Clodagh McKenna’s Shepherd’s Pie

I’ve always loved a good shepherd’s pie. They’re so hearty and full of goodness.

The fact that I’m definitely a meat and potatoes kind of girl, and this meal combines them both into one dish. Even.better!

I mean, what’s not to love!!

To make this meal, you’ll need to do some multi-tasking between the Shepherd’s Pie and the Colcannon Topping, but trust me, you can do it! I was distracted by Netflix episodes of Melissa & Joey the entire time while making this meal — and I mean I was verryyyy distracted! I tend to lose focus quite easily whenever Netflix is involved. 🙂

Shepherd’s Pie:
*2 tablespoons olive oil
*1 onion, peeled and diced
*1 garlic clove, crushed
*4 carrots, peeled and diced
*1 lb ground beef
*1 tablespoon tomato paste
*1 1/4 cups beef stock, heated
*1 1/2 cups frozen peas
*Sea salt and ground black pepper

Colcannon Topping:
*2 lbs gold potatoes
*3 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted
*1/2 leek, chopped finely
*1/3 cup milk
*1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
*Sea salt and ground black pepper

Colcannon Topping:

Place the whole, unpeeled potatoes in a large pot and fill the pot with water. Cover the pot and place over high heat.  When the water begins to boil, drain off about half the water, leaving enough water for the potatoes to steam.

Steam the potatoes for 30 – 45 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft. Once soft, drain the water and peel the potatoes. After peeling, place the potatoes back in the pot. Mash the potatoes.


In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low-medium heat. Stir in the leeks. Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove the lid and stir in the milk and nutmeg.  Heat until the milk has warmed thoroughly.


Slowly add the warm milk mixture to the potatoes until the potatoes are well mixed and look very creamy.  Season with salt and pepper.

Shepherd’s Pie Filling:

In a small sauce pan, heat the beef stock on low-medium heat. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  When the oil is hot, add the onions, garlic, and carrots. Cover the skillet with a lid and reduce the heat to low-medium. Let the vegetables sweat for 5 minutes.


Remove the lid and increase the heat to high. Add the ground beef, cook until browned all the way.


Add the tomato paste, heated beef stock, and frozen peas.

Season with salt and black pepper.  Simmer over low heat for 15-20 minutes.


Transfer the shepherd’s pie filling to a casserole dish.  Spoon the colcannon topping over the top.  Brush the top with melted butter, this will give the dish a crispy golden finish. 

Bake in the oven for 25 minutes and serve!


Baker’s Notes:
One of these days I’ll go to Ireland and eat the real thing. Until then, I have this amazing recipe from Clodagh McKenna. I adapted her recipe just a tad (I wanted more vegetables!) but you can find the original recipe here.

I hope you love this meal even more than I did!

Happy Cooking!


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