Shepherd’s Pie with Curry and Cheddar Potatoes

Like every recipe on this blog, we have to tinker with it… so we have taken the traditional shepherd’s pie and hit it with an over-the-top flavor profile that brings an often bland dish to a new level. We made this for a brunch and it was a big hit. You can make it in advance and have the kitchen cleaned up before your guests arrive.


  • Meat Filling
  • 2 cups red onions, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups yellow onions, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons of red pepper flakes
  • 4 tablespoons of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 pounds of ground lamb
  • 1 pound ground veal
  • 3 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 1 cup of ruby red port
  • 2 cup cabernet
  • 1/2 cup of Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 heaping tablespoons of hot madras curry powder
  • 1 to 2 cups frozen peas, depending on taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Potato Topping
  • 4 large russet potatoes, peeled and put into one inch cubes
  • 8 ounces of extra sharp white cheese, freshly shredded
  • 10 tablespoons of herbed butter
  • 1/4 cup of whole buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons of chives, finely chopped (more for topping)
  • 1/4 cup tablespoons of parmesan cheese, finely grated (more for topping)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Making It

  • Drizzle extra virgin olive oil in the bottom of a large Dutch oven over medium (plus) heat, then add the onions, carrots, red pepper flakes and sauté until the onions are translucent. Add garlic and cook for an additional two minutes, then add the meat and cook until just pink. Strain out the grease and return to Dutch oven.
  • Stir in the tomato paste until incorporated, then the stock, Worcestershire sauce, wine and curry powder. Cook until liquid has evaporated, then add the peas, as well as salt and pepper to taste. Spread the meat mix on the bottom of a baking dish.
  • Melt the butter with the butter milk, set aside.
  • Put the potatoes in a pot, cover with two inches of water and add two tablespoons of kosher salt. Bring to a boil and cook for 15-17 minutes until you can easily put a fork through them. Strain, put through a potato ricer and put in a large bowl. Add the cheese and the buttermilk and butter mixture.
  • Add the salt and pepper and mix until fully incorporated, then spread on top of the meat mixture, do a cross design with a fork and bake at 375 for 40 minutes. Sprinkle chives and parmesan on top and serve.

You can also top off the potatoes with sliced fontina cheese for an extra bang. just layer on before baking. Take out and sprinkle freshly grated parmesan cheese and green onions.

Topped with sliced fontina.

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