I’m not a fan of ketchup. I like it well enough on a burger and it can be an ingredient in BBQ sauce but a bottle can last me a year. Unless I’m faced with shepherd’s pie. Then I want ketchup. Lots of ketchup. Drowned in ketchup. Just don’t get it at all.

The French have this figured out. They make a version of shepherd’s pie but they call it hachis parmentier. Leftover stew topped with whipped potatoes jacked up with egg yolk and gruyere. Stew, potatoes and cheese. Genius.

It’s really simple. Warm your leftover stew. Thicken it with a bit of beurre manie – equal parts butter and flour worked together. Top it with mashed potatoes and cheese. Pop it in the oven. Eat. No ketchup required.

Scale this recipe up to line up with how much stew you have left over. It’s written for one pound of stew. If you have two pounds of stew double everything. Three pounds, triple it.

This works with pretty much any wine based stew that is predominantly meat. A bit of carrot can work but potatoes – not so much.


5.0 from 1 reviews
grown-up shepherd's pie
Prep time
Cook time
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Hachis parmantier is a grown up version of shepherd's pie. Ground beef is replaced by stew and mashed potatoes are enriched with cheese and egg yolk.
Recipe type: main
Cuisine: french
Serves: 6
For the stew
  • 1 lb leftover stew (beef or lamb)
  • chicken stock as needed
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp flour
For the potatoes
  • 1 lb mashing potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • ⅜ cup warm milk
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 4 oz gruyere cheese, grated
  • salt to taste
  1. Raise the rack in your oven. You may need to run the broiler briefly to brown the potatoes.
  2. Pre-heat your oven to 350.
  3. Boil potatoes in well salted water.
  4. Warm the stew in a saucepan. Add a bit of chicken stock if it seems low on liquid. You want a bit of sauce along with the meat.
  5. Using a fork, mash the butter and flour together. You want this well mixed.
  6. Off heat, add the butter/flour mixture to the stew and stir to combine.
  7. Mash potatoes with 1 Tbsp of butter and the warmed milk.
  8. Add the egg and cheese and mix.
  9. Put the thickened stew in an ovenproof dish and top with mashed potato mixture.
  10. Smooth the potatoes then drag a fork through the potatoes to create some texture.
  11. Bake for about 20 minutes. Place a cookie sheet below to catch any drips.
  12. If you want to brown the top, broil briefly but watch carefully to make sure you don't over brown the potatoes.
  13. Let stand about 15 minutes and serve.

6 thoughts on “grown-up shepherd’s pie

  1. Ketchup on shepherd’s pie?!?!?! Lol. While I’m a skeptic on that, this grown-up shepherd’s pie sounds AMAZING. Definitely a way to kick up the fancy on something we frequently do. Definitely going to have to try it!!

    • Haha. Maybe I’m being too subtle. My point on the ketchup is that it’s the only way I can manage to choke down classic shepherd’s pie. Just not a fan of it at all.

  2. I like classic shepherd’s pie/pâté chinois. It’s the taste of childhood, so maybe it does fundamentally suck but it still hits the spot occasionally. I detest ketchup on most things but this is one of the three foods on which I consider it acceptable, the others being fries and grilled cheese sandwiches.

    But I doubt I’ll be making the classic version any time soon. I made a variation on this recipe with a slightly fancy but still pretty simple pot roast. The next day I cubed the cold meat and put it back in its sauce, warmed it up, added a few similar-sized pieces of carrot (parboiled) and some sautéed button mushrooms… and forgot to thicken it, but it didn’t matter in the end. Did the potatoes as instructed. Maybe some dishes really should be just childhood memories, because this hits the same spot while also being truly delicious… and putting ketchup on it would be criminal.

    Thanks for the inspiration (again)!

    • Glad you like it. I’m all for ketchup on regular shepherd’s pie but not so much on this dish. Any leftover stew topped with the potatoes would work well. Yours sounds great particularly good.

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