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Shepherd's Pie with Champ Mash

Donal Skehan makes shepherd's pie with a spring onion mashed potato for St. Patrick's Day
Patty Lee / TODAY


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2-3 medium carrots, chopped
  • pounds minced lamb
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • cups (400 ml) beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons thyme and parsley, roughly chopped
  • pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • Cold water
  • 1/2 stick (75g) butter
  • 1/2 cup (100 ml) whole milk
  • 6 spring onions, finely sliced
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Chef notes

    The ultimate Irish comfort food is made extra special thanks to a topping of a creamy potato champ mash. Champ is a traditional way of serving mash from the north of Ireland. Using spring onions gives the champ mash an extra burst of flavor.


    Patty Lee / TODAY

    Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium frying pan over a medium heat and soften the onion and carrots for 5 to 6 minutes.


    Turn up the heat and allow the pan to get hot before you add the minced lamb. Using a fork, break up the meat and allow to brown and cook through for 3 to 4 minutes.


    Add the tomato puree, herbs and Worcestershire sauce. Stir until combined and then add the beef stock. Bring the mixture to a steady simmer, then partially cover and cook for 45 minutes.


    For the champ mash topping, add the potato chunks to a pot of cold water, cover, place over high heat and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork.


    When the potatoes are cooked, remove them from the heat, drain them into a colander, and then add them back into the pot along with the butter and milk. Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes until smooth and creamy.


    Add in the spring onions and season with sea salt and ground black pepper, stirring to combine.


    Preheat the oven to 350°F.


    When the lamb is ready, season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, then transfer to an ovenproof baking dish and top with the champ mash, using a spoon to make a nice topping. Give the topping an extra sprinkle of ground black pepper and bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until the top is starting to brown and the mince is bubbling up around the edges.


    Serve straight away for a delicious and comforting supper!