Sssssh..epherds Pie

It’s freezing in Somerset this week and the new year salads are not looking appealing – tonight we need something meaty, warming and nourishing. I have concocted this recipe to pack in as much protein as possible for those of us who are working out hard with a topping which tastes fluffy and buttery but is in fact low fat with a high veg content. The inclusion of beluga lentils doesn’t detract from the “meaty” texture but in fact adds to it, taking the meat content down but giving you high fibre and protein. I won’t tell them if you don’t. Turmeric adds an anti-inflammatory element and the Umami paste a wonderful rich flavour that delivers even if served on the same day of making it.

I sneak a tin of butter beans into the mash for added protein – they’ll never know.

Shepherds pie does of course indicate a lamb content which I personally don’t care for so this contains low fat beef & pork mince – what’s in your version is obviously up to you.

If you are short of time and/or inclination, the freezer aisle may be able to help you with the topping – small frozen piped duchess potatoes can double as a mash (I get mine from Lidl) or M&S do tiny spring onion rosti potatoes which are low fat, crispy,  tasty and dead easy to overlay as a topping.


Quantities are to make two family sized pies, one for tonight, one for the freezer.

Shhhhh..epherds Pie – Makes 2 x pies,  6 servings each.

2/3 rashers of streaky bacon, chopped

1 1/2 large onions, chopped fine

4 cloves garlic, minced

500g 5% lean steak/lamb mince

500g 5% pork mince

1 large glass good red wine

2 x cans chopped Italian tomatoes

400ml hot beef stock

1 x heaped tsp turmeric

1 x tsp smoked paprika

1 heaped tbsp umami paste

1 x heaped tsp dried oregano

1 x heaped tsp dried basil

1 x microwave packet of Beluga lentils (I used Merchant Gourmet)

300g mushrooms, finely sliced

salt and fresh ground pepper to season.


1 whole celeriac

1kg Maris Piper potatoes

1 tin butter beans

2 tbsp low fat creme fraiche

salt and black/pink pepper to season


Take a large, heavy based pan and sweat the bacon until coloured. Add the onion and garlic and sweat until soft and translucent.

Add the meat, one at a time, making sure each is coloured and browned before moving onto the next.

Glug in the wine, turning up the heat until it reduces into the meat.

Add all the other ingredients, stirring together on a simmer  until well combined. Pop on the back burner for 45 minutes to bubble gently.

When done, divide the sauce between two deep pie dishes to await the topping.

Heat the oven to Gas 6/200dg.

Peel and chop the potatoes and celeriac into small roast potatoes size, rinse and boil in salted water until a knife slides through easily, approx. 15 minutes. Add the tin of butter beans into this and heat through.

Drain well and shake in a colander, roughing up the edges and letting the steam escape well – soggy, watery mash is not a lovely thing.  When they are looking fluffy, return to the empty saucepan off the heat with the cream fraiche,  season well and mash until creamy. Some people get the piping bag out at this stage for posh – I can never be bothered.

Take a couple of dessert spoons and divide the topping equally over the fillings, then fork until even and level. You can also sprinkle with a flavoursome cheddar now if you wish.

Slam in the hot oven for 20 minutes or so until brown and bubbling. Set the table and break into a bottle of red while the kids wash their hands.

Serve with buttered petit pois or tiny carrots.


20 Comments Add yours

  1. Kaylan says:

    Just what the doctor orerded, thankity you!


  2. Foteini K says:

    Is there any alternative to make it vegan? I have lactose intollerance…


    1. Hi – in the UK, we have a product range called Quorn which is a meat substitute which comes in mince form. Not sure where you are in the world but in addition I’d chop up some mushrooms to give you that “meaty” texture. I use nut milks to substitute cows milk on occasion. Hope that helps!


      1. Foteini K says:

        So I guess alpro almond milk is okay? Thank you ♥


  3. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten Shepherds Pie before, but I have seen it made on tele food shows. This sounds delicious!


  4. This is a very traditional English recipe – every home has it’s own combination of flavours.


  5. Megan Indoe says:

    I’ve actually never had Shepherds pie but it sounds amazing! I am always looking for new recipes to add in our repertoire, we will check this out!


  6. Kathy Myers says:

    We love shepherds pie it is our go to quick meal, I am going to have to try this recipe and make it a little more fancy!


  7. alisonrost says:

    Shepherd’s Pie is comfort food at our house. Every family it seems has their own unique take on it. Can’t wait to give yours a try!


  8. Dusica says:

    Look very delicious, but so many calories in here, to be or not to be is the question now 🙂


  9. Hi Dusica
    This recipe is actually very nourishing but with very active children, they need calorie dense food. I simply eat smaller portions of it, which is a good habit to get into anyway.


  10. Ana De-Jesus says:

    I am definitely lacking protein in my diet so the addition of beluga lentils would be perfect for upping my protein intake. I would love to make this using quorn mince as I am a vegetarian 🙂


  11. ljdove23 says:

    I love shepherds pie, it’s one of the only dishes all of the children will eat and enjoy and it’s relativey easy to make. I will definitely give this recipe a try!


  12. I remember the delicious aroma everytime my mom and grandma made shepherds pie. I tried making it but I could not make it taste the way mom and grandma made it. I guess there was a secret ingredient they did not tell me about. I will try your recipe too. Looks so tasty!


    1. Thank you – I hope it’s up to scratch!


  13. This weather has been a bit up and down lately. Looks like you have the perfect comfort dish to keep me and hubby happy.


  14. lex says:

    shepherds pie? never heard of it, but with this recipe and your guide i should be able to give it a try once and see how good it comes.. looks very healthy btw.


  15. Lindsey says:

    I love shepherds pie, and this recipe looks super easy that I am even gong to make it this week.


  16. Yummy! Shepherds pie is one of my most favourite meals. Especially during the autumn and winter months


  17. Ana Ojha says:

    Never eaten Shepherds Pie! It looks incredibly delicious. Can’t wait to try it!


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