Cheese crusted shepherds pie

Matt Tebbutts traditional take on this quintessential British classic is sure to put a smile on your face
By Matt Tebbutt
Cheese crusted shepherds pie
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the shepherds pie filling

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 500 g minced lamb
  • 3 sticks celery, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 250 ml red wine
  • 1 can plum tomatoes
  • 300 ml lamb stock

For the mashed potato topping

  • 8 large, maris piper potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 100 g unsalted butter
  • 200 ml double cream
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 handful strong cheddar cheese, grated

Tips and Suggestions

rinsing the potatoes improves the texture of your mash, whilst the egg yolks make it richer in flavour


1. For the pie filling: heat olive oil in a saucepan and add the mince. Break the mince down slightly and then brown.

2. When browned remove from pan and drain excess fat through a sieve into a bowl.

3. Use a little of the reserved fat from the mince to fry the celery, carrot and onion. After a few minutes add the garlic and rosemary and cook for a further 3 minutes.

4. Next add the Worcestershire sauce, tomato puree and red wine. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Add the tinned tomatoes, mince and lamb stock and simmer for 1¼ hours.

6. For the mashed potato topping: rinse the potatoes under running water for 5 minutes.

7. Put into a large pan and cover with cold water. Add the salt and the bay leaves.

8. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes or until tender.

9. Remove from water, discard bay leaves and steam-dry for 5 minutes.

10. Push the boiled potatoes through a ricer or sieve and leave to cool slightly.

11. In a clean pan bring the butter and cream to the boil over a gentle heat.

12. Pour the cream and butter mixture over the potatoes and mix well but dont over mix as this will make the mash starchy and gluey.

13. Stir in the yolks and most of the cheese (reserving some for topping the pie).

14. Put the lamb mixture into a dish and top with the mash, use a fork to make peaks and then sprinkle the remaining cheddar on top.

15. Bake at 180C/160C fan/gas 5 for 20 minutes or until bubbling.

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