This delicious Scottish Shepherd's Pie recipe was the main event of the Season 6 Premier of Outlander. Hands down, my favorite show. Now the funny thing, to me at least, is that I almost didn't make this recipe. It seemed overdone, and not special enough. This led to me being even more shocked when the TikTok I made to go along with it exploded, becoming one of my 1st big hits.
- Olive Oil
- Ground Beef - Ground Lamb for true Shepherd's Pie
- Fresh Thyme - chopped (1 ½ teaspoon dried)
- Fresh Rosemary
- Tomato Paste
- Red Wine
- Beef Stock
- Worcestershire sauce
- Potatoes - Russet or Yukon Gold
- Egg Yolk
- Parmesan Cheese
- Kosher Salt
- Fresh Ground Pepper
You can find the full recipe below, but for a more in depth view into making this recipe you can follow the directions below. Plus,
The Beef or Lamb Filling
Filled perfectly with a blend of meat, wine, onions, and garlic. Simmer together long enough to develop those classic flavors we all know and love. Rosemary and thyme help give it that earthy taste and aroma that gets anyone to smell their way into the kitchen to see what's cooking.
Classically Shepherd's Pie is made with ground lamb, which isn't always easy to find across US grocery stores. I've written up this recipe with ground beef as the primary ground meat for that reason, but if you can find lamb, I would recommend it! Recently though I've also used a pre-blended mix that is pork, lamb, & beef and it also turned out amazing as well.
Let's start by placing a deep pan or pot (I used my Dutch Oven) on high heat. Add 2 tablespoon of Olive, or enough to coat the bottom of your pan, and then the ground beef, thyme, rosemary, kosher salt, and fresh ground pepper.
Once browned, add the diced onion, diced carrot, and garlic. Stir, and let cook for about 5 minutes.Add your tomato paste, and stir again. Cook until the pot starts to get dry and you see some color forming on the bottom.
Deglaze (adding liquid to a hot pan to release the yummy bits on the bottom) with your red wine and beef stock. Stir, and let simmer for about 30 minutes. Finish with Worcestershire sauce and taste. Add kosher salt & pepper as needed.
If your sauce is too thin, in a small bowl add cornstarch and water. Mix and add to your beef mixture. Pour this mixture into an oven-proof baking dish.
The Parmesan Potato Top
Potatoes, good cheese, & egg yolks. The ingredient most people find out of place here is the egg yolk. It helps to "set" the potato top and give it more of a crust, so to speak. It also adds an amazing richness. I am not going to lie when I say we were eating it straight from the pot. Yes, they are that good.
Start by adding your peeled and diced poatatoes to a pot of cold salted water. When they are fork tender drain in a collander and return back to the pot.
Let the potatoes sit and hangout to release some of their steam. Steam = water which has no flavor so you are letting out extra flavorless moisture so you can replace it with butter creamy cheesy moisture.
Add your egg yolks, parmesan, butter, salt, pepper, and mash until smooth.
I used a pastry bag to help put an even layer of potatoes over on top of our dish. You may need to let the filling cool slightly before doing this, as this bag can get very hot. Once I have piped an even layer over the top, I use a small spatula to smooth it over. Then with a large fork, I score the top. Creating a stitch-like pattern, which gives more peaks that will brown. Creating that stunning classic Shepherd's Pie look.
The last step is to add an extra sprinkle of parmesan cheese. While this is optional, I wouldn't hold back now!
Baking Shepherd's pie helps to brown the parmesan top and set the potatoes sitting so beautifully atop of meat filling. Remember, the beef or lamb mixture has been cooked all the way through on the stovetop. This makes the baking process significantly shorter than you may think.
Generally, I would recommend baking for around 15 minutes. But what if your top isn't browned up? I suggest using your lowest broil setting for 1-2 minutes. Don't walk away and burn this creation! Stay stoveside, waiting patiently.
I promise it will be worth it!
👩🏼🍳 Chef Tip
#1 Using a pastry bag to add the potato layer on top makes this recipe SIGNIFICANTLY easier than trying to smooth out piles of potatoes. I recommend having a pile of 12-16" pastry bags in your kitchen at all times.
#2 The egg yolks in the potato top add a richness that I can't get even begin to explain. Don't skip them!
Scottish Shepherd's Pie
- 2 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 2 Pounds Ground Beef - Ground Lamb for true Shepherd's Pie
- 3 teaspoon Fresh Thyme - chopped (1 ½ teaspoon dried)
- 2 teaspoon Fresh Rosemary - chopped (1 teaspoon dried)
- 2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1 tsp Fresh Ground Pepper
- 1 cup Carrots - diced
- 1 cup Onion - diced
- 1 tablespoon Garlic - minced
- ¼ cup Tomato Paste
- ½ cup Red Wine
- ½ cup Beef Stock
- 2 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
- Kosher Salt
- Fresh Ground Pepper
- 1 teaspoon Corn Starch - if needed to thicken
- 5 Potatoes - Russet or Yukon Gold
- 6 tablespoon Unsalted Butter
- 3 Egg Yolk
- ½ cup Parmesan Cheese - in the potato mix
- ¼ cup Parmesan Cheese - topping
- Kosher Salt
- Fresh Ground Pepper
- Let's start by placing a deep pan or pot (I used my Dutch Oven) on high heat.
- Add 2 tablespoon of Olive, or enough to coat the bottom of your pan, and then the ground beef, thyme, rosemary, kosher salt, and fresh ground pepper.
- Once browned, add the diced onion, diced carrot, and garlic. Stir, and let cook for about 5 minutes.
- Add your tomato paste, and stir again. Cook until the pot starts to get dry and you see some color forming on the bottom.
- Deglaze with your red wine and beef stock. Stir, and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Finish with Worcestershire sauce and taste. Add kosher salt & pepper as needed.
- If your sauce is too thin, in a small bowl add cornstarch and water. Mix and add to your beef mixture.
- Pour this mixture into an oven-proof baking dish.
- Peel and dice your potatoes.
- Add to a pot of cold, salted water and bring to a boil.
- Once fork tender, drain and return to pot.
- Add your egg yolks, parmesan, butter, salt, pepper, and mash until smooth.
- Taste it! The potatoes are hot enough to make the egg yolks safe to eat. Adjust seasoning as necessary.
- Once the potatoes have slightly cooled, evenly spread the mixture over your beef filling. I use a pastry bag as I find it easier. A gallon size zip-lock with the corner cut off would also work.
- Finish with a sprinkle of parmesan on top.
Final Oven Stage
- Put this into a 350-degree oven for around 15-20 minutes or until cheese and potatoes have slightly browned.
- Use red wine you would want to actually drink. If you use bad red wine, you will be adding that flavor directly to your dish.
- Use high-quality parmesan if you can. Not the shaker jar. I used a bag from the deli department of my local grocery store and it was roughly $8. I used ½ for this recipe which made it the 2nd most expensive ingredient!