Shepherd’s Pie – Whip It UP!

Shepherd’s Pie – Whip It UP!

shepherd's pie

Shepherd’s pie is the ultimate all-in-one dish sure to bring a smile to everyone’s face. It is  perfect for a formal Christmas dinner or a casual family meal, with a hearty mince filling, flavoured with Worcestershire sauce and topped with golden, creamy and buttery mashed potatoes. This is Western comfort food. Our recipe uses minced beef, but it is equally delicious made with lamb.

Total Time: 1½ hours

Difficulty: 3/5

Cost: S$12.00

Serves: 4-6 persons

A: Mashed Potatoes

1kg potatoes, peeled, each cut into 6 pieces*
700ml water
1 teaspoon salt
100ml milk, slightly warmed
125g butter + 2 teaspoons extra
Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

B: Filling

500g minced beef
1 large onion, peeled & chopped
1 carrot, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
100g peas (fresh or frozen)
200g button mushrooms, thickly sliced
100ml worcestershire sauce
200g tomato paste
½ -1 beef stock cube, depending on taste
100ml water
Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

C: Egg wash

1 egg yolk, lightly beaten with a fork


1.Mashed Potatoes: Bring water to a rolling boil in a large saucepan with salt. Add potatoes.

potatoes boiling

Cook for approximately 20 minutes or until fork tender. Drain and mash with milk and butter. Set aside and keep warm.

2. Filling: Preheat oven to 220C. Heat up oil in large saucepan. Sauté onions until translucent. Add minced beef and cook, stirring with a fork to break up any clumps. Fry until brown. Note: The tradtional shepherd’s pie is made with lamb. If beef is used, it’s called Cottage Pie. However, today, pies made with beef is commonly accepted as shepherd’s pie.

3. Toss in vegetables and mushrooms under B ingredients. Mix to combine.

peas, carrots, corn

4. Add worcestershire sauce, tomato paste and stock cube. Pour in water. Season to taste. Stir to combine. Simmer until mixture dries slightly.

minced beef

5. Assembling Pie: Using a slotted spoon, scoop meat filling into an oven-proof dish or individual ramekins. Fill dish midway. Using the back of a slotted spoon, press filling to level it.

6. Wet back of spoon – this prevents potato from sticking to it. Spread mashed potato over filling, levelling it. Using a fork, draw criss-crosses on potato, allowing for little bumps and ridges which will get crusty during baking.

shepherd's pie

7. Using a fork, dot potato surface generously with the extra 2 teaspoons butter.

8. Give potato topping an egg wash with a pastry brush.

shepherd's pie

9. Place pie dish on upper rack in the oven. Bake 10-15 minutes until golden brown and bubbling. If using the grill, bake for 5 minutes. Keep an eye on the pie while it is baking, making sure it doesn’t burn. Adjust position of pie if it gets scorched. Continue baking until potato crust becomes toasty brown.

10. Serve pie with extra boiled vegetables for a fibre boost.

shepherd's pie

TIP: If a golden brown crisp topping is preferred, sprinkle parmesan cheese over the mash. For a drier filling, add a teaspoon of flour during cooking, stirring it in until incorporated. This yields a thicker gravy which holds the mince together.

TECHNIQUE: *Boiling potatoes strips spuds of some starch. The idea is to get the mash light and fluffy. To achieve this, break up lumps in potatoes using a masher. Switch to a whisk then whip vigorously for 2 minutes – this incorporates air into the mash to yield a creamy and puffy texture.

Photos: Janice Seah

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