Shepherd's Pie

Total Time:
1 hr 30 min
45 min
45 min

8 servings

  • For the potatoes:
  • 1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes
  • 1/4 cup half-and-half
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 egg yolk
  • For the meat filling:
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced small
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground lamb
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons freshly chopped rosemary leaves
  • 1 teaspoon freshly chopped thyme leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen English peas

Peel the potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch dice. Place in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Set over high heat, cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, uncover, decrease the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until tender and easily crushed with tongs, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Place the half-and-half and butter into a microwave-safe container and heat in the microwave until warmed through, about 35 seconds. Drain the potatoes in a colander and then return to the saucepan. Mash the potatoes and then add the half and half, butter, salt and pepper and continue to mash until smooth. Stir in the yolk until well combined.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the filling. Place the canola oil into a 12-inch saute pan and set over medium high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the onion and carrots and saute just until they begin to take on color, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and stir to combine. Add the lamb, salt and pepper and cook until browned and cooked through, approximately 3 minutes. Sprinkle the meat with the flour and toss to coat, continuing to cook for another minute. Add the tomato paste, chicken broth, Worcestershire, rosemary, thyme, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer slowly 10 to 12 minutes or until the sauce is thickened slightly.

Add the corn and peas to the lamb mixture and spread evenly into an 11 by 7-inch glass baking dish. Top with the mashed potatoes, starting around the edges to create a seal to prevent the mixture from bubbling up and smooth with a rubber spatula. Place on a parchment lined half sheet pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 25 minutes or just until the potatoes begin to brown. Remove to a cooling rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Pairs Well With

Jammy, earthy red wine

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    300 Reviews
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    Thank you Alton Brown! Excellent as usual! The tomato paste and spices are just the right combination. Made with home-raised lamb, vegetables, and potatoes. MMMM!
    The lamb makes this basic dish so tasty! Go with lamb in this recipe! Alton knows best!!
    absolutely delicious...followed it to a tea and it was awesome,,,,teenagers loved it!
    Do you drain the fat once you cook the meat?
    Probably not, lamb shouldn't have much fat to it and you will need some fat to make the gravy in the pie. The flour combined with fat makes the base (rue) for the saucy gravy like texture to the dish. I haven't made this yet, trying it tonight and I don't plan on draining mine.
    I can't add much to the reviews below. Alton has done it again. Easy to make and delicious. If you are looking for a new Shepherd's Pie recipe, this is it!
    Love this shepherd pie but I used Venison
    I made this tonight for the first time. (My husband and I have been eating Shepherd's Pie at a number of restaurants and pubs for years.) The only change I made was to swap out the canola oil for Mangalitsa Lard (a luxury I had just purchased.) 
    It was by far the most flavorful Shepherd's Pie I ever had. Absolutely delicious and not terribly hard to make. We'll be making it again and again! Bravo!
    This has been a hit in my home. I made this for my family and they loved it. I used ground beef instead. My husbands a picky eater and this went on his request list for dinner. Nice to have on a cold snowy day.
    Delicious! Would make again!!!!l. Lamb gives it so much more flavor than ground beef.
    Yummy! My family loved this one. The rosemary was so savoury in this dish! Will definitely be making again. I made two by double the recipe exact and froze one and Waalllaaa, Supper for two nights!
    Delicious! This is as close to my family's traditional recipe as I've come across, and just as good! It was a big hit! I'll be making this again!
    This was SO GOOD! Having been to the U.K. several times and having incredible cottage pie there, I was determined to make something as authentic as possible. I've tried several recipes and this one, by far, is the most flavorful and most authentic. The lamb with the rosemary and thyme made it so savory. The flour and tomato paste gave it just the right texture it should have. I did put shredded cheese on the top during the last 5 minutes of baking which made it even more tasty. My husband loved it and said we need to serve this when his mother visits....she's British! Try this recipe!
    I used beef instead of lamb, omitted the rosemary, and used beef broth instead of chicken. Outstanding!!
    Hands down, the Best shepherds pie EVER! The flavor is outstanding!
    My boyfriend and I prepared this for a hearty, cold-weather-comfort supper. We subbed chicken broth for 1/2 an organic veggie bouillon cube and 1 cup old vine zin (gnarley head brand) and doubled the garlic cloves. Both of us enjoyed this top-notch recipe and will make it again to share with friends.
    My husband said it was better than his mother ever made. Wish I had started making this years ago. Sent some to my adult son and he immediately asked me to send him the recipe.
    This was my plan for tonight's dinner and at the gym this morning Rachael Ray made a shepherd's pie. I didn't follow her recipe [subtitles] but at the very end I paid attention and she said to use rosemary if you're making a shepherd's pie with lamb but to use sage if you're going to use beef. I didn't care for the flavor of the lamb tonight but I will definitely try this again with beef... and sage. Thought I'd pass on what I learned today.
    Oh my, this is FANTASTIC!!! The only thing I do differently is I boil my potatoes in chicken broth which makes them even more off the charts delicious. Also, I only have a 13x9 pan, so next time I will make 2 lbs. of potatoes as there was barely enough to cover the meat. I made this thinking I would have leftovers, but unfortunately my 5 year old ate 2 huge portions and my husband ate 3 (extremely rare since he almost never goes back for seconds of anything). Can't wait to make this again!
    Fantastic recipe, fussy 14 year old ate with no comment (which is the best I can get at the moment) and my husband who is more of a spicey food lover went back for seconds which is a first for this sort of food. I stuck to the recipe but only had dry rosemary so I used half the required amount and like others I put cheese on top. It a keeper. I had it with a greed salad with peas and basil.
    I just made this for our dinner tonight and it was utterly fantastic! This is the real thing -- Shepherd's pie is made with lamb, not beef so I knew Alton's recipe must be close to the real deal. And it is. The flavours are well developed, it's easy to make, and his little extra in the potatoes is perfect. Although this was for my husband and my dinner tonight, this is easily company food. Excellent.
    sounds very yum.... omnom
    Amazing Amazing! I have used this recipe three times and it is always wonderful comfort food for a fall Sunday Dinner. I do change it just a little and add a combination of lamb, veal, & beef. Also using beef broth and heavy whipping cream to give it a rich taste.
    Usually I prepare this with ground beef. This time it was made from ground lamb. More pricy, but figured I'll try it, being this is something I do not make very often. Followed the recipe almost to the tee. To my delight, this pie was bursting with flavour! I topped mine off with a little shredded cheddar, and sprinkled chopped basil for colour, which gave it a nice presentation.
    I used ground turkey otherwise kept everything the same and it came out delicious! I served 8 people and not a drop was left!
    Wonderful recipe. Had to use beef due to not having the lamb. I added more garlic and a dash more Worcestershire and tomato paste, but kept the herbs the same. A little shredded sharp cheddar on top of the potatoes before baking added some fun to it. I will definitely make this again.
    "Delicious. Like really. Delicious." - the boyfriend. This was so, so good. I followed the advice of lots of reviews and doubled the mashed potatoes, used beef and beef stock instead of lamb and chicken stock, and pretty much doubled the amount of seasonings. E.g. 5 cloves of garlic, eye balled FRESH herbs, s&p, doubled tomato paste, etc. Taste as you go. I used all ingredients listed, including corn and peas which I think added a great sweetness and brightened up the flavor and look. The filling was so good before we put it in the 11x7 dish we said it could've been eaten even with noodles or rice! Great for a crowd.
    My whole family loved it!!!...but my 11 year old thinks this is an Elton John recipe and not Alton Brown. I did replace the lamb with beef.
    This recipe is absolutely amazing, my family was blown away. I have worked at numerous Irish Pubs, but have never tasted a Shepherd's Pie that was even close to being as good as this one. The only thing I changed the second time I made it was adding more potatoes on top since I am a major potato lover.
    I have made this recipe with beef and lamb and prefer the beef version. I prep all of the ingredients and then layer them accordingly. FABULOUS! This has to be one of the most flavorful, well balanced Shepherd's Pies that I have ever tasted and it's a big hit in my house.
    I made this recipe with beef the first time as I could not find ground lamb. It was so delicious, my boyfriend and I ate almost the whole thing. I made it exactly to the recipe, no substitutions besides the beef. Making it tonight, using ground lamb I finally found, I have been off-put since cooking and now eating by the lamb's smell and flavor. I realize it isn't technically "shepherd's pie" if you use beef, but for me it tasted much much better with beef. The lamb is a strange smell and flavor I am not used to. I also left out the egg the second time (allergy to eggs and the potatoes were just as delicious.
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