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March 11, 2024

St. Patrick's Day Party with Mini Lamb Shoulder Shepherd's Pies


Recipe Provided By
"The Curious Plate"
Prep Time


Cook Time


Total Time

5HRS, 30min



lamb loin chops with cucumber mint salad and sweet and smoky tahini


For the Shepherd's Pie: 

3 pounds American Lamb shoulder, cut into one-inch cubes

2 slices bacon, diced

Kosher salt and pepper to taste

1 yellow onion

2 celery stalks

2 carrots

5 garlic cloves

1.5 teaspoons dried thyme

1 teaspoon dried rosemary 

2 bay leaves

1 ½ containers of beef broth

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoon all purpose flour

1 ½ cups frozen Peas 


For the mashed potatoes: 

3 pounds Yukon gold potatoes

kosher salt and pepper to taste

1 ¼ cups heavy whipping cream

12 tablespoons unsalted butter



  1. In a large Dutch oven preheated to medium-high heat add a splash of olive oil and diced bacon. Cook the bacon until crispy and nicely browned for about five minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon, leaving some of the bacon fat in the Dutch oven. Set the bacon aside on a plate and turn off the heat.

  2. Next, in a large bowl combine the American Lamb shoulder with kosher salt and pepper. Let the lamb come to room temperature for at least 30 minutes prior to cooking. Preheat the Dutch oven with the reserved bacon fat to medium-high to high heat. Place the lamb into the Dutch oven and brown well on all sides, turning the lamb when it releases easily around two minutes per side. Once browned on all sides, remove the lamb from the Dutch oven and place on a plate. 

  3. Turn the heat to medium and add in more olive oil if needed. Next, add in the onion, carrot, celery, kosher salt and pepper. Cook until softened, about 7 minutes. Add in the garlic, thyme, rosemary and bay leaves and stir for one minute until fragrant. Add in the Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, and flour. Stir to combine and let it cook for a minute or two until thickened slightly. 

  4. Pour in the beef broth, reserved lamb, and bacon to the Dutch oven. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer. DO NOT BOIL. Partially cover the Dutch oven with a lid and simmer for at least 2 ½ hours up to 6 hours for optimal flavor on the stove top, checking every 30 minutes to stir. 

  5. With an hour left on the cooking time for the Shepherd's Pie, make the mashed potatoes. Add quartered potatoes to a stock pot and fill with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook the potatoes until fork tender, about 20 minutes. Drain the potatoes. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and then pour in the cream. Stir to combine. 

  6. Gently mash the potatoes using a potato masher and add about half of the butter mixture. Next, using a hand mixer, whip the potatoes carefully and add the remaining butter mixture until creamy. 

  7. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray 4-inch cocottes with non-stick cooking spray and place on a large baking sheet. If you want to make a single casserole you would use a 9X13 baking dish. Add in the frozen peas to the Dutch Oven and stir. Next, spoon lamb mixture into each cocottes about ¾ of the way full. Dollop some of the mashed potato on top and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Repeat the process until all cocottes have been filled. Bake for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Serve and enjoy

USDA recommends the following time and temperature parameters

Ground Lamb

Internal temperature of 160°F

All Other Cuts

Internal temperature of 145°F, with a 3 minute rest

St. Patrick's Day Party Inspo

thermometer timer illustration
Visit our Lamb Cooking Time & Temperature page for recipe inspiration and tips on preparing the perfect lamb.


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