Jeffrey’s Favourite Recipe – Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd’s pie is a traditional English dish made with minced meat and vegetables, topped with mashed potatoes. The name likely comes from the fact that shepherds would often make it using the leftovers from a Sunday roast.

The history of shepherd’s pie is a bit murky, but it’s thought to have originated in the early 1800s. Some say it was a dish made by rural people who didn’t have easy access to ovens, so they would cook the meat and vegetables in one pot and then top them with potatoes that were boiled on the side.

Where Is Shepherd’s Pie Often Served?

This delicious dish is often served at  large gatherings, such as family meals and holiday dinners. Although it can be served with other vegetables, this meal is typically paired with a side of peas or corn to give a bit of sweetness to the dish.

While shepherd’s pie hails from English cuisine, there are many varieties that include different meats and spices – some even include seafood. Some cultures prefer their shepherd’s pie more spicy than others. In fact, Latin American countries often use chili powder in place of traditional seasonings.

In the past couple hundred years, another popular version has been developed using mashed potatoes on top instead of on the bottom – this dish goes by “cottage pie”. The origins of cottage pie are not entirely clear; however it was believed to have been made  by the English working class as an economical way to use up leftover meat and mashed potatoes.

Whether you’re enjoying a classic shepherd’s pie or a more modernised cottage pie, this dish is sure to please. And with its simple ingredients, it’s easy to make even on a busy weeknight. So next time you have a hankering for some hearty comfort food, give shepherd’s pie a try.

How to Make Shepherd’s Pie

To make Shepherd’s Pie,  dice 1 onion, 2 carrots and 3 stalks of celery. Cook them in a saute pan until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 8 ounces ground beef. Season it with salt and pepper, to taste, and cook until all the meat is browned. Remove from heat and drain excess liquid if necessary, then spread the mixture out evenly in a baking dish.

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, add 28 ounces crushed tomatoes along with 15 ounces beef broth .  Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce heat to low and allow it to simmer for 20 minutes uncovered. Add 2 tablespoons tomato paste into this sauce before covering it entirely with aluminium foil.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, combine 3 cups instant mashed potatoes (such as Simply Potatoes) with 1/2 cup milk and 2 tablespoons butter. Season it with salt and pepper, to taste. Spread the mixture overtop of the ground beef in the baking dish and spread evenly.  Bake for 35 minutes or until heated through completely and the topping is lightly browned.

If you prefer your mashed potatoes on top instead of underneath like a cottage pie, prepare them before putting it into the oven: place 4 Yukon Gold potatoes directly on an oven rack in the preheated 400 degree F oven. Bake them for 45 minutes or until they are tender all the way through when pierced with a fork, turning once halfway  through.

To remove skins, scoop potatoes into a large bowl and beat them until smooth then add in 1/2 cup butter, 2 tablespoons salt and 3 cups hot milk . Beat until it’s light and fluffy then spread it on top of the beef mixture right before baking the dish uncovered for 20 minutes at 400 degrees F.

Serve shepherd’s pie while still hot with your favorite side of vegetables. This meaty meal pairs best with green peas or corn.

Foods That Pair Well With Shepherd’s Pie

Today, shepherd’s pie is a popular comfort food all over the world. It’s perfect for cold winter days or as a hearty main course at any time of year. There are many ways to  make it, but this recipe is the classic version with rich beef gravy, fluffy mashed potatoes, and plenty of vegetables.


Shepherd’s pie pairs well with any warm beverage or a glass of red wine. If you’re planning on drinking white wine, your best bet would be to pair it with fish-based shepherd’s pie instead.

Chocolate Cake

Chocolate cake is a great dessert to pair with Shepherd’s Pie as  it is a similarly rich and comforting dish. The sweetness of the cake will contrast nicely with the savoury flavours in the pie, and it’s sure to leave you feeling satisfied.


Biscuits are another good choice for a side dish when serving shepherd’s pie. They are light, fluffy, and pair well with both sweet and savoury foods. Plus, they’re easy to make and can be enjoyed either hot or cold.


If you’re looking for a tangy and refreshing side to compliment your shepherd’s pie, applesauce is a great option. It’s also very easy to make and goes well with both sweet and savoury dishes.


It used to be that salads were always served before the main course in formal dining situations for this very reason: they allow diners to try different flavours without filling up on heavier items. These days, however, many restaurants are moving away from that tradition and now serve salads as part of their main menu. This gives customers more choices and allows them to enjoy a salad as their entrée if they so choose.

Salads and vegetable dishes go well with Shepherd’s Pie because of the contrast in flavours and textures. The pie is a hearty, filling meal, so it’s nice to have something light and refreshing to balance it out. If you’re looking for something to round out your meal, consider ordering a salad or some steamed vegetables on the side.

Don’t have the time or the confidence to make your own Shepherd’s Pie in Singapore? For any craving or feast, order your Shepherd’s Pie from Jeffrey’s Christmas Kitchen Singapore.

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