British Shepherd’s Pie – Twisted

by | Meat, World Cuisine

A twist on the classic British shepherd’s pie will involve lamb cooked in wine, and potatoes cooked with garlic and sheep milk cheese.

Wine roasted lamb, prepped shepherd's pie, ready for baking.
Wine Roasted Lamb, Prepped Shepherd’s Pie Ready, For Baking

British Savory Pies

I never thought much about savory pies from England until I married a Brit, spent time in the Cotswolds and saw such a variety of savory pies. 

Cotswolds England
Cotswolds England

The Brits have some of the best savory pub pies I’ve ever had. Pies made with pork, layered with roots and somewhere in the middle is tucked a hard boiled egg. 

Pub Pies In England
Pub Pies In England

Pies made with a variety of delicacies from the sea, seeing how they are an island! Some of the most delicious seafood dishes tucked into a crust were to be enjoyed throughout England. 

Lamb, which of course having grown up in a Mediterranean influenced home, is my all time favorite meat; lamb is everywhere throughout the countryside of England because the grazing land in the countryside is so green and spectacular!

Hello Rape Fields Of England (Rapeseed oil or canola oil)
Yellow Rape Fields (Rapeseed Oil or Canola Oil) Of England

Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd’s pie, always made with lamb and not to be confused with a cottage pie made with beef, is a delicious way to use the leftovers from a lamb Sunday roast. 

For the most part, a shepherd’s pie is really a lamb stew, all dressed up with the potato mash on the top rather than potatoes cooked in the stew. 

Lamb, veggie and gravy filling
Lamb Veggie and Gravy Filling

A quicker version, made with ground lamb and topped with sliced pre-cooked potatoes, sprinkled with grated cheese, is almost as delicious as a slow roasted lamb and its stock. 

ground lamb shepherd's pie
Ground Lamb Shepherd’s Pie

A cottage pie, for the most part, is really a beef stew dressed up in different ways. For a delicious cottage pie (twisted), my London Beef Pie is a cottage pie with a pastry crust, instead of potato, twisted by sliding a few raw oysters into it.

Beef and Guinness Pie
Beef and Guinness Pie

Twisted Shepherd’s Pie

Everyone likes to put their own twist on a classic recipe and the classic British Shepherd’s Pie was just screaming for a little twist!

It just so happened, one cold snowy winter day here in Maryland, that I had a boneless lamb haunch in the freezer. I thawed the lamb and decided it was going to be used in a variety of dishes. 

First, I had to cook the lamb. Roast it? Boil it with herbs? Nah. I decided it needed to get drunk on this snowy winter day, in a huge pot of herbs, spices and wine! Oh my, did that lamb turn out tender!

Wine Simmered Leg of Lamb with Sumac, black cumin and Aleppo pepper
Wine Simmered Leg of Lamb with Sumac, Black Cumin, and Aleppo Pepper.

The lamb simmered low and slow for several hours in red wine, Mediterranean spices of sumac, black cumin, Aleppo pepper and fresh marjoram from my greenhouse. 

Garden fresh Marjoram
Garden Fresh Marjoram

When the lamb became ‘fall apart’ tender, I removed it and reduced the stock, now loaded with flavor and fat from the lamb. 

Lamb was beautifully twisted for this shepherd’s pie, as is the stock that will go into the gravy. 

Sheep’s Milk Cheese

What better way to top off this twisted shepherd’s pie than with the lamb’s mother’s milk! Grate a flavor rich sheep milk cheese into the mash, before covering the top of the lamb filling to bake, for real English countryside flavors. 

cooked potatoes with sheep milk cheese and garlic
Cooked Potatoes with Sheep Milk Cheese and Garlic

Sheep’s milk cheeses are my absolute favorite cheese, second is goat. The milk from  sheep is significantly higher in fat and protein than cow or goat milk. Since sheep milk has the most solid content, it takes less milk to make the cheese and makes from a dense cheese perfect for grating. 

sheep in Maryland
Sheep In Maryland

Making Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd’s pie can be made quickly from ground lamb, or the long way from a lovely lamb stew made from chunks of lamb cut from lamb that has been roasted, simmered or simply leftover. 

A gravy needs to made for the lamb and veggie filling. For a quick gravy, a store bought broth can be used, or if you simmered a leg or shank of lamb in a homemade broth, that will make for the better gravy. 

butter, flour, warm broth
Butter Flour and Warm Broth
warm broth added to roux
Warm Broth Added To Roux
lamb gravy
Lamb Gravy

Once the lamb, veggies and gravy are prepared into a thick and hearty filling, potatoes will encase the lamb stew and get baked just before serving. 

What better way to serve a potato mash on top of a lamb stew than to mix in a little garlic and a heavy handed helping of grated sheep milk cheese. Spread this luscious potato mix on top and bake until golden. 

Ingredients Needed

  • Lamb
  • Onions
  • Olive oil
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Garlic
  • Salt
  • Red wine
  • Sumac
  • Black cumin
  • Aleppo Pepper
  • Fresh marjoram or rosemary
  • Peas or zucchini
  • Stock
  • Flour
  • Butter
  • Potatoes
  • Sheep milk cheese
Shepherd's pie ingredients
Shepherd’s Pie Ingredients

Equipment Needed

  • Stock pot
  • Frying pan
  • Small sauce pan
  • Cutting board
  • Chopping knife
  • Garlic press
  • Measuring cup
  • Measuring spoons
  • Cheese grater
  • Whisk
  • Stovetop or burner
  • Oven
Shepherd’s Pie Made With Ground Lamb and Sliced Potatoes

British Shepherd’s Pie – Twisted

Recipe by Robin DaumitCourse: Meat, World CuisineCuisine: British Mediterranean Fusion



A twist on the classic British shepherd’s pie will involve lamb cooked in wine, and potatoes cooked with garlic and sheep milk cheese.


  • Wine Cooked Lamb

  • Lamb leg or shanks – 3 lbs or more

  • Onions – 2, rough chopped

  • Olive oil – 2 tbsp

  • Carrots – 8, rough chopped

  • Celery – 1 bundle, rough chopped

  • Garlic – 1 whole bulb, smashed

  • Salt – 1 tbsp

  • Red wine – 2 cups

  • Water – 2 cups, boiled

  • Sumac – 2 tbsp

  • Black cumin – 2 tbsp

  • Aleppo pepper – 1 tbsp

  • Fresh marjoram or Rosemary – several sprigs or 2 tbsp dried

  • Shepherd’s Pie Filling

  • Cooked Lamb – 1 cup, cubed

  • Onion – 1/2 cup, cooked

  • Celery – 1/2 cup, cooked

  • Carrots – 1 cup, cooked

  • Peas or zucchini – 3/4 cup

  • Salt – 1/2 tsp or to taste

  • Lamb stock – 2 cups

  • Flour – 2 tbsp

  • Butter – 2 tbsp

  • Potatoes – 4 medium, peeled and rough chopped *see notes

  • Garlic – 2 cloves, crushed

  • Sheep milk cheese – 1 cup, grated


  • To wine cook the lamb: place olive oil in a large pot heated to medium high, add the onions and celery. Stir until the onions and celery become slightly caramelized.
  • Place the lamb on top of the onions and celery, add the sumac, black cumin, Aleppo pepper, salt and sear all sides of the lamb briefly. Pour in the wine, boiled water, carrots, marjoram and smashed garlic. Bring to a boil, lower, place the lid on and simmer for an hour and a half.
  • Remove the cooked lamb, celery, onions and carrots. Reduce the stock in half. Cut the lamb and carrots into bite size pieces and set aside. This step can be done in advance or the same day.
  • To prepare the Shepherd’s pie filling and potato top: place the chopped potatoes into enough water to cover, bring to a boil, lower and simmer until the potatoes are soft.
  • Pour off the potato water and reserve. Add crushed garlic and cheese (reserving a little for the top), into the potatoes and whisk them until smooth, adding a little reserved potato water if needed. Set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • To prepare the roux for the gravy, warm the stock in a small pan. In a separate large frying pan, melt the butter, add the flour, whisk to incorporate while pouring in the warm broth in, a little at a time until the consistency simmers to a medium thick gravy. Turn off the heat.
  • Into the gravy add the cooked onions and celery, the chopped lamb and carrots, peas or zucchini (depending on which you choose), and salt to flavor as needed. Gently fold to incorporate all the ingredients of the filling.
  • Transfer the lamb and gravy filling to individual baking dishes (preferably to serve in). Spread the whipped, cheesy potatoes across the top, sprinkle more cheese and warm in the oven until the potatoes get a little color on top and the cheese melts, about 20 minutes. Serve.


  • Instead of mashed potatoes, potatoes can also be sliced into rounds, simmered until soft and placed on top of the lamb filling with cheese sprinkled across the top and browned in the oven. Same great flavors just a different presentation. 
Wine Roasted Lamb Shepherd's Pie
Wine Roasted Lamb Shepherd’s Pie

My Muffin Madness


In my family, I’ve always been known as the ‘Muffin Queen’. Out of necessity, I created muffins for breakfast, lunch, on the go snacks, sometimes dinner and a sweet yet healthyish treat for dessert!

Featured On:

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Related Posts

Wine Braised Lamb

Wine Braised Lamb

Wine braised lamb is a delicious technique to slow roast a lamb which imparts so much flavor and color.  Wine Braised Lamb The Best Wine Braised Lamb Looking for the best wine braised lamb recipe? Right here it is! Having grown up in a Mediterranean home, where lamb...

read more
October Garlic Planting

October Garlic Planting

I’ve only just learned that October is the perfect time for Garlic Planting! I have just planted my first (ever), garlic bulbs in the ground this October for a harvest I'm expecting next spring and summer. Join me on my adventure and let’s see if we can cut out paying...

read more