Lucinda Scala Quinn’s Mad Hungry Shepherd’s Pie [RECIPE]

Shepherd's Pie

Lucinda Scala Quinn’s Mad Hungry Shepherd’s Pie (Photo by Jonathan Lovekin)

In his autobiography, Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards tells of cooking two things at home: bangers and mash (sausage and mashed potatoes), and shepherd’s pie. Here, I have co-opted his idea of doubling up on the onions by adding a bonus layer of chopped, raw onions between the cooked onion–meat mixture and the potatoes. Save on dishes by sautéing the meat mixture in the same oven-safe, deep skillet you will bake the pie in. Alternatively, sauté the meat in a skillet and assemble the pie in a separate casserole dish.


  • 5 medium potatoes, such as Idaho or russet, peeled and roughly chopped into 2-inch pieces
  • Coarse salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 pounds ground lamb or beef, or a combo
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 3/4 cup chicken or beef broth
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup milk, plus more if needed
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed and drained


  1. Place the potatoes in a large pot and add enough cold water to cover by 2 inches. Add a generous amount of coarse salt. Bring to a boil and cook until tender enough to mash, 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
  3. Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a 10-inch oven-safe skillet (preferably cast-iron) over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, celery, and half the onion and sauté until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the meat and 2 teaspoons salt and cook over high heat, pressing and stirring to break up the meat, until the moisture has evaporated and the meat is browning in fat, about 15 minutes. (The skillet will seem overly full but the mixture will cook down.) When the meat is browned, stir in the Worcestershire sauce and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Whisk together the broth and cornstarch in a small bowl and add to the meat mixture. Simmer for an additional minute to thicken.
  5. Drain the potatoes, setting aside ½ cup of the cooking water. Return the potatoes to the pot. Add the reserved cooking water, milk, and 4 tablespoons of the butter and season with pepper. Mash until smooth. Add more milk if needed to achieve a smooth, spreadable texture.
  6. Spread the meat mixture around in the bottom of the pan it was cooked in or transfer to a 2-quart casserole dish. Evenly distribute the peas and remaining onion over the meat. Dollop and spread the mashed potatoes over the vegetables. Dot the top of the potatoes with the remaining 2 tablespoons butter.
  7. Bake until heated through, the potatoes are golden on top, and the filling is bubbling, about 30 minutes.

YIELDS: 6 servings

Lucinda Scala Quinn's MAD HUNGRY FAMILY

Artisan Books

This recipe is excerpted from my book Mad Hungry Family: 120 Essential Recipes to Feed the Whole Crew from Artisan Books, ©2016.

Want more? Check out to get more great recipes, watch videos, join my mailing list, and more.

Watch for Jathan’s review of Mad Hungry Family coming soon.

Recipe provided courtesy Artisan Books.

About Lucinda Scala Quinn
Lucinda Scala Quinn is a chef, cooking teacher, caterer, food editor, author and food writer. She appears regularly on QVC with her own line of kitchenware, works as the Senior Vice President, Executive Editorial Director of Food and Entertaining at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, hosts her own television show Mad Hungry: Bringing Back the Family Meal, and cohosts Everyday Food on PBS. She lives with her family in New York City.

One Response to Lucinda Scala Quinn’s Mad Hungry Shepherd’s Pie [RECIPE]

  1. Jathan Fink says:

    Reblogged this on Jadeworks Entertainment and commented:

    Lucinda Scala Quinn is one of our favorite food personalities. From her work on PBS’s Everyday Food and her own show on the Hallmark Channel, Mad Hungry, to her tasty creations as food editor of Martha Stewart Living, she always seeks to bring the family back to the dinner table and offer up yummy eats. Now she shares one of her own crew’s favorite recipes with our readers here. Enjoy!

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