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Shepherd’s Pie

March 12, 2011

I guess we never had this at my home when I was growing up as there was never any leftover lamb from the roast.  So the first time I enjoyed Shepherd’s Pie was on a 100′ schooner in the Galapogos Islands.  A British company owned the schooner and the crew was English.  There were twelve passengers and fifteen crew, and the food they made was delicious!  Do not ever let anyone tell you the British cannot cook, they are wrong.  After making quite a few different recipes through the years trying to replicate that pie, this one is my favorite from James Beard.  I think he would have been happy with the one I was served on the “Golden Cachelot” many years ago which inspired me to test many until I found his great recipe.

Shepherd’s Pie


  • 3 C. Cold Lamb (ground coarsely) (I usually make this when I have leftover lamb from the night before which had been marinated, and I add more onions and herbs as well)
  • 1 Onion (ground with the lamb)
  • Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
  • 7 T. Butter
  • 2 T. Flour
  • 1/2 C. Stock or Milk
  • 4-5 Potatoes, mealy potatoes preferred
  • Milk, 1/4-1/2 C.
  • Fresh Herbs (such as chives, Tarragon, Garlic and Parsley – optional
  • Breadcrumbs and/or Parmesan Cheese (optional)


  1. Grind the lamb and onion and season to taste
  2. Melt 3 T. butter over low heat and add the flour to make a roux
  3. Stir in the liquid and continue stirring till thickened and season to taste
  4. Combine with the meat and spread into a 2 qt. baking dish and cool thoroughly
  5. Peel the potatoes and cook in boiling water until tender
  6. Drain, mash and add  4 T. butter, the milk and seasonings and let cool slightly
  7. When the meat is quite cold, spread the mashed potato over it to make a crust
  8. Dot the crust with butter.  Add crumbs or grated Parmesan cheese
  9. Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes until the crust is nicely brown and the dish is bubbling hot


 (Serves 6)

(Recipe adapted  from “James Beard’s American Cookery” by James Beard)

2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 12, 2011 17:53

    Every day………

  2. March 12, 2011 15:21

    Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first. ~Ernestine Ulmer

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