Shepherd's pie is the Brit's way to real eating. When done well, this cheese-covered meat pie can mean the difference in a person's mood for the day. Some have put their own spin on this classic with variants on the spices, vegetables or meat used. But the following recipe does something special with the cheese: It's topped with mascarpone cheese. This soft yet rich cheese has put a wonderful spin on many baked dishes and thankfully, a shepherd's pie is no exception. Follow the recipe to savor this British classic dish like no other.

But first, let's break down shepherd's pie and Mascarpone Cheese--two things some of you might be unfamiliar with:

What is shepherd's pie

In basic definition, a shepherd's pie is a meat pie that originated from the United Kingdom and consists of three components; minced meat sauce topped with mashed potato topped with cheese. The minced meat in the sauce is usually veal but can also beef and pork depending on the variant. As a sauce, the meat prepared much like a bolognese (combined with mirepoix, peas, tomato puree, stock, and seasoning) which is more common with pasta dishes.

The second component is mashed potato which is placed on top of the cooked meat and the third is grated cheese which like the meat can also vary.

Some variants include cheddar, parmesan, and ricotta. However, as previously pointed out, we will be using mascarpone.

What is mascarpone cheese

This is a smooth, acidic cream cheese that originated in Italy and can be easily made by combining two ingredients; whole cream and acidic liquids like vinegar or citrus juice. However, a person can buy ready-made mascarpone cheese from their local grocery store which we'll also be using.

Taste-wise, mascarpone is milky to the tongue and also tangy thanks.

Now for the recipe.

The recipe

Meat Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 pound minced veal
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, grated
  • 1/4 cup of frozen peas
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree or ketchup
  • 2 tsp of Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper when needed

Potato Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pound potatoes, diced
  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup of mascarpone cheese for topping


  1. In a large skillet, heat the oil, then saute the minced veal for 10 minutes or until it turns brown. use a spoon to break down any lumps in the meat.
  2. Add the onions and stir them around with the meat for three minutes. Add the tomato puree and stir it in for three minutes.
  3. Add the stock, Worcestershire sauce, peas, and thyme. Season the sauce, then bring to a boil and simmer for 45 minutes or until the sauce is thick. Stir occasionally. When the sauce finishes, take off the heat and set aside.
  4. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  5. Peel and dice the potatoes. Place them into a deep bottom pan, submerge in water, and boil for 15 minutes.
  6. Remove potatoes from heat. Add the milk, butter, and seasoning, then mash until well combined.
  7. Pour the sauce into an ovenproof casserole dish. Top the sauce with the mash and use a spoon to gently flatten the surface evenly. Use a spoon to place the Mascarpone cheese on top of the mashed potatoes and even it out.
  8. Place the casserole dish in the oven to bake for 30 minutes or until the surface turns light brown and crusty. Serve.