmesan cheese on top just before serving.
TIPS FOR SUCCESS
- Cook on medium heat to ensure an even layer of golden brown meat.
- Always scrape up those delicious brown bits at the bottom of your skillet. They’re packed with flavor.
- When spreading the mashed potato crust, ensure it covers the top of the potatoes for a crisp finish.
Traditional Irish Shepherd's Pie Recipe - Cottage Pie
- Saute pan
- wooden spoon
- Baking ish
For the mashed potatoes:
- 2 pounds potatoes peeled & Chopped
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- ⅓ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon butter
For the filling:
- 1 pound ground beef fried and drained
- 1 cup frozen vegetables (corn, peas, carrots)
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 small onion chopped
- 2 garlic cloves chopped
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- ⅓ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh herbs for serving
- Place the potatoes in cold water and bring to a boil. Wait 15-20 minutes after the water begins to boil then check for doneness. In the meantime, heat the oil for frying while the potatoes are cooking, and add the onions to the pan. Fry on low heat for 5 minutes, stirring. Then add the garlic and sauté for 1 more minute.
- Add ground beef and fry everything together for another 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add all-purpose flour and mix, fry for another 2 minutes.
- Add beef broth, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. You can also add any other spices to taste.
- Stir and cook everything together for 6-7 minutes until the broth becomes thick. Then add the frozen vegetables, stir, and turn off the heat after 2 minutes.
- Transfer the filling to a baking dish. My oval baking dish is 11 inches long and 7 inches wide. Preheat the oven to 360F.
- When the potatoes are cooked, drain the water. Add whipping cream, salt, butter, and Parmesan cheese.
- Make mashed potatoes.
- Spread the mashed potatoes on top of the minced meat filling. Put the pie in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
- Serve Shepherd's Pie hot or warm with fresh parsley or green onions sprinkled over the potato topping.
Approximate nutrition information is provided as a convenience and courtesy only. You are encouraged to do your own calculations if precise data is required.
We take every effort to ensure that the estimated meal cost per serving is accurate. We use a meal cost analysis application that estimates the cost of a recipe based on groceries purchased at a Walmart store in my geographical area, northern California.
There's a reason shepherd's pie has stood the test of time, not just in Ireland but across the United States and beyond. It's hearty, flavorful, and warms the soul. Whether you're celebrating St. Patrick's Day or just craving some comfort food, this Traditional Shepherd’s Pie Recipe has got you covered. And trust me, every recipe on ohthat'sgood.com is delicious, but this one? It's a true gem. Stay frugal, and happy cooking!