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Alton Brown Shepherd's Pie on a baking dish

Alton Brown Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd's pie is an incredible comfort food. Delicious, super flavorful meaty filling topped with a mound of rich, buttery mashed potatoes!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Alton Brown Shepherd's Pie Recipe, Alton Brown Shepherd’s Pie, How do I make Alton Brown Shepherd's Pie Recipe, How to make Alton Brown Shepherd's Pie Recipe
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 6 -8 servings
Calories 595kcal
Author Kathleen


Potato Topping:

  • 1 1/2 pounds Russet potatoes
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 egg yolk

Meat Filling:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped
  • 2 carrots peeled and diced fairly small
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground lamb or ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1/2 cup frozen petite peas


Make The Potatoes:

  • Peel the potatoes and slice them into 1/2 inch chunks. Add them to a medium saucepan filled with cold water. Cook on high, covered, and bring to a boil. When they boil, remove the lid, and lower heat and simmer until potatoes are tender about 10-15 minutes.
    How to make Alton Brown Shepherd's Pie, boiling potatoes
  • Add half-and-half and butter to a small microwave-safe dish and heat the mixture up in the microwave until warmed, approximately 40 seconds.
  • Drain the potatoes well then place them back in the saucepan. Mash the potatoes until there are no lumps, then stir in the heated half-and-half mixture, salt, and pepper. Add the egg yolk and stir until it's completely absorbed.
    How to make Alton Brown Shepherd's Pie, adding yolk to mashed potatoes

Make The Filling:

  • Meanwhile, as the potatoes cook, begin the filling. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • In a 12-inch skillet, heat the vegetable oil until it begins to simmer over medium-high heat. Add the onions, and carrots and cook until they just begin to brown a bit, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in the garlic.
    How to make Alton Brown Shepherd's Pie, sauteing onions, carrots, and garlic
  • Stir in the lamb or beef, salt, and pepper and saute until the meat is cooked through and no longer has any pink. Drain excess fat (**See Recipe Notes ). Sprinkle the meat mixture with the flour and stir to evenly coat. Cook for 1 minute.
    How to make Alton Brown Shepherd's Pie, adding beef to the sauteed veggies
  • Stir in the tomato paste, chicken broth, Worcestershire, rosemary, and thyme. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and cover, and gently simmer, until the mixture thickens a bit, about 10-12 minutes. Stir in the thawed and well-drained corn and peas.
    How to make Alton Brown Shepherd's Pie, adding frozen peas and carrots
  • Pour the filling mixture into an 11x7-inch baking dish. Spread the top evenly with the mashed potatoes, taking care to create a "seal" to the edges of the baking dish. 
    How to make Alton Brown Shepherd's Pie, spreading mashed potatoes on top of the meat filling
  • Place the baking dish on an aluminum foil-lined, rimmed baking sheet. Bake in the middle of the preheated oven until the potatoes begin to brown, and the filling is heated through in the center, about 25-30 minutes. Allow the casserole to cool on a baking rack for 15 minutes before serving.


  1. Draining the meat: Move the meat to one side of the pan and carefully, with the heat OFF, tip the skillet so the fat rolls to the edge of the skillet, then sop up the excess fat with a paper towel and leaving a few teaspoons of the fat. You can also scoop the fat with a spoon.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 595kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 139mg | Sodium: 943mg | Potassium: 977mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 3857IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 73mg | Iron: 4mg