Shepherd's pie is the perfect simple dinner that's sure to put a smile on the face of any Irish person in your life.

The best get-togethers always involve some great home-cooked Irish comfort foods so why not try out this delicious shepherd's pie? If you want to make Irish people grin with pleasure around a dinner table this is the dish to try. 

Shepherd's pie, or cottage pie, as it's known in Britain, is believed to have existed since around 1791, when potatoes became an available, affordable crop to the poor. This dish was a perfect way to stretch leftover roasted meat.

Originally, the pie was lined with mashed potato in addition to having a mashed potato crust. The term Shepherd's pie came into use, alongside cottage pie, from around 1870.

And just before you start to make a comment... we're not sure why it is that the Irish make their shepherd's pie with beef mince. That's just the way it is. 

Irish shepherd's pie recipe


  • 2 tablespoons Irish butter
  • 1 medium chopped onion
  • 2 sliced carrots
  • 4 tablespoons cream flour
  • 2.5 cups browning stock
  • Chopped parsley and thyme
  • 2 cups cooked minced beef or lamb 
  • 3 cups mashed potatoes


Melt the Irish butter in a saucepan and add the chopped onion. Cover and let it sweat for a few minutes.

Add the carrots.

Stir in the flour and cook until it is slightly browned, then add the stock and herbs.

Bring to a boil and then reduce it a little by boiling for about 5 minutes.

Add the meat and bring it back to the boil.

Place in a pie dish and cover with the mashed potatoes. Put into a medium-hot oven (350f/180c) for about 30 minutes.

* Originally published in 2016, last updated in October 2023.