The French make a version of shepherds pie they call it hachis parmentier. Leftover stew topped with whipped potatoes loaded with egg yolk and gruyere. Stew, potatoes and cheese. Genius.

Hachis Parmentier is like shepherd’s pie times ten

This is shepherds pie but it isn’t shepherd’s pie. It’s beef and potatoes in layers. That makes it shepherds pie. But there’s no strange vegetable layer.

And there’s no ground beef.

The sauce is luscious. And the potatoes are magic. It is hachis parmentier. That is the French word for better than shepherd’s pie.

This is good eating. Flat out wonderful. It’s so good it’s worth making stew just to make hachis parmentier.


Hachis parmentier elevates shepherd's pie into something wonderful.


I am not a fan of classic shepherd’s pie. It’s bland. It’s dull. Not something I ever want to eat.

I’m am also 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.

I’m pretty much a no ketchup zone. Until I have to eat classic shepherd’s pie.  Then I want it. Lots of it. 

Hachis parmentier, on the other hand I can eat anytime. With a big grin on my face. Stands on it’s own. No ketchup required.


Hachis parmentier elevates shepherd's pie into something wonderful.


Beef stew and mashed potatoes make magic 

Hachis parmentier elevates shepherd's pie into something wonderful.

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.

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. If you are looking for a really good beef stew these braised short ribs will do nicely.

Grown up shepherds pie. Hachis parmentier. Try it sometime. You need to. Once you do you’ll never look back. I bet you will wonder why you ever made shepherds pie with ground beef and peas.


Hachis parmentier elevates shepherd's pie into something wonderful.
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5 from 3 votes

hachis parmentier - grown up shepherds pie

Hachis parmentier is a grown up version of shepherds pie. Ground beef is replaced by stew and mashed potatoes are enriched with cheese and egg yolk.
Course Main
Cuisine French
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 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
  • 3/8 cup warm milk
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 4 oz gruyere cheese grated
  • salt to taste


  • Raise the rack in your oven. You may need to run the broiler briefly to brown the potatoes.
  • Pre-heat your oven to 350.
  • Boil potatoes in well salted water.
  • 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.
  • Using a fork, mash the butter and flour together. You want this well mixed.
  • Off heat, add the butter/flour mixture to the stew and stir to combine.
  • Mash potatoes with 1 Tbsp of butter and the warmed milk.
  • Add the egg and cheese and mix.
  • Put the thickened stew in an ovenproof dish and top with mashed potato mixture.
  • Smooth the potatoes then drag a fork through the potatoes to create some texture. Or you could just use a spatula to rough up the top like I did.
  • Bake for about 20 minutes. Place a cookie sheet below to catch any drips.
  • If you want to brown the top, broil briefly but watch carefully to make sure you don't over brown the potatoes.
  • Let stand about 15 minutes and serve.

13 thoughts on “hachis parmentier – grown up shepherds 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.

  3. o_O ketchup on shepherds pie? hahaha! 🙂 Funny but damn! this looks absolutely fantastic! That browning of the potatoe looks so crispy!! I honestly would have not thought of ever using leftover stew for shepherds pie! Thanks so much for the inspiration. 🙂

    • Ketchup needed only for traditional shepherd’s pie. Absolutely no reason to use ketchup with this version!

  4. I’m with ya…I really detest ketchup…I don’t use it on anything! ?What I love is a Beef Stew Shepards Pie! Thanks for putting this out there …I’ve been doing this with leftover stew for years! Yours is delicious! The only difference I do is I mash the potatoes with butter, cream cheese, sour cream, salt & pepper ?Happy foodie to you!

  5. Can’t say I’ve had a problem with regular cottage pie, but for years I’ve made it including carrots and garlic, with cheese on top of the buttery mashed potatoes, somit’s been more this style.
    I don’t eat ketchup….

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