Is Shepherd’s Pie lamb or beef?

In this short article, we will provide an answer to the question “Is Shepherd’s Pie lamb or beef?” and the information on Shepherd pie’s history.

Is Shepherd’s Pie lamb or beef?

A proper and original Shepherd’s pie consists of both beef and lamb.  It is a baked beef pie that has a substantial layer of mashed potatoes on top and is made with minced or chopped lamb. 

How to Make Shepherd’s Pie traditionally?


  • 3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons salted butter, divided
  • 1 cup shredded white Cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup diced carrot
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1 pound ground beef sirloin
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, or to taste

The following steps need to be completed to make a traditional Shepherd’s pie:

  • Put the potatoes and enough water to cover them by two inches in a large saucepan and bring the water to a boil. Put the pot on the stove over medium-high heat, sprinkle in one tablespoon of salt, and bring to a boil. Cook for approximately ten minutes, or until potatoes can easily be pierced with a fork. After turning off the heat, drain the liquid.
  • Place the potatoes back into the heated pan and proceed to continue cooking them over the same heat source. Permit the milk and the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to melt in the heat that is left over. The potatoes should be mashed using a potato masher until they are completely smooth. Mix the Cheddar cheese, sour cream, egg yolk, one-half of a teaspoon of salt, and one-quarter of a teaspoon of pepper together in a large mixing dish. Put it to the side while you concentrate on making the filling.
  • Prepare the oven by heating it to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees Celsius) (190 degrees C). Spray a casserole dish that is 9 inches by 13 inches with cooking spray.
  • Warm the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and the olive oil together in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. After adding the onion and carrot, continue to cook the mixture at a low simmer while stirring it frequently for about five minutes, or until the onion starts to become translucent.
  • After about 5 minutes of cooking, while breaking the mixture with a spoon and tossing it constantly, the lamb and beef should become browned. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour with the remaining salt and pepper, along with the rosemary and thyme. Continue to stir often while cooking for another minute.
  • Cook with beef stock, tomato paste, and Worcestershire sauce, scraping the bottom of the skillet to retrieve any tasty bits that may have accumulated there. Bring the mixture up to a simmer before serving. Continue to cook for approximately 8 minutes, or until the veggies are tender and the sauce has thickened. Add the peas, and stir the mixture thoroughly. The mixture should reach about halfway up the prepared casserole dish before being topped with the mashed potatoes.
  • Keep for 25 to 30 minutes in an oven that has been preheated, or until the edges are golden brown and bubbling. Garnish with little chopped parsley and serve.

What is the history behind a Shepherd’s pie?

The problem is that there is not much information available regarding the history, at least not in a manner that can be easily understood. It does not appear that a particular person, event, location, or circumstance was responsible for the creation of shepherd’s pie. Instead, there are snippets of history that, when pieced together and analyzed, can shed light on the origins of shepherd’s pie. Now, in a nutshell, the following is the information that you need to know:

  • The Norman invasion of Ireland started in the 13th century, and it was this invasion that inaugurated a turbulent union between Ireland and England that lasted for around 800 years (though it may still be going on depending on who you ask).
  • In the latter part of the 15th century, England formally took control of Ireland and absorbed the island into what would later become the United Kingdom.
  • Even though the Catholic faith is practiced by the vast majority of Irish people, the United Kingdom established Protestantism as the state religion of Ireland.
  • The British and Protestant Irish converts who rose to become prominent landlords were afforded protection by the government. The government of Ireland ordered Irish Catholics to serve as agricultural peasants against their will. As a consequence of this, the majority of them were poor, and they inhabited hovels that were referred to as “cottages.”
  • After its introduction by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1589, the potato quickly acquired popularity in Ireland as an edible crop that could be grown at a minimal cost, particularly among the lower classes of society.
  • Because of the high demand for beef in Britain, Irish producers were able to ramp up their operations. It is not common knowledge that the Irish consume a significant amount of beef. Despite this, they were unable to purchase it because Ireland was still under British dominion at the time.


In this short article, we provided an answer to the question “Is Shepherd’s Pie lamb or beef?” and the information on Shepherd pie’s history.


What was missing from this post which could have made it better?

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.