A Shepherd’s Pie Recipe with a Modern Twist

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Raglan Road Irish Restaurant & Pub is the perfect place to enjoy Shepherd’s Pie, but did you know that, according to Britannica, Shepherd’s Pie originated from the sheep country in Scotland and northern England?

Shepherd’s pies were baked in pastry crusts and used leftovers for filling and, of course, became famous as baked meat pies with minced or diced lamb and topped with mashed potatoes. Here is a Raglan Road-inspired recipe for the later version of the pie for you. Try it out, it’s delicious!

Makes 4

  • 2 shallots
  • 2 teaspoons light caster sugar (thin white sugar; I used powder sugar).
  • 2 pounds potatoes
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium leek, finely chopped
  • 2 small carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 16 ounces lean minced lamb or beef
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons tomato purée
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1/4 cup milk, or less
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Fresh thyme sprigs


Preheat oven to 350°.

Cut each shallot in half, and then cut into thin slices lengthways, leaving the root intact. Arrange slices on a nonstick baking sheet and sprinkle with caster sugar. Bake for 5 minutes or until lightly golden and caramelized. Remove from heat and let cool completely.

Shepherd's Pie

Peel potatoes; place in pan with cold water to cover, and add a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until completely tender when pierced with the tip of a knife. Drain in a colander.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a pan. Add onion, leeks, carrots, and garlic, and sauté for 3-4 minutes or until just beginning to soften.

Stir in minced lamb and cook until browned, breaking up any lumps. Add tomato purée and cook gently for another 10 minutes or until all ingredients are completely tender. Season to taste and keep warm or reheat as needed. Mash potatoes. Quickly heat milk in a pan. Beat butter into warm mashed potatoes, and then add enough milk to make a smooth but firm purée.

Spoon minced meat mixture into 6 pre-seasoned mini cast iron Dutch Ovens. (I bought mine here and use them for small servings of seafood soup, seafood starters, gumbo, and more. If you do not have the mini cast iron Dutch ovens, you can use ring molds. Put the minced meat in the bottom of the ring mold and top with the mashed potatoes. Remove the ring mold before serving, and garnish. Note that the ring molds will most probably leak, so protect your oven. I tried this route and found it messy.)

Shepherd's Pie

Shape potato purée on top of the minced meat. (If you want to go fancy, use a piping bag to top the minced meat with potato purée.) Beat egg and 1 tablespoon water together in a small bowl. Brush top of potato purée with egg wash.

Bake for 30 minutes or until purée looks golden. Do not overcook. Top each serving with a caramelized shallot portion and fresh thyme sprigs.

It does not matter if you serve the pie for St. Patrick’s Day or in celebration of everything that is Irish. It is a great dish and you can enhance your table by decorating your plates with these four leaf clover napkins.

Owned and operated by Irish partners John Cooke and Paul Nolan, the much-loved Irish eatery, renowned for daily Irish stage performances by dance troupes and bands, celebrated its 15th anniversary in Orlando this year. Did you know that the restaurant’s warm interior of aged walnut and mahogany woods from old Irish bars and churches was built in Ireland and shipped to Orlando?

For all there is to see and do at Walt Disney World, check out The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World.

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