Special Shepherd’s Pie

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


Appears in

A Taste of Dreams

A Taste of Dreams

By Josceline Dimbleby

Published 1976

  • About

This is just a very good tasting shepherd’s pie with a slightly more interesting top than the usual dry mash. I think it is ideal for family Saturday lunch with salad, and it is useful to make it beforehand so that the weekend is more related Of course fresh potatoes are best for the top mixture but it is so disguised by egg and cheese that you can use instant mash if you are in a rush!.


  • 1½–2 lb minced beef or lamb (700–900 g)
  • 1–2 large onions – peeled and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons powdered cumin
  • 1 small tin of tomatoes
  • 1–2 tablespoons roughly chopped sage leaves – fresh if possible
  • 1½–2 lb mashed potatoes with plenty of butter and milk added (700–900 g)
  • 3 oz grated cheese (75 g)
  • 2 eggs
  • a little grated Parmesan


Fry the chopped onions gently and put on one side. Sprinkle the mince with the powdered cumin and plenty of salt and pepper and fry it in a little fat in a large deep frying pan, digging at it with a wooden spoon to separate it. When it is all separate, add the onions, the chopped sage and the tin of tomatoes and mix it with the meat. Transfer to a large, preferably rather shallow ovenproof dish. Heat oven to Gas 3–4 (325°–350°F/160°–180°C). Lightly beat the two eggs and add them with the grated cheese and some black pepper to the mashed potatoes which should be made less firm than usual by adding more milk. Cover the meat with this mixture then sprinkle the top with grated Parmesan and put in the oven until the top is risen and golden brown (about 1 hour or a bit more). Serve with a green salad.