Traditional Lamb Shepherd’s Pie - Kitchen Chatters
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Traditional Lamb Shepherd’s Pie

The vast majority of traditional Irish dishes are hearty, made with locally available ingredients, and relatively easy to make. Best of all the average dish is large enough to feed several or to ensure you have plenty of leftovers. While this dish is intended to be made with lamb, you can substitute beef or mutton if you prefer.


  • 2 lbs. lamb, freshly ground
  • 2 1/2 lbs. potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 10 oz. frozen peas that have been thawed
  • 1 large onion, chopped finely
  • 4 carrots, chopped coarsely
  • 1 C. milk
  • 6 T. butter
  • 2 T. flour
  • 2 T. tomato paste
  • 1 T. Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt & Pepper to taste


Start by preheating the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  In a medium size saucepan add potatoes and enough water to cover over by one inch. Add salt and bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook the potatoes until fork-tender. This should take approximately 15 to 20 minutes and then drain. You can do this while preparing the rest of the dish.

Place a large skillet over high heat and cook the lamb in two separate batches to ensure it is no longer pink. This should take about 5 minutes for each batch. Place the lamb in a strainer over a bowl so that any excess fat can drain off. Discard the fat as you will not be using it.

Pour 1/4 C. of water into the skillet and used a wooden spoon to scrape the brown bits off the bottom. Reduce heat to medium and add in the carrots and onion. Cook while stirring occasionally until they have become sort. This takes about 5 minutes and then stir in the tomato paste and the flour. Continue cooking for two more minutes while stirring constantly.

Add in 2 C. water, Worcestershire sauce, and the lamb. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer this mix for about ten minutes or until the sauce has thickened. Add in the peas and cook for another minute. You can split this mix between a pair of 9 inch glass baking dishes or into eight 8-ounce size ramekins.

In the medium saucepan used to boil the potatoes, bring the butter and milk to a simmer and remove from the heat. Add in the potatoes and mash thoroughly, season to taste with salt and pepper. Now spread the mashed potatoes over the pies and use a fork to create peaks. Place in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 25 to 30 minutes or until potatoes are browned. Allow to cool slightly before serving this all in one dish.

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