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Lamb and Ale Pie (Real Ale Shepherd's Pie)

My take on a traditional Shepherd's pie with lamb mince, root vegetables and real ale, and topped with creamy mashed potato.
Active Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 4 portions


  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 500 g lamb mince
  • 1 onion - red or white - you can also use frozen if you have it
  • Half a small swede - about 250g
  • 3 carrots - about 250g
  • 1 lamb stock cube - lamb is best for this, but you can also use beef or chicken if you don't have lamb available.
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée - heaped
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp dried mint
  • 1 tsp dried thyme - or a few sprigs of fresh thyme - remember to remove the stalks before adding the meat mixture to the pie
  • 250 ml ale
  • 500 g potatoes
  • 75 ml milk
  • 30 g butter
  • 40 g cheddar cheese
  • Salt


  • To keep the instructions clear I've separated the lamb filling and the mash potato into two sections. However you should complete these two sections simultaneously so the potatoes are cooking at the same time as the lamb filling.

Make the lamb filling

  • Chop the vegetables - peel the carrots (3) and swede (½) and chop them into small chunks. Finely chop the onion.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the lamb mince (500g) and fry it until it browns, stirring regularly to ensure it browns evenly. Once it's browned, remove it from the pan and set aside.
  • Add the onion to the pan and cook on a low heat for 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
  • Add the carrots and swede and cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
  • Return the lamb to the pan and add the chopped tomatoes (1 can), tomato purée (1 heaped tbsp), dried mint (1 tsp), dried thyme (1 tsp), lamb stock cube and ale (250ml).
  • Bring it to the boil and then simmer for 30-40 minutes until the liquid has reduced. Season with salt to taste (Personally I don't add any extra salt at this stage as I find there's enough in the stock to give it the flavour I want).
  • While the lamb filling is cooking, cook the potatoes for the mash.

Make the mashed potato

  • Peel and chop the potatoes (500g).
  • Bring a pan of salted water to the boil, add the potatoes and cook them for about 20 minutes until soft.
  • Drain the potatoes and return them to the pan. Add the milk (75ml) and butter (30g) and mash until smooth.
  • Season with salt.

Make the pie

  • Pre-heat your oven to 220ºC/200ºC fan.
  • Grate the cheese (40g).
  • Fill the base of an over proof dish with the lamb filling and spread it evenly.
  • Evenly spread the mashed potato onto the lamb filling.
  • Sprinkle over the grated cheese.
  • Cook for 25 minutes, then serve.


Each portion contains 3 of your 5 a day.


Serving: 1portion | Calories: 632kcal | Carbohydrates: 42.3g | Protein: 29.9g | Fat: 36.4g | Saturated Fat: 18.5g | Sodium: 320mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 12g

Any nutritional information provided is the estimated nutritional information per serving. Please refer to my guide to Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen nutritional information if you would like to learn more about how this is calculated.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: British
Keyword: Family Friendly Dinner
Author: Charlotte Oates