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Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd's Pie


Shepherd’s pie, also known as cottage pie, makes for a delicious and filling weeknight supper. Serve it with salad or steamed green beans and you’ve got a complete meal. If your family members are meat-and-potatoes eaters, this one’s for you!

Some may argue that this can only be called cottage pie because I used beef and not lamb, but since colloquially shepherd’s pie is used to refer to both, I am taking the liberty of calling it that. You may, of course, call it cottage pie if you prefer.

First you'll need to fry up some onions. I find that adding fried onion to both layers really enhances the flavors.

Next, peel and boil the potatoes until soft. If you want them to cook more quickly, cut the potatoes into slices before cooking. Drain the potatoes and mash while still hot. Pour in half the fried onion, along with the oil in which they were fried, and mix. Add salt and 1 egg, mixing well so there are no lumps. Set aside.

Mix the ground beef with the other half of the fried onion, an egg and the rest of the seasoning. Press the ground meat into the bottom of a pan, spread the mashed potato over it and cover tightly with foil. Bake covered for 30 minutes, remove the foil and bake for another 20-30 minutes.

Let sit for 10-15 minutes before serving. Stays good in the fridge for several days, and freezes decently too. Reheat either in the oven or in a frying pan.


  • 2 large Spanish onions, diced
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 3 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 2 very large (or 4 medium) potatoes, boiled
  • 2 eggs
  • 1.5 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 tsp. basil
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 2 tbsp. ketchup
  • 2 tbsp. mustard
  • 1/4 c. matzah meal


  1. Fry the onions in the oil and 1 tsp. of salt, until nicely caramelized.
  2. Boil the potatoes until soft. Drain and mash while still hot. Mix in half the fried onions along with the oil in which they were fried, 1 tsp. salt and 1 egg. Set aside. (Taste and add more salt if desired.)
  3. Mix the ground beef with the rest of the fried onion, 1 egg, matzah meal, ketchup, mustard, basil, oregano and 1 tsp. salt. Press down into the bottom of a 9' x 13' baking dish.
  4. Spread mashed potatoes over the meat mixture and cover pan with foil. Bake covered on 350°F for 30 minutes, then remove foil and bake another 20-30 minutes uncovered. Let the pie sit for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Yields: 1 9'x13' pan - approximately 12 pieces.

It's not the prettiest dish, but it's hearty and filling and great for cold nights. What do you put in your shepherd's pie? Any special ingredients?

Miriam Szokovski is the author of the historical novel Exiled Down Under, and a member of the editorial team. She shares her love of cooking, baking and food photography on’s food blog, Cook It Kosher.
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Miriam Szokovski January 23, 2017

browning the beef If you have time, browning the beef definitely adds flavor. Reply

Anonymous Toronto January 22, 2017

Do you brown the ground beef before baking? Reply

Anonymous U.S.A June 28, 2017
in response to Anonymous:

Yes, most definately Reply

TC Carr Marana November 16, 2015

poultry :) We call it Farmer's Pie when we make it with Chicken and a layer of veggies tween the meat and potatoes.
As it is almost that time here in Arizona, another variation we call Thanksgiving Pie. Turkey of course with the left over cranberries, those 'no body really eats them' green beans plus whatever other veggies, and topped with dressing rather than potatoes. Probably not healthy but taste yummy:) Reply

Talia forer November 11, 2015

I made this a few weeks ago for my family and it flew off of the table!!! The kids loved it, it was gobbled up in seconds! Reply

Anonymous Baltimore October 1, 2015

Would it still be good with boxed mashed potatoes? Reply

Diane U.S.A. June 28, 2017
in response to Anonymous:

Yes Reply

norske September 2, 2015

frozen veggies mixed in meat is also tasty Reply

EstherAsna Montreal January 18, 2015

re pastelle re Tzvi Yitzchok's comment - I am not sure but yes my inlaws and husband are from North Africa. so perhaps you are referring to the same thing. The interesting thing is once I saw in a Mishna Berura in English that something of a similar name was listed as a Shabbat food and that's a book of Ashkenazi halachot, if I am not I wasn't sure what it was referring to! Reply

Diane McKinney Mississippi January 16, 2015

I add brown gravy on top of meat, then add English peas on that, then mashed potatoes. Reply

Tzvi Yitchok U.K. November 16, 2014

Shepherd's Pie Re the "pastille" referred to by Esther of Montreal, could this be realted to Pastilla which features in Notrh African and Moroccan cuisine? Reply

Anonymous North Miami Beach November 15, 2014

microwave option. i have done it in the microwave and always had a layer of either green peas or green beans below the meat. Reply

Rishe Deitsch Brooklyn November 14, 2014

curious.... i've eaten your shepherd's pie and it's truly delicious

it disappears before u can serve it

on a side note, Miriam, where'd you get that gorgeous blue dish? Reply

Judy Freedman Hashmonaim, Israel November 14, 2014

great for Pessach too! especially for large families... Reply

Anonymous November 13, 2014

pan sizing that would be a 9 " inch x 13" inch not feet ?? with 12 pieces Reply

Anonymous VA November 13, 2014

Close but no cigar... The hubby is British. I had no choice but to discover the quintessential pie. We call it Shepherd's Cottage Pie, because it has both ground beef and minced lamb bacon.

For the base layer:
- ground beef
- lamb bacon, uncooked and minced
- to taste: garlic powder, salt, pepper, onion powder, 1 bay leaf, malt vinegar, gravy browner, liquid smoke (to give it that fresh from the hearth taste)
- if you're feeling adventurous: frozen peas
ratio should be about 2 beef: 1 bacon: 1 peas

For the top layer, to mimic what is normally a dairy layer for the non-kosher-eaters:
- 2-4 red potatoes (depending on size)
- 1 turnip or rutabega
- parve mock sour cream
- butter flavored Crisco
- to taste: rosemary, salt, pepper

Shortly before serving (~ 5min.) put the oven to high broil, so you get that nice crispiness on top, and a little bit of brown bubbly out the side. He likes it better than his mother's recipe, so that tells you something. :) Reply

Lisa Neuman Jamaica Estates June 28, 2017
in response to Anonymous:

I do believe butter flavored Crisco is dairy. Reply

mom of 9 Missouri November 12, 2014

it's great We add any leftover vegetables and use leftover mash potatoes so things don't sit to long it's a great quick meal Reply

EstherAsna Cohen Montreal November 12, 2014

called pastelle here Hi, Thank you for this. Our family eats a version on Shabbat and it's called "pastelle". When I first got married and saw it I said, oh, shepherd's pie. Reply

Tzvi Yitzchok U.K. November 12, 2014

There term Shepherd's Pie refers to cooked leftover meat (originally lamb).
Cottage Pie refers to uncooked meat. A tin of chopped tomato improves the moisture of the finished product.
Blayb gezunt. Reply

Sandra Sydney November 10, 2014

Hi I sometimes add grated zucchini and carrots to the pie as that way the children don't know they are getting vegetables too. Reply

Cook It Kosher features recipes from food blogger Miriam Szokovski, as well as guest bloggers and cookbook authors. Let us know if you’d like to contribute!
Miriam SzokovskiMiriam Szokovski is the author of the historical novel Exiled Down Under, and a member of the editorial team. She shares her love of cooking, baking and food photography on’s food blog, Cook It Kosher.
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