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Shepherd’s Pie With A Cheesy Potato Topping

This shepard’s pie with a cheesy potato topping will transport you back to your childhood in the best way possible. It is also a perfect dish for those chilly winter evening!

SERVES 6–8    TOTAL TIME 1 hr 30 min


Vegetable oil 2 tbsp

Onion, finely chopped 1

Carrots, finely chopped 3

Celery stalk, finely chopped 2

Garlic cloves, minced 3

Beef mince 500 g

Tomato paste 2 tbsp

Flour 2 tbsp

Worcestershire sauce 2 tbsp

Dried thyme 1 ½ tsp

Beef stock, 1 ½ cups

Red wine ½ cup

Bay leaves 2


Potatoes, washed and peeled 6

Milk ½ cup

Butter 2 tbsp

Cheddar ¼ cup

Fresh thyme leaves, to garnish 1 tbsp


1. Add the oil to a pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion, carrots and celery. Fry for 5 minutes until the onion is soft.

2. Add the garlic and fry until golden.

Crumble the mince into the pan. Fry for 3 minutes until browned, continuing to break up the mince using a wooden spoon so it doesn’t form lumps.

3. Mix in the tomato paste, flour, Worcestershire sauce and thyme. Season well with salt and pepper.

4. Add stock, wine (or more stock) and bay leaves. Scrape the bottom of the pan to release any stuck bits of flavour.

5. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes, until the mixture is thick and glossy.


1. Cook the potatoes in a pot of boiling water until tender, about 15 minutes.

2. Drain and mash until chunky. Add the milk, butter and cheese and mash until smooth and fluffy. Season to taste, then cover and set aside.


1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.

2. Spoon the mince filling into a 15 x 25 cm casserole dish. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before topping with the mashed potato.

3. Bake for 20 minutes until the potato topping is golden and crispy.

4. Garnish with fresh thyme and serve.

Top tip Freeze any leftovers for up to 1 month. Store in an airtight container. When ready to use, defrost and then reheat in a 180ºC oven for 20 minutes.


Recipes & Styling: Sjaan van der Ploeg
Photography: Peet Mocke/

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