Damn Good Shepherd’s Pie | DonalSkehan.com
  • autumn

Damn Good Shepherd’s Pie

October 21

Shepherds Pie with lamb is the ultimate Irish comfort food. This dish features in my latest TV Show, Donal’s Family Food in Minutes and airs weekly on Wednesdays at 8.30pm on RTE 1 from 21st October.

  • serves Serves 6
  • time 3 & 1/2 hours


  1. 1. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a casserole over a medium heat. Season the lamb shanks and brown all over then set aside. Add the rest of the oil to the pan and and soften the onion and carrots for 5-6 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for a minute or two more.
  2. 2. Return the lamb shanks to the pan and pour over the stock and stir through the tomato purée and Worcestershire sauce until combined. Season well and bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer and cook gently, partially covered, for 2 ½ hours, turning the lamb occasionally, until the lamb shanks are tender and falling apart and the sauce reduced.
  3. 3. Meanwhile make the mash, put the potatoes in a pan of cold salted water, bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes until tender.
  4. 4. Drain and tip back into the pot and place over a low heat and allow them to steam and dry then add the butter and cream and egg yolk. Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes until smooth and creamy. Stir in the spring onions and season to taste.
  5. 5. Preheat the oven to 180°c/ fan 160c.
  6. 6. When the lamb is tender, shred the meat from the bone into the sauce, stir in the ketchup and transfer to an ovenproof baking dish and top with the champ mash, using a spoon to make a nice topping. Give the topping an extra sprinkle of ground black pepper and bake in the oven for 25 mins until the top is starting to brown and the mince is bubbling up around the edges.

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4 lamb shanks 

Sea salt and ground black pepper to season

1 large onion , finely chopped

2 medium carrots, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, finely sliced 

6 fresh thyme sprigs

750ml fresh chicken stock 

2 tbsp tomato purée

2 tsp of Worcestershire sauce

2tbsp tomato ketchup

For the mash:

800g potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

75g butter

100ml double cream

1 free range egg yolk

6 spring onions, finely sliced

Sea salt and ground black pepper to season