Empadão (Portuguese Shepherd’s Pie)

Perfect family dinner!




  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 3/4 tsp each dried thyme and rosemary
  • 750 g / 1.5 lb ground lamb, beef and pork
  • ¼ cup / 55g tomato paste
  • 2 cups / 500 ml beef broth
  • 1/2 cup / 125 ml red wine
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup frozen peas

Mashed Potatoes

  • 1.2 kg / 2.2 lb potatoes, peeled and cut into 2.5cm / 1″ cubes
  • 2/3 cup / 165 ml milk (whole or low fat)
  • 2 tbsp / 30g butter





  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic, cook for 1 minute. Then add carrots, thyme and rosemary. Cook for 3 minutes or until softened and sweet.
  • Turn heat up to high. Add lamb, beef, and pork and cook, breaking it up as you go, until browned.
  • Add tomato paste, broth, red wine, and bay leaves. Stir well.
  • Bring to simmer, then turn down heat so it is simmering rapidly. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it reduces down to a thick gravy consistency.
  • Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
  • Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
  • Cook potatoes in boiling water for 15 minutes or until soft. Drain then return to pot on turned off stove. Allow to steam dry for 30 seconds or so.
  • Add butter and mash until melted, then add milk, salt and pepper. Mash until it’s soft and smooth, adjusting with a touch more milk if required.
  • Spread mash onto pie, use a fork to draw squiggles over the surface.
  • Bake for 30 – 40 minutes or until deep golden on top and bubbling on the edges. Stick a knife into the middle to ensure it is piping hot.
  • Stand for 5 minutes before serving.

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