A pan of traditional shepherd's pie.
5 from 8 votes

Best Shepherd's Pie Recipe {with Lamb & Horseradish Mash}

This is the best shepherd's pie recipe if you ask me! It always gets rave reviews! Ground lamb is infused with Guinness beer and savoury herbs like rosemary and thyme. The whole lot is topped with creamy horseradish mashed potatoes to make a super comforting, stick-to-ya-ribs Shepherd's Pie. Just don't forget to save some Guinness to drink alongside!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Irish
Keyword lamb shepherds pie, St. Patrick's Day recipe
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 522kcal
Author Dawn Coombs


Creamy Mashed Potatoes

  • 3-4 large potatoes -peeled and cut into chunks (about 4 cups mashed)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream -warmed
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter -melted
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp good quality horseradish

Shepherd's Pie

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion -minced
  • 3 cloves garlic -minced
  • 2 carrots -peeled and chopped into little pieces
  • 3/4 tsp salt -divided
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper -divided
  • 1 pound ground lamb - or ground beef
  • 1/2 cup unsalted chicken stock
  • 1.5 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary -chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme -chopped, plus more for garnish
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp chili flakes
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 cup Guinness Beer - or unsalted chicken stock
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn


Creamy Horseradish Mashed Potatoes

  • Boil potatoes in salted water until fork tender, about 15 minutes. Drain.
  • Using a potato ricer, rice potatoes. To potatoes add cream, butter, salt and horseradish. Mash well. Reserve.

Shepherd's Pie

  • In a cast iron pan (I used a 10 inch) over medium low heat add olive oil. Cook onion under translucent, about 5 minutes. To onion add garlic and cook an additional minute.
  • To onion/garlic mixture, add carrot and cook 5 minutes. Season with 1/4 tsp each of salt and pepper. Add stock and cook about 5 minutes until stock mostly absorbed. Push veggie mixture to one side of pan.
  • Add lamb to pan, breaking up into pieces (potato masher works well here). Season with remaining 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Combine with veggies and cook until lamb browned, about 10 minutes.
  • To mixture, add Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, rosemary, thyme, nutmeg and chili flakes. Stir to combine. From a height, sprinkle flour over lamb, stirring to combine.
  • Add beer to lamb and cook 3-5 minutes. Most of the liquid will absorb rather quickly, but you'll still have some moisture there. Add peas and corn and stir to combine.
  • Top lamb mixture with reserved mashed potatoes (don't smooth out evenly - you want little bumps and valley's because they will brown nicely in the oven and add some texture). Place pan on baking sheet (to catch any bubbling over just in case) and bake at 375 F for 45 minutes. Garnish with additional rosemary and thyme (optional). Let rest 10-15 minutes before serving. Enjoy!


  • Don't want to use beer?  No worries! Sub with beef stock.
  • Not a fan of horseradish?  You could totally omit that if that's not your jam.
  • Speaking of horseradish, go for a quality product (keeping with the Irish theme here, from Ireland if you can get it).
  • Don't want to serve in a cast iron skillet?  Try one or two loaf pans instead. Or, alternatively, portion into individual serving dishes.
  • Whatever you do, when baking, place pan on top of a baking sheet to catch any gravy bubbling over. 
  • If you prefer less potatoes on top, I suggest cutting the potato portion of the recipe (and it's components) by about a quarter.
  • Don't have fresh herbs on hand? Use 1/3 less dried.  So, use 1 tsp of dried rosemary and about 3/4 tsp of dried thyme.
  • Once this shepherd's pie is baked, let it rest for 10-15 minutes before devouring it
Tried this recipe? That's awesome!Mention @dawn.girlheartfood or tag #girlheartfood!


Calories: 522kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 102mg | Sodium: 700mg | Potassium: 1028mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 4045IU | Vitamin C: 24.6mg | Calcium: 95mg | Iron: 6.5mg