Shepherd’s Pie with Lamb

December 23, 2019  •  Meat & Poultry, One Dish Meals

When I was a child, shepherd’s pie was a simple affair – plain ground beef on the bottom, a layer of corn in the middle, and plain mashed potatoes on top. I guess that’s a version of shepherd’s pie, but after three trips to Ireland, I was craving something more authentic, something more flavorful, and something featuring lamb.My recipe calls for cooked lamb chunks by weight, but you can also just use ground lamb. I had a variety of different cuts (saddle, sirloin, shanks) in my freezer that I was trying to use up, so my first step was to cook them all in the Instant Pot (see recipe notes for details on that as it worked quite well). The meat layer is savory and irresistible, while the potatoes have amped up flavor from some Boursin cheese, cream and butter. I ate this two days in a row, and honestly could have kept going had I not decided to free some for another chilly night. Hope you love it as much as I did!

Shepherd's Pie with Lamb
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: irish
Serves: 6
Potato Topping
  • 1½ pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 3 ounces Boursin cheese
Lamb Filling
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup diced carrots
  • ½ cup diced celery
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion or shallots or a combination
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup stock (NOTE: If you follow the recipe for cooking the lamb in the Instant Pot, use the lamb stock, otherwise any stock or broth will do)
  • 2 tablespoons dried minced chives
  • 1-2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1½ pounds cooked lamb, cut into small chunks or shredded
To assemble
  • ½ cup frozen or fresh peas
  • ½ cup frozen or fresh corn kernels
  1. Place potatoes in a pot of cold water with a little salt, bring to a boil, and cook until soft, about 15 minutes, and then drain. While the potatoes are cooking, combine butter, cream, and cheese in a small microwave safe dish and microwave on high until butter and cheese melt. Stir the melted butter mixture into the cooked potatoes and mash until smooth; cover and set aside.
  2. Add oil to a large pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat on the stove. Add carrots, celery, and onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook until slightly softened, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and flour, and stir while cooking for 2 minutes. Add stock, chives, Worcestershire, and cooked lamb. Stir together, bring to a boil, and simmer a few minutes to thicken.
  3. Spray a 2 quart casserole dish with cooking space or rub with butter. Pour the lamb mixture into the bottom of the dish, then spread the peas on top, then the corn on top of the peas. Top with the mashed potatoes, smoothing and pressing the edges to the dish to create a seal. Bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees.
To cook the lamb in the Instant Pot:
Combine whatever pieces or cuts of lamb you are using to yield about 1½ pounds cooked meat and place in the Instant Pot. Add 2-3 tablespoons Bourbon or Whiskey (optional) for flavor, then cover the meat with stock (I used pork stock for flavor). Cover and cook on pressure cooker high setting for 45 minutes, then natural release for 15 minutes. Let the steam out, let meat cool slightly, then cut into small chunks, discarding fat, bones, or gristle. Reserve 1 cup of the stock to make the filling.


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