Carrot Goat Cheese Mash Shepherd’s Pie


Shepherd's Pie

I am a brown girl who loves British things.

I love Jane Austen and Hunter boots and rainy weather and wild flowers and PG Tips and corgis (her!) and I love, LOVE shepherd’s pie. Like, love.

I know on Pinterest we’re getting all Easter and Spring crazy. Like, seriously let’s just chill on that for now. The time when we shuck fresh peas, go on scavenger huants and wear pastels is near, but for now, let’s just eat some warm potatoes and mutton, okay?

It’s been crazy cold this week in Los Angeles. And I know in places that have real winters (hello east coast!), it’s even colder. A bowl of this stuff is what cold-weather dreams are made of.

Let’s just enjoy the now and stop trying to make Spring happen in February!

Heirloom Carrots

My favorite part about this? The topping of course! Creamy, tangy goat cheese all mixed up with mashed potatoes and mashed carrot. All kinds of good stuff going on.

Instagram and Pinterest sometimes run together and I have no idea where I saw the idea for a carrot mash for shepherd’s pie but boy is it a good one.

My second favorite thing about this shepherd’s pie? You can put any type of vegetables you want in it. I used a combination of pretty rainbow carrots and brussels sprouts. Feel free to use frozen peas or maybe even corn.

Let’s talk meat! My local Whole Foods didn’t have ground lamb meat. That’s what you’re technically sort of supposed to be using for shepherd’s pie, so instead I used a combination of half ground pork and half ground sirloin. You can do as I did, or hunt down some lamb.

Whichever route you choose, it’ll be delicious.

Oh and before I put this thing in the oven I got all fancy with the butter spreader. Can you tell?

Shepherd's Pie

When this shepherd’s pie was in the oven, I minced up the greens from the tops of the carrot. Have you eaten carrot tops before? Oh! They’re kind of sweet. Like, literally sweet tasting. Super delicious! I used them as a pretty garnish when the shepherd’s pie came out of the oven.

A bowl of this is the kind of thing that’ll put meat on your bones. It’ll make you all warm when you’ve made that super long walk from the car to your front door. The carrot and goat cheese mash is fluffy, tart, a little sweet and so satisfying against the hearty stew it sits on. I like the ol’ school shepherd’s pie just fine, but I like this one much better.

Shepherd's Pie

Carrot Goat Cheese Mash Shepherd’s Pie

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Serving Size: 4 - 8


Carrot and Goat Cheese Mash Topping:

  • 1 pound russet potatoes
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons whole milk
  • 3 ounces goat cheese
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Meat filling:

  • Olive oil
  • 6 brussels sprouts, quartered
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 small carrots, about 1.5 pounds
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 pound ground sirloin
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon worcestershire
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary sprigs


  • Peel the potatoes and carrots and cut them into 1/2-inch dice. Place them in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Set over high heat, cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, uncover, decrease the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until tender and easily crushed with tongs, approximately 15 to 17 minutes. Drain the potatoes in a colander and then return to the saucepan. Mash the potatoes and then add the butter, milk, goat cheese and mash until smooth. Salt and pepper to taste. I added 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the filling. Place the canola oil into a 12-inch saute pan and set over medium high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the brussels sprouts, carrots and onions and sauté just until they begin to take on color, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and stir to combine. Add the pork and sirloin, salt and pepper and cook until browned and cooked through, approximately 3 minutes. Sprinkle the meat with the flour and toss to coat, continuing to cook for another minute. Add the tomato paste, beef broth, Worcestershire, rosemary and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer slowly 10 to 12 minutes or until the sauce is thickened slightly.
  • Spread the mixture evenly in a 8-inch square dish. Top with the carrot goat cheese mash, starting around the edges to create a seal to prevent the mixture from bubbling up and smooth with a rubber spatula. Place on a parchment lined half sheet pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 25 minutes or just until the potatoes begin to brown. Remove to a cooling rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Slightly adapted from Alton Brown

    Serving: 4g
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  • Reply Julie February 24, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    I love the idea of adding carrots to the mashed potato topping. Brilliant!

  • Reply Jayne February 24, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    Wow! I’ve never seen shepherd’s pie done in this way before. It’s funny I have mutton and pork mince in my freezer with sweet potatoes and Russet in my pantry. I have to give this a go tomorrow night. My husband loves these things… or should I say anything with mash. 😀

  • Reply cindy February 24, 2013 at 5:46 am

    I love that there are carrots AND goat cheese happening! so pretty!

    PS, I think that if there isn’t lamb in it, it’s called “cottage pie”! I think, ha!

  • Reply dervla @ the curator February 22, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    I love shepherd’s pie and i love your take on it. Like you I see Spring coming down the road, and just the anticipation of it is enough for me at the moment. I’m content to enjoy the last gasp of winter and eat warm comforting things for a few more weeks. Also, you don’t get to complain about LA weather … come try out NYC for a bit and see what bitter cold is 🙂

  • Reply Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen February 22, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    This is really such a nice change from the standard Shepherd’s Pie.. I love the topping, it looks especially creamy and yummy! Yes, it’s winter.. we need to savor dishes like these!! xx

  • Reply Jessica l Food Wine Fashion February 22, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    I am with you and your love of Brits. I too have fallen for Hunter boots, rainy weather, royals, and shepherd’s pie (which I was introduced to this past summer). Your dish is beautiful and very welcome. I am one of the 1% that LOVES winter and I feel like it gets rushed out faster every year, at least this meal will allow me to hold on for just one more evening!

    xo – jessica

  • Reply Abby February 22, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    Oh my. Loving the carrot mash – reminds me of all the sweet potato topped shepherds pies I’ve been eyeing. I bet a combo of sweet potato and carrot would be delicious too!

  • Reply Bernadette @ Now Stir It Up February 22, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    I love the idea of carrots with the potato. Plus it gives the topping such a beautiful color!

  • Reply Andrea M February 22, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    This would pair nicely with a Downton Abbey marathon. Mmm British things.

  • Reply Joelle @ on a pink typewriter February 22, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    This sounds way too amazing– goat cheese?! And potatoes?! I can’t.. Saving this recipe!

  • Reply Kendra Lee February 22, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    I love shepherd’s pie but I think you just elevated it to a whole new level of awesomeness! Thanks for the recipe

  • Reply tina February 22, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    you lady eat so well and does it show!! i love everything about this. 🙂 Happy weekend love 🙂

  • Reply Eileen February 22, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    Carrots! I love the rainbow you can get at the farmer’s market, don’t you? 🙂 Using carrot in the mash layer of a shepherd’s pie is such a great idea.

  • Reply Lindsey February 22, 2013 at 11:25 am

    i am envious of cali’s plentiful veggie (and fruit) crops. nyc is lacking this time of year. nonetheless, looks delish.

  • Reply Nicole @ youngbrokeandhungry February 22, 2013 at 10:33 am

    Shepherd’s Pie is my jam! I love the carrot mash you added to it.

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