Shepherd’s Pie

What are you guys doing for Columbus Day weekend???  We are driving up to the White Mountains in New Hampshire to go camping and “leaf peeping” (for non- New Englanders- that means check out all of the fall colors!)

Fevers are going around all of the kiddos in the neighborhood 🤒, so we are trying to stay out in the fresh air as much as possible.  If your little ones are starting to catch some of those wintertime bugs, make sure you brush up on your mama-nurse skills with the Sick Kiddo Bootcamp.

My sister-in-law and brother-in-law are coming camping with us so I had to think of a meal to feed everyone, that ideally could be made in advance, wouldn’t take a lot of prep, and would warm us up on a cool, fall evening.

Enter this traditional Irish shepherds pie recipe from  

I can make this whole dish at home, pack a single pan, and just pop it in the oven when it’s time for dinner. Yes, we are spoiled and have an oven while we are camping.  Did I mention it’s actually more like “glamping”??  Shepherds pie is so warm, cozy and filling!  Just thinking about it makes me want to be sitting outside snuggled in a sweater and blanket and enjoying the crisp air!!  

For our trip, I am going to make it the standard way – in a casserole pan that I can just heat up. But if you are looking for some variation, you can:

  • Switch up the mashed potatoes with mashed sweet potato, cauliflower, other mashed root veggie, shredded hash brown style potato or root veggie.
  • Try “upside down” shepherds pie – make the meat filling and just layer that on top of mashed potatoes in a bowl. This is a nice trick if you need to get dinner on the table a little quicker and want to skip the oven step. 
Meal of the week
Photo credit to Jonathan Melendez, The Candid Appetite

Hope you are enjoying fall 🍁 (and fall foods!) as much as I am! 

Please leave a comment / picture / rating when you taste it and let me know what you think.

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Shepherds Pie

Course Main Course
Cuisine Country, Irish


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 lb ground beef or lamb or mix
  • 1 large onion finely diced
  • 3-4 large carrots finely diced
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme finely chopped (or 1-2 tsp dry thyme leaves)
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 large quantity mashed potatoes about 6 cups, fresh or leftover
  • 1 egg beaten
  • grated parmesan cheese optional


  • Pre-heat oven to 400°F.
  • In a Dutch oven, saute carrots in the olive oil until starting to get tender.
  • Add in the onions and saute for a minute or two then add the meat.
  • Season with black pepper and thyme.
  • Cook until browned then drain fat.
  • Add the butter and peas.
  • Sprinkle with flour and stir through.
  • Add tomato paste, wine and Worcestershire sauce.
  • Let this reduce slightly then add the chicken stock. Allow to reduce down until you have a thick meaty gravy. Season to your taste.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Grease an oven proof dish and add the sauce.
  • Spoon or pipe the mashed potatoes over top. Brush with egg and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if using.
  • Bake for about 20 minutes or until the potato is nice and browned on top.

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