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Homemade Shepherd's Pie With Mashed Potato and Parmesan Cheese Topping

Gabriel Wilson loves to cook, eat tasty foods, and drink a glass of wine—without having to do the washing up.

Homemade Shepherd's Pie

Homemade Shepherd's Pie

A Warm, Easy Supper for a Cold Winter Evening

I love shepherd's pie: mincemeat and vegetables in a tasty gravy topped with a lovely, soft mash and sprinkled with parmesan cheese, resulting in a delicious crisp crust. On colder evenings, I love it even more.

This recipe is very simple and easy to make, and I have tweaked it to my tastes. By all means, tweak it to yours! I hope you enjoy it.

Mashed Potato and Parmesan Cheese Topping

Mashed Potato and Parmesan Cheese Topping

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

20 min

1 hour

1 hour 20 min

4 generous portions


  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 6 small carrots, peeled and finely diced into cubes
  • 600 grams of beef mince, (not too finely minced)
  • 2 tablespoons of plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon of sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of chilli con carne, powder mix
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato puree or tomato ketchup
  • 400 millilitres of beef stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup of frozen peas
  • 8 to 10 medium potatoes, peeled and halved
  • Handful of chives, snipped
  • 50 grams of butter
  • 100 grams of fresh parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • Sea salt
  • Cayenne pepper


  1. In a deep-bottomed pan gently heat the olive oil and fry off the onion till translucent. Add the carrots and fry for another 5 minutes.
  2. Add in the mince and stir to brown. Once browned sprinkle over the flour, sweet paprika and chilli powder. Stir well and add the tomato puree or tomato ketchup.
  3. Add the beef stock and bring to a simmer. Pop in your bay leaf and continue to simmer on a low heat while you get your potatoes ready.
  4. Place your potatoes in cold water seasoned with a little salt, bring to the boil and reduce to a light bubble until cooked and just tender.
  5. Strain the potatoes and add in the snipped chives and butter. Leave to dry steam for 10 minutes.
  6. At this point add your frozen peas to your mince mix and season. Leave to cook for another 5 mins.
  7. Preheat grill to 200˚C. Mash potatoes. Ladle the mince mix into four serving bowls and using a spoon and fork, top the mince mix with the mash potato. Don't smooth the mash leave it loose and fill all gaps. Push the potato out to the rim of the dish (as pictured below).
  8. Sprinkle over the parmesan cheese and grill till golden brown to get a crisp mash potato and parmesan crust. Deliciously crisp on the top with a soft mash underneath. Serve with a sprinkle of cayenne pepper if desired.
Grill these individual shepherd's pies to get a crisp top.

Grill these individual shepherd's pies to get a crisp top.

Chef's Tips

  • I like a rather thick sauce as the mash potato sits on top. If you don't, just add a little more water. After all, it's your dinner.
  • The ingredients listed are how I like them. Taste as you cook, and if you like a little less or a little more of an ingredient, adjust it to your liking.
  • I prefer not to use too fine a mince, as I don't like the texture in this particular dish. It is just too fine for me and I enjoy a more chunky mince.
  • Carrots and peas are enough vegetables for me, but of course, you can do as you please. Occasionally I have used pumpkin chopped into small dice shapes instead of carrots. The pumpkin adds a sweetness to the dish. Always add the peas at the last minute because they cook quickly, and this way they will keep their colour.
  • I use fresh-grated parmesan cheese to get a crisper finish to the mash topping rather than a heavy cheesy mash. Plus, you don't need to use very much parmesan to get this golden crisp finish, so it's a healthier option too.
  • I prefer to cook this pie in single-serving baking dishes simply for ease, and I like the presentation too. However, if you prefer to use one large dish, that will also work.
  • Enjoy with a glass of full-bodied red wine.

Single-Serving Baking Dishes

When I make this recipe, I like to make single-serving pies. That way, if someone in my family is late for supper they can simply heat up their portion later—or even have it the next day.

I highly recommend these fabulous single-serving baking dishes. I have had mine for years and years, and they've served me very well. They're also easy to clean, and the flat handles make it easier to hold when the dish is hot.

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© 2017 Gabriel Wilson