Mary Berry Shepherds Pie Recipe

Mary Berry Shepherds Pie Recipe
Yields: 1 Serving Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 15 Mins Cook Time: 1 Hr 30 Mins Total Time: 1 Hr 45 Mins

Mary Berry Shepherd’s Pie is a true classic, combining a rich and flavorful meat filling with a smooth, buttery mashed potato topping. This dish is not just a meal; it’s comfort in a bowl, making it perfect for family dinners, casual get-togethers, or even a relaxed Sunday feast.

In this article, I will show you how to make Mary Berry’s shepherd’s pie recipe, step by step. I will also share some tips and tricks to make it even better, and some variations to suit different tastes and preferences.

What is Mary Berry Shepherds Pie Recipe?

Mary Berry Shepherds Pie is a traditional British dish that consists of a layer of minced lamb cooked with vegetables and gravy, topped with a layer of mashed potatoes and cheese, and baked until golden and crispy. It is a hearty and comforting meal that is easy to make and perfect for any occasion.

Designed to serve 6-8 people, it requires around 1 to 1.5 hours to prepare and cook. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or new to the kitchen, this recipe is straightforward and rewarding.

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Why You Love this Recipe

Here’s why this recipe is a must-try:

  • Delicious and Satisfying: The rich lamb mixture paired with a creamy, cheesy potato crust offers a delightful eating experience.
  • Simple and Foolproof: The recipe is straightforward with easy-to-follow steps, without complicated ingredients or techniques.
  • Versatile and Adaptable: You can modify the recipe to suit different tastes and dietary preferences.
  • Economical and Practical: It uses affordable, common ingredients and is great for utilizing leftovers.
  • Family-Friendly and Crowd-Pleasing: A universally enjoyable dish, it’s suitable for feeding a large group.

Ingredients Needed to Make Mary Berry Shepherds Pie

To make Mary Berry’s shepherd’s pie, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
  • 500g of lean minced lamb
  • 2 tablespoons of plain flour
  • 600ml of lamb or beef stock
  • 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of dried mixed herbs
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 900g of potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 50g of butter
  • 3 tablespoons of milk
  • 25g of grated cheddar cheese (optional)


You will also need the following equipment:

  • A large frying pan
  • A wooden spoon
  • A measuring jug
  • A colander
  • A large saucepan
  • A potato masher
  • A 2-litre ovenproof dish
  • A fork
  • A cheese grater (optional)
  • An oven

Instructions to Make Mary Berry Shepherds Pie

Now that you have gathered all the ingredients and equipment, you are ready to start making the shepherd’s pie. Here are the steps to follow:

Step 1: Preheat the oven and cook the onion and carrot

First, preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas mark 6. Then, heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and carrot and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden. Transfer the onion and carrot mixture to a plate and set aside.

Step 2: Brown the lamb and make the gravy

Next, add the lamb to the same frying pan and cook over high heat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until browned and no longer pink. Sprinkle the flour over the lamb and stir well to coat. Gradually pour in the stock, stirring constantly, to make a smooth gravy. Add the Worcestershire sauce, mixed herbs, salt, and pepper, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, until slightly thickened.

Step 3: Boil the potatoes and mash them

While the lamb is simmering, put the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover them with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook for about 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain the potatoes in a colander and return them to the saucepan. Add the butter and milk and mash the potatoes with a potato masher until smooth and creamy. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Step 4: Assemble and bake the pie

Finally, spoon the lamb mixture into a 2-litre ovenproof dish and spread it evenly. Spoon the mashed potatoes over the lamb and spread them gently to cover the whole surface. Fluff up the potatoes with a fork to create some texture. Sprinkle the cheese over the top, if using. Bake the pie in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden and bubbling.

Serving and storing

Your shepherd’s pie is now ready to serve. You can enjoy it hot, with some green vegetables or a salad on the side. You can also let it cool slightly and cut it into portions to freeze for later. To reheat, thaw the pie in the fridge overnight and bake it in a 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4 oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until piping hot.

Mary Berry Shepherds Pie Recipe

What Do I Serve With Mary Berry Shepherds Pie Recipe?

Mary Berry’s Shepherd’s Pie pairs wonderfully with a variety of side dishes. Here are some suggestions:

  • Green Vegetables: Brighten your plate with green beans, peas, broccoli, or spinach. These not only add color but also a fresh balance to the richness of the pie.
  • Salad Options: Consider a light salad, perhaps with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, or a classic coleslaw, to add a refreshing crunch.
  • Bread Choices: Serve with crusty bread, dinner rolls, or garlic bread to complement the meal and mop up the savory gravy.
  • Sauce Selections: Enhance the dish with a side of ketchup, rich gravy, or cranberry sauce for additional moisture and flavor.

Mary Berry Shepherds Pie Recipe

Pro Tips to Make Perfect Mary Berry Shepherds Pie Recipe

To elevate your Shepherd’s Pie, consider these tips:

  • Choice of Meat: Opt for lean minced lamb for less fat and a richer flavor. Draining excess fat post-browning is also recommended to prevent a greasy texture.
  • Seasoning the Meat: The lamb mixture is key for flavor. Enhance it with additional herbs (like rosemary or thyme), spices, garlic, tomato paste, or a splash of red wine.
  • Selecting the Right Dish: Use a large, ovenproof dish for an even spread of layers and to prevent spills. A light greasing of the dish helps avoid sticking.
  • Potato Layer Perfection: Fluff the potato topping for texture. Consider adding cheese, breadcrumbs, or paprika for extra flavor and a colorful finish.
  • Baking to Perfection: Bake until the top is golden and bubbly. For an even crispier top, broil for a few minutes at the end of baking.

Variations of Mary Berry Shepherds Pie Recipe

You can make some variations of the Mary Berry Shepherd Pie Recipe, to suit different dietary needs or preferences, such as:

  • Cottage Pie Variation: For a Cottage Pie, simply use beef mince instead of lamb. This dish also works well with other meats like chicken, turkey, or mutton, allowing for a variety of flavors.
  • Vegetarian and Vegan Adaptation: Replace the meat with alternatives such as Quorn mince, lentils, beans, or chopped mushrooms for a hearty vegetarian or vegan version. Utilize dairy-free alternatives like vegan butter, plant-based milk, and cheese to keep it animal product-free.
  • Gluten-Free Option: Make a gluten-free Shepherd’s Pie by using ingredients like cornflour for thickening, gluten-free stock, and Worcestershire sauce. For the topping, consider alternatives like sweet potatoes, parsnips, or cauliflower for a delicious twist.

How do I store Mary Berry Shepherds Pie Recipe Leftovers?

Proper storage of Shepherd’s Pie leftovers ensures they remain delicious:

  • Refrigeration: Store the pie in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Ensure the pie is completely cool before refrigerating to prevent bacterial growth.
  • Freezing: Freeze the pie in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Wrap the pie well to protect its quality. For convenience, freeze in individual portions for easy reheating.
  • Oven Storage: Keep the pie in the ovenproof dish, covered with foil, at a low temperature for no more than 2 hours to prevent drying or burning.

How do I reheat Mary Berry Shepherds Pie Recipe Leftovers?

To enjoy the Shepherd’s Pie leftovers, reheat them by:

  • Oven Method: Place the pie in its ovenproof dish, uncovered, and reheat at 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4 for 20 to 25 minutes, or until thoroughly heated and crispy on top. Consider adding extra cheese for an enhanced flavor.
  • Microwave Method: Reheat in a microwave-safe plate or bowl, covered with a damp paper towel, for 5 to 10 minutes. Stir the pie midway through heating to ensure even warmth and to retain moisture.
  • Stovetop Method: Gently reheat the pie in a large skillet over medium-low heat for 15 to 20 minutes. Add a bit of water or stock if needed to loosen the gravy and prevent sticking.

Nutrition value (per serving )

  • Calories: 605 kcal
  • Fat: 32 g
  • Carbohydrates: 42 g
  • Protein: 35 g
  • Fiber: 6 g
  • Sugar: 7 g
  • Sodium: 388 mg
  • Cholesterol: 121 mg


Can I Make Mary Berry’s Shepherd’s Pie Ahead of Time?

Yes, you can prepare Mary Berry’s Shepherd’s Pie in advance. Assemble the pie as per the recipe and then cover and refrigerate it for up to 24 hours before baking. If you’re starting from cold, add an extra 10-15 minutes to the baking time. This makes it a convenient option for meal planning or preparing for gatherings.

Is There a Way to Make Mary Berry’s Shepherd’s Pie Lighter or Healthier?

To make a healthier version of Mary Berry’s Shepherd’s Pie, you can use lean ground meat like turkey or chicken instead of lamb. Additionally, you can increase the proportion of vegetables in the filling and use low-fat dairy options for the mashed potatoes. Sweet potatoes are a great alternative for a nutrient-rich topping.

How can I make the shepherd’s pie more moist and juicy?

You can add some extra liquid to the lamb mixture, such as water, stock, or wine, to prevent it from drying out. You can also cover the pie with foil for the first half of the baking time, to trap some steam and moisture.

How can I make the shepherd’s pie gluten-free?

You can use cornflour instead of plain flour, to thicken the lamb mixture. You can also make sure the stock and Worcestershire sauce are gluten-free, or use alternatives such as tamari or coconut aminos. You can also use potato alternatives, such as sweet potatoes, parsnips, or cauliflower, for the topping.

How can I make the shepherd’s pie vegetarian or vegan?

You can use meat alternatives, such as Quorn mince, lentils, beans, or mushrooms, instead of lamb. You can also use vegetable stock instead of beef stock, and dairy-free products, such as vegan butter, milk, and cheese, for the topping.

Final Words

I hope you enjoyed this article and learned how to make Mary Berry’s shepherd’s pie recipe, step by step. This is a delicious and easy dish that will warm you up and fill you up. It’s also a great way to use up any leftover lamb or potatoes you may have. Try it out and let me know how it turns out. I’m sure you will love it as much as I do. Bon appétit! 😋

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