Recipe: Debbie’s Shepherd’s Pie

shepherd pie recipeMy friend and neighbor Debbie Gold Hadar recently shared this delicious Shepherd’s Pie recipe. It calls for fresh ground meat or poultry, but you can substitute cooked meat or beans as well. Just add them after cooking the other vegetables.  Don’t be put off by the lengthy instructions, as this is not a complicated recipe.

Recipe: Shepherd’s Pie by Debbie

Summary: One course main dish


  • Half a kilo of minced meat (I find that the stuff bought fresh at the supermarket or butcher works the best)
  • 1 small tub of tomato puree
  • 1 raw egg
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 5-6 large white button fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 large (or 2 small) cans of diced tomatoes*
  • 1 glass of tomato juice
  • Dried oregano/fresh basil/herb-y additive of your choice
  • For topping: 6-8 large potatoes (can be prepared in advance)


  1. Boil water in a large pan.
  2. Peel potatoes while the water boils.
  3. Put peeled potatoes into the boiling water (carefully) and leave to boil until soft, about 8 minutes. Drain and put in large colander to cool. Don’t wash pan yet, we’ll use it later.
  4. While the potatoes are boiling, gently beat the egg and then mix into the minced meat using your fingers. Cover and put aside — preferable not to refrigerate.
  5. Fry the chopped onion and garlic until sweating. (I use a mix of canola and olive oil, about a tablespoon or so of each. Nothing in this recipe is drenched in oil. Ahem.)
  6. Add in the tomato puree and stir until all mixed together.
  7. Add the meat, and fry over until it has turned brown, and mixed together with the onion-puree-garlic mix.
  8. Add the sliced mushrooms to the mix. Stir.
  9. Add the diced tomatoes and stir until all is mixed in.
  10. Add the tomato juice until the mixture is juicy, but not swimming. Stir.
  11. Add the oregano or basil, or herb-y additive of your choice. Stir.
  12. Keep stirring, every so often. Once the meat mix has come to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and leave to simmer for about 25 minutes (+/-), stirring occasionally.
  13. After aforementioned 25 minutes (+/-), turn the heat off from under the meat. Transfer meat to a medium-large baking pan, cover and leave to cool a bit.
  14. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 F.).
  15. Take pan in which you boiled the potatoes, and spray a little, or add a couple of drops of, olive oil. Put the boiled potatoes in the pan and add salt and pepper to taste, then mash the potatoes thoroughly.
  16. Using whichever utensils work best for you, transfer the mashed potato to the top of the meat in the baking pan, and spread evenly across the top. I cannot advise you how to do this, because with me it’s always a bit hit and miss. Large spoons are used to transfer, and forks to draw lines across the top and generally even out the potato topping.
  17. Put the almost-finished shepherd’s pie in the oven, and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the lines across the top are golden brown.

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour(s)

Number of servings (yield): 8

image: Lachlan Hardy