Shepherd’s Pie

It's one big hug for your stomach.

This is easily one of our top five favorite comfort foods; we always go back for seconds. For our inaugural recipe we used homegrown carrots and took a couple of liberties with the fillings. Dark beer helps add flavor and complexity to the dish while peas provide substance and sweetness.

Equipment Needed: Casserole Dish, Frying Pan, Wooden Spoon, 3  QT Pot, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Potato Masher, Serving Spoon

Serving Suggestion: Family Style

Servings: 6

Suggested Wine Pairing: Old Vine Zinfandel, Malbec, Chianti, Cabernet Franc

Suggested Beer Pairing: Stout, Porter, Brown Ale


  • 2 lbs potatoes ($0.99/lb)
  • 1 lb ground lamb ($5.99/lb)
  • 1 C frozen peas ($1/10 oz)
  • 2 medium carrots (we used the fresh crop from Momma Brown’s garden; $1.99/lb)
  • 1 medium onion ($0.99/lb)
  • 2 cloves garlic ($2.99/lb)
  • 2 TBSP fresh rosemary ($1.50/bunch)
  • 1 1/2 C dark beer (we used a Lexington Brewing Company Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Stout; price varies)
  • 1 TBSP light brown sugar ($1.39/lb)
  • 1 TBSP smoked paprika ($4.50/2.3 oz jar)
  • 1 beef bouillon cube ($1/2.3 0z package)
  • 3 TBSP corn starch ($1.89/16 oz)
  • 1-2 TSP cayenne pepper ($3/2 oz jar)
  • 2 TBSP butter ($4.99/lb)
  • 1/4 C milk ($1.19/QT)
  • Extra virgin olive oil ($9.99/34 oz bottle)
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Peel and wash the potatoes and cut into 2 inch chunks. Toss those spuds in your pot, cover them with water, bring to a boil and keep them there until you can slide a fork in them without resistance (about 30 minutes)
  • Put your frying pan over medium-low heat and coat the bottom with olive oil.
  • Mince the garlic cloves and the rosemary, add to the pan and cook for about 2 minutes until it starts to brown lightly. Add the ground lamb, cayenne, paprika, and a healthy dose of salt and pepper. Cook the lamb until it’s about medium rare, stirring occasionally (should take about 6 minutes).

Mince the rosemary finely so no one ends up chewing giant pieces.

  • While the lamb is cooking, dice the carrots and onion. Mix together the beer and the bouillon cube. As the meat starts to brown, reduce the heat to low and add the onions, peas and carrots.

Dice the carrots into bite-sized pieces.

  • Cook for another 2 minutes and pour in the beer mix, brown sugar and corn starch, stir everything together and cook on low until the sauce thickens (10-15 minutes). Adjust the seasoning as necessary and when you’re satisfied pour it into the casserole dish.

Using a nice stout will help develop sweet and smoky gravy.

  • When your potatoes are done, drain them, add your butter and milk and proceed to mash and whip until creamy.

Use fattier milks for richer potatoes.

  • Spoon them over the top of the lamb mixture and cover it completely in an even layer. Pop it in the oven for about 30 minutes or until the potatoes have browned. Serve keep an eye out for wolves.

Spread the potatoes evenly over the top.

Extra Credit: If you so desire (and we do from time to time) top with a grated sharp cheddar or Parmagiano for an extra hit of richness.

2 responses to “Shepherd’s Pie

  1. Nom nom nom, that looks Deeeeeeelicious!

  2. I followed this recipe last night, and it was the best shepherd’s pie I ever had! My Irish wife even said so too. (And by the way, I used Guinness Extra Stout for the gravy). Thanks!

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