Colcannon, a classic Irish side dish of mashed potatoes mixed with chopped cabbage, adds intrigue to this otherwise traditional shepherd's pie.

Martha Stewart Living, January/February 2018


Credit: John Dolan

Recipe Summary

1 hr 5 mins
2 hrs
Serves 6 to 8




Instructions Checklist
  • Filling: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Heat a large skillet over medium-high. Swirl in oil. Add lamb; season with 1 teaspoon salt and cook, breaking up into bite-size pieces and stirring occasionally, until browned in places and just cooked through, 7 to 9 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

  • Remove all but 1 tablespoon fat from skillet; return to medium heat. Add onion and carrots; season with 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened and golden in places, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in tomato paste; cook 30 seconds. Stir in flour; cook 1 minute. Return lamb and accumulated juices to skillet. Stir in Worcestershire, broth, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits from bottom of skillet. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer until thickened slightly, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in peas and parsley. Transfer to a 2-quart baking dish.

  • Mash: In a large pot, cover potatoes with 1 inch of water; add 1 tablespoon salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until tender, 12 to 15 minutes; drain. Return pot to medium heat; swirl in oil. Add cabbage and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until collapsed and tender, 7 to 9 minutes. Return potatoes to pot; mash with a potato masher. Add milk and butter, mashing and stirring until mixture is creamy and cabbage is distributed evenly. Season with salt and pepper. Spread mash evenly over lamb mixture; brush top with butter. Place on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment.

  • Bake until golden brown in places and bubbling along edges, 30 to 35 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Pie can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 2 days.

Cook's Notes

For a creamier mash, press cooked potatoes through a ricer into the pot with cabbage before adding milk and butter.


Traditional shepherd's pie is made with lamb, but you can also substitute ground beef or use a combination of lamb and beef.