How to Make a Heavenly Shepherd's Pie

How to Make a Heavenly Shepherd’s Pie

Here is an easy casserole recipe to win over every soul at your next church social; it’s made with cumin and cinnamon seasoned lamb, savory veggies, and clouds of fluffy sweet potatoes.

Sunday Church Suppers are the most fun during the holidays. My chapter on Tote Along Dishes offers several recipes that are created to share with friends. For your Church Christmas pot luck, take a look at my recipe for Shepherd’s Pie Topped with Sweet Potatoes.

When you follow my instructions and pipe the sweet potato onto the top of the casserole dish in artful little dollops, compliments from the congregation abound! The way you do it actually uses up precious sweet potato that might have been thrown away. You simply spoon the potatoes from the bowl of the processor into a re-sealable plastic bag. Squeeze the bag to remove all of the air. Cut the corner off the bag and press out the potatoes into decorative dollops. It’s soooo soul delish!

Want to wow everyone all 365 days a year. Be sure to order your copy of Sunday Best Dishes today for the foodie on your Christmas list! Remember, subscribers get a FREE autographed bookplate.

Shepherd’s Pie Topped with Sweet Potatoes


Sweet Potato Topping

4 medium sweet potatoes

¼ cup half and half

2 tablespoons butter

1 large egg

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon coarse black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350°. Pierce the potatoes with a fork. Roast until the potatoes are squishy soft, about 30 minutes. Cut each in half and peel off the skin. Set the peeled potatoes into the bowl of a food processor. Pour the half and half into the bowl. Add the butter and egg. Season with salt and pepper. Pulse until the sweet potatoes are pale orange and fluffy. Let them cool while you make the filling.



2 pounds ground lamb

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large white onion, peeled and diced, about 1 ½ cups

2 medium carrots, peeled, trimmed and diced, about 1 cup

2 medium garlic cloves, peeled and minced, about 1 teaspoon

2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour

1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste

2 cups home made beef broth, or prepared low sodium chicken broth

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon dried rosemary

1 whole cinnamon stick

1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas, thawed

1 (10-ounce) package frozen pearl onions, thawed

Crumble the lamb into a non-stick skillet or cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Use a wooden spoon to stir the meat, breaking up any large clumps. Cook until all of the lamb is browned and fragrant, about 8 to 10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the lamb to a bowl. Pour the juices from the pan into a heatproof container and discard when cool enough to handle. Drizzle the olive oil around the bottom of the skillet. Cook the onion, carrots and garlic in the skillet until soft, about 5 minutes. Transfer the lamb and any juices from the bowl back into the skillet. Dust the lamb and veggies with flour. Spoon the tomato paste into the lamb. Pour in the beef broth and Worcestershire sauce. Stir the cumin, thyme and rosemary into the filling. Season with salt and pepper. Bury the cinnamon stick in the meat.  Simmer until the sauce thickens, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the peas and onions and continue to simmer until the peas are soft, about 5 minutes more. Remove the cinnamon stick and spoon the filling into an 11 x 7 x 2 inch baking dish. Dollop the sweet potatoes over the top of the filling. Set the oven to the broil setting. Place the casserole directly under the broiler and heat until the potatoes just begin to turn golden brown on the edges, about 5 to 8 minutes.

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