Cheddar topped shepherd’s pie! Just look at this beauty. Minced lamb cooked with onions, carrots, leeks, and fresh herbs and then topped with buttered mashed potatoes and mature cheddar cheese. Yum!
To me, this is the classic recipe but I know that they’ll be a number of you out there a little perplexed by this statement!? 🤨 “Shepherd pie does not have cheese!” or “Shepherd’s pie is made with minced beef and not lamb” some of you will be saying to your laptops or phones. Well, I do agree that there are many different recipes out there for shepherd’s pie but for me, a shepherd looks after sheep, ergo, shepherd’s pie is made with lamb (cottage pie for beef). As for the cheese, well, take it or leave it. It’s optional. I just love cheese! 😉
Let’s make one…
1. Gather the ingredients together
This is a pretty straightforward recipe to make. All ingredients are listed in the printable recipe below but the key ingredients are minced lamb, carrots, onions, leeks, potatoes, and cheese.
Note that the printable recipe below provides ingredient measurements for a cheese topped shepherd’s pie that serves 6 people. I actually made 4 large individual shepherd’s pies when I made this recipe. The only reason I did this is that I was eating alone that evening 😪 so I thought I’d make enough for 3 additional large individual pies that I could then freeze.
2. Prepare the ingredients
The only preparation required before starting the cooking is to finely chop the onions, carrots, leeks, and thyme, and grate the cheese. Also, turn the oven on to heat up to 200C / 180C Fan / 400F.
3. Cook the cheddar crusted shepherd’s pie filling
To make the shepherd’s pie filling start by heating the oil and half of the butter in a large saucepan. Once hot set the heat to medium and sweat off the onions.
Once the onions are soft and start to brown, add the carrots and leeks.
Cook the carrots and leeks until they start to soften.
Once the carrots and leeks are soft, add the lean lamb mince and season.
Cook the lamb mince through until it is sealed all over.
Once the lamb is cooked add the lamb stock and herbs. Cook this through and reduce some of the juices so the filling becomes a thickened gravy. This is optional but one way of getting a good flavor, and cheating a little on the reduction, is to thicken the cooked lamb mixture with lamb or chicken thickening granules.
Once the shepherd’s pie filling is ready, transfer it into a baking dish, or, for me, individual baking dishes.
4. Prepare and cook the potatoes
The first thing to do is to peel the potatoes and place in the saucepan and cover with water.
Add some salt to the water and then boil until soft. The potatoes should break in half if prodded with a knife. Once cooked, transfer the potatoes to a mixing bowl.
Using a fork or a potato masher, mash the potatoes.
Now, add the milk and remaining butter.
Mix all of this together until the potatoes come to a creamy texture.
5. Finish making the cheddar topped shepherd’s pie
With the potato nice and creamy, spoon the potato onto the shepherd’s pie filling.
Smooth the potato using a pallet knife.
Finally, top with the grated cheddar cheese.
6. Cook and serve the cheddar crusted shepherd’s pie
The shepherd’s pie is now ready to cook. Place it in the oven for at least 30 minutes and until the cheddar cheese has crusted on top.
And that’s it foodie fans. Cheddar topped shepherd’s pie. A classic recipe in whatever form it takes. Make individual ones as I did and freeze for later. Or make a big family pie and enjoy served with seasonal vegetables and good conversation. Whichever way you know this recipe will be a winner. Yum!
I do hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed eating it!? If you’d like to be kept up to date with all of The Yum Yum Club’s recipes just subscribe to our newsletter at the top of the page. Otherwise, you can always follow us on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram by clicking the link and selecting “follow”.
For other great lamb recipes why not try The Yum Yum Club’s Lamb Burgers, Pot Roast Lamb Shanks, or, my personal favourite, Aromatic Spice-Rubbed Roast Lamb. Just click on the link to be taken straight to the recipe.
As always, many thanks for reading and until the next installment… Steve.
Classic cheddar topped shepherd's pie. Succulent minced lamb mixed with chopped vegetables and herbs. Topped with cheese potato. Yum!
- 35 oz lean minced lamb Metric, 1 kg
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, finely chopped
- 2 leeks, finely chopped
- ¾ cup butter Metric, 150 grams
- ½ cup milk Metric, 100 ml
- 1 lamb stock cube
- 35 oz potatoes, Maris Piper or similar Metric, 1 kg
- 1 tsp thyme, chopped
- 1 tsp dried mixed herbs
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 9 oz cheddar cheese Metric, 250 grams
First, gather all of the ingredients together.
Finely chop the onion, carrot, leeks and thyme. Also, grate the cheese.
Peel the potatoes and place in a pan of seasoned water ready to boil.
Turn the oven in to 200C/180C Fan/400F
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the butter. When hot add the onions and sweat off until soft.
Add the carrots and leeks.
Cook the carrots and leeks until soft.
Add the minced lamb and season.
Brown the minced lamb and add the stock cube and herbs. Cook though for 5-10 minutes. Reduce the liquid or thicken with lamb or chicken stock granules.
Transfer the lamb to baking dishes.
Boil the potatoes and transfer to a mixing bowl.
Smash the potatoes with a fork or potato masher.
Add the milk and remaining butter.
Mix to cream the potatoes.
Spoon the potatoes into the shepherd's pie.
Smooth the potato with a pallet knife.
Cover the top with grated cheese.
Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until the cheese has crusted.
And there you have it. Cheddar crusted shepherd's pie. Enjoy on your own or as a family meal. Yum!