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  • Writer's pictureHeather

Shepard's Pie with Beer-Braised Lamb

Hungry for more? This recipes was featured in a podcast episode!


The lamb in this shepard's pie gets oodles of flavour and a little kick when it is braised in beer, ancho chillies and chipotle pepper sauce. It requires a little planning ahead to slowly cook the lamb shanks over a few hours, but the end result is worth it.

Prep Time: 15 min

Cook time: 4.5 hr

Servings: 9


  • 2 lamb shanks (approx. 1 kg)

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped

  • 2 dried ancho chillies

  • 100 ml olive oil

  • 1 tbsp cumin

  • 1 tbsp cilantro/coriander paste (or equal amount finely chopped fresh)

  • 1 tsp dried oregano

  • 2 tbsp chipotle pepper sauce

  • 400 g canned chopped tomatoes

  • 1 tbsp malt vinegar

  • 1 tbsp brown sugar

  • 355 ml Mexican lager, like Corona

  • mashed potatoes to cover the pie (approx. 9 cups)



  1. Preheat oven to 320F.

  2. Rehydrate ancho chillies: remove seeds and stems and soak in 80 ml hot water for 30 min.

  3. In a small food processor, blend ancho chillies and soaking liquid, cilantro paste, chipotle sauce, cumin, coriander and oregano until smooth.

  4. Heat 50 ml oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat and sauté onion until golden (about 12 min). Remove from pan and set aside.

  5. Add remaining oil to pan and lightly brown the lamb shanks on all sides. Add chilli mixture, sautéed onion, tomatoes, brown sugar, beer and vinegar. Cover and braise in the oven for 2-2 1/2 hrs. Liquid should be reduced to a sauce consistency and the meat will be tender. Uncover and cool slightly, then remove the lamb from the bones and put everything in a large skillet. Increase oven temp to 350F.

  6. Cover meat mixture with a thick layer of mashed potatoes and bake approx. 25 min. The edges will be bubbly and the potato very lightly browned. You can also switch the oven to broil for the last 5 min for more browning, but watch it carefully.

Mashed Potatoes

  • 2 lb. russet potatoes peeled (or think of it as one medium-sized potato per serving), cut into roughly equal sized pieces

  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese shredded (or cheese of your choice)

  • 5 tbsp butter

  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

  • salt and pepper to taste

  1. In a large pot, cover potatoes in water and bring to a boil for about 15 min, or until potatoes are fork tender.

  2. Drain the potatoes, keeping about 1/4 cup liquid in the pot.

  3. Add butter, garlic powder, salt and pepper and mash until creamy.

  4. Stir in grated cheese. Taste and season as needed.

Zhuzh it up!

  • Mashed yam or sweet potato also makes a yummy topping for shepard's pie.

This amazing recipe was inspired by the Beer-braised brisket pie with tomatillo salsa by Alice Storey. Find it on


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