Shepherd’s Pie: My Take on a Traditional Irish Favorite


delicious shepherd's pie Shepherd's Pie: My Take on a Traditional Irish Favorite Whitney Khan Contributor Miami Moms Blog

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I thought it would be fun to share one of our favorite Irish meals: shepherd’s pie!  This recipe is delicious, unbelievably easy to make, and quite frankly, one of my favorite things to serve when we have company over for dinner.

Shepherd’s pie is one of those comforting meals that leave you full and satisfied.  And let’s be honest, who doesn’t just love a meat pie with homemade mashed potatoes baked on top?!  My Southern heart can’t get enough!  So, I’m pretty sure my delicious shepherd’s pie is going to please the pickiest of eaters, too.

Our Trip to Ireland

Ever since Omar and I spent our honeymoon in Ireland for our honeymoon, Irish food has held a very special place in my heart!  I know, you’re probably thinking that doesn’t sound very romantic, right?!  Well, let me just say — it was!  And it just so happens to be one of my most favorite trips we’ve ever taken together. 

delicious shepherd's pie Shepherd's Pie: My Take on a Traditional Irish Favorite Whitney Khan Contributor Miami Moms Blog

Now you’re probably wondering why we chose Ireland for our honeymoon.  Here’s the reason: My husband has done a LOT of traveling in his day and we live in Miami where the weather is always tropical.  We immediately decided that a honeymoon to an island on a resort nearby wasn’t in the cards for us.  So, we pulled out a big map of the world and started looking at countries that neither of us had been to yet and Ireland somehow made it to the number one spot! 

That’s when we booked our tickets and never looked back.  After we got to Ireland, we spent three days in Dublin where we rented a car and then drove throughout the country, stopping in four different cities along the way.  If you want to read more about our honeymoon to Ireland, you can check that out here!  And should you ever get the opportunity to go to Ireland, pack your bags and go!  You won’t regret it one bit.  The food is absolutely amazing and the castles and scenery are literally breathtaking!

Now, let’s get to this recipe.  You can make this shepherd’s pie with beef or lamb.  It’s loaded with vegetables and topped with the most delicious homemade mashed potatoes.  Then it’s baked to perfection until it’s browned on top and bubbly around the sides.  You’re going to love it!  

Shepherd’s Pie

Time: From start to finish, about 1 hour.  Yields 4 – 6 servings.

Ingredients for the meat:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 – 1 1/4 lb ground beef or ground lamb
  • 1 bell pepper (any color), finely diced
  • 2-3 stalks of celery, finely diced
  • 2-3 carrots, finely diced
  • 2-3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1-2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1-2 tsp honey or maple syrup (I know that sounds weird, just trust me on this!)
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp dried thyme 
  • salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients for the potatoes:

  • 3 large Russet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 – 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 – 3 tbsp half and half or heavy cream
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. First, get the potatoes going.  Grab a big pot and add the potatoes, cover them with water. Bring to a boil and let them cook until fork tender; about 10-15 minutes.  Once the potatoes have softened, drain them.  Add them back to the pot and add the butter, half and half, salt and pepper.  Mash everything together until you get the consistency you prefer.  TASTE the potatoes and make sure the seasonings are on point!  Reduce the heat to a simmer and let the potatoes hang out for a bit.
  2. While the potatoes are cooking, preheat the oven to 400 degrees and heat up an oven-proof skillet on medium to medium-high heat.  Add the olive oil to the skillet.  Once the oil is hot add the onion and garlic.  Saute until translucent.  Then add the beef or lamb and cook until there’s no more pink, crumbling the meat as it cooks.
  3. Next, add the bell pepper, celery, and carrots.  Stir the veggies into the meat and continue cooking for 5 – 10 minutes.  Then, add the Worcestershire sauce, Dijon, honey, oregano, thyme, salt, and pepper.  Stir well and reduce the heat to low.
  4. TASTE the meat mixture.  Adjust your seasonings if needed.  At this point, I added just a little bit more salt and Worcestershire sauce.  
  5. Now, add the mashed potatoes on top of the meat mixture.  Bake for 15 minutes, or until browned on top and bubbly around the sides.
  6. Finally, let the shepherd’s pie rest for 5 – 10 minutes before serving.  Serve with a side salad and eat!! 

Note:  You can bake this in an 8 or 9-inch casserole dish if you prefer.  Reheat leftovers in the oven until warmed through.

Happy Eating!

delicious shepherd's pie Shepherd's Pie: My Take on a Traditional Irish Favorite Whitney Khan Contributor Miami Moms Blog