Traditional Lamb Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd’s Pie is traditionally made with ground lamb. Here’s a classic recipe with a refreshing twist.

Shepherd's Pie is traditionally made with ground lamb. Here's a classic recipe with a refreshing twist.

As we mentioned in our other Shepherd’s Pie recipe, true shepherd’s pie is made with lamb, not beef. We’ve given you a beef version and so now we’re going to give you the truly traditional version.

In addition to the ground lamb, this version has rosemary in the meat filling, and for a touch of something bright, some lemon zest mixed into the potatoes.



Lamb Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd’s Pie is traditionally made with ground lamb. Here’s a classic recipe with a refreshing twist.

  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 6 servings



  • 1 Tbsp. oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp. chopped rosemary, divided
  • 1 and 1/2 lbs. ground lamb
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 cup beef broth (low sodium)
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas, defrosted


  • 2 and 1/2 lbs. Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/23/4 inch dice
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup milk, heated
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest



  1. Heat the oil in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until soft, about 5-6 minutes. Add garlic and 2 tablespoons of chopped rosemary and stir. Immediately add in the ground lamb, salt and pepper. Stir occasionally until meat is cooked through, about 8-9 minutes. Drain away any excess fat.
  2. To meat, add flour. Stir until incorporated and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add in beef broth and Worcestershire sauce.
  3. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally until very thick, 2-3 minutes. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon of rosemary.
  4. Add defrosted peas. Taste and season with salt and pepper.


  1. Place cut potatoes in pot filled with cold water. Add salt. Turn heat to high and cover slightly. Once boiling uncover and drop heat to medium-high. Cook until you can pierce potatoes easily with a fork, about 10-15 minutes.
  2. Strain potatoes and place back into the pot. Cook over medium heat until the potatoes are dry, about 1-2 minutes. Take off heat.
  3. Add butter and mash. Once mashed stir in heated milk. Stir in lemon zest. Taste and season with salt to taste.


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F
  2. In 11 x 7 pan add meat mixture and spread evenly. Top with mashed potatoes starting at the corners working around the edge. This should seal in the meat for better chance of avoiding boil-overs.
  3. Use a fork and create fast swirly motions to fluff up potatoes. Bake until potatoes are slightly browned, around 25 minutes.
This post originally appeared in March, 2016 and was revised and republished in March, 2018.

Christine Pittman

Christine is the Senior Editor and Owner of The Cookful, COOKtheSTORY and IsThisThatFood. Her sites reach over 1.5 million readers per month, which means that things can get a bit crazy. She's constantly writing, taking pictures, editing, managing contributors, and, oh yeah, cooking. To say that she wears many hats is an understatement - there are many hats, and also many shirts, shoes, pants, and even the odd cape!