Food: Shepherd’s Pie, a great comfort food

Shepherd’s pie is a classic comfort food that has been enjoyed for centuries. Traditionally, it’s made with lamb, hence the name “shepherd’s” pie. However, in many parts of the world, including Canada, it’s common to make shepherd’s pie with ground beef instead. This is called Cottage Pie. In this article, we’ll explore the differences between the two versions and share a recipe for making shepherd’s pie with ground beef.

Shepherd’s Pie with Lamb vs. Ground Beef

The main difference between shepherd’s pie made with lamb versus ground beef is the flavour. Lamb has a distinct and strong flavor, while ground beef has a milder taste. Lamb is also a bit more expensive than ground beef, which is why many people opt to make the dish with the latter.

Shepherd’s pie with lamb is a classic British dish that dates back to the 18th century. The pie is traditionally made with minced lamb, onions, carrots, and peas, all cooked together in a rich gravy. The mixture is then topped with mashed potatoes and baked until golden brown.

Making Shepherd’s Pie with Ground Beef

Making shepherd’s pie with ground beef is a bit simpler than the traditional lamb version, but it’s still just as delicious. Here’s how to make it:


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • 1/2 cup corn
  • 3 cups mashed potatoes
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded


  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and cook until browned, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add the onion and carrots to the skillet and cook until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic, thyme, rosemary, salt, and black pepper to the skillet and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.
  5. Pour in the beef broth and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
  6. Add the peas and corn to the skillet and stir to combine.
  7. Transfer the beef mixture to a 9×13 inch baking dish.
  8. Spread the mashed potatoes evenly over the beef mixture.
  9. Sprinkle the cheddar cheese over the mashed potatoes.
  10. Bake the shepherd’s pie in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  11. Allow the shepherd’s pie to cool for a few minutes before serving.


Shepherd’s pie is a delicious and comforting dish that can be made with lamb or ground beef. While the traditional version calls for lamb, many people prefer to make it with ground beef due to its milder flavor and affordability. No matter which version you choose, shepherd’s pie is a hearty and satisfying meal that’s perfect for any occasion. Try this recipe with ground beef and enjoy the delicious taste of this classic dish.

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