hachis parmentier – grown up shepherds pie

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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4.84 from 6 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.

25 thoughts on “hachis parmentier – grown up shepherds pie”

  1. You need to get out more.
    Gary Rhodes’ Shepherds Pie recipe is a good place to start!
    Shepherds= Sheep=Lamb
    Hachis Parmentier is an excellent alternative interpretation. Far too much potato for me though.
    A fantastic entrée in a bistro on a cold night on the Normandy coast.

    • Haha. Perhaps you haven’t acquired a taste for my dry sense of humour. Or perhaps I haven’t yet acquired a taste for yours:-)

      The vernacular is different on this side of the Atlantic btw. We don’t have the concept of cottage pie. What is called shepherd’s pie here is your cottage pie.

      The “cottage pie” I am laughing at has corn and carrots and peas layered above the beef and smothered with bad mashed potatoes. Gary Rhodes would cry if confronted with it. And then he would reach for the ketchup.

  2. Have you considered that your recipe for a ‘classic’ cottage pie isn’t very good?(to be fair, what good cook actually follows a recipe to the letter?). Your stew and mash dish is probably superb (unless the stew recipe isn’t up to much) but, with a little tweaking, so is a ‘classic’ cottage pie. Ketchup? It has its place.

    • Haha. Quite possibly. However, I think you may also be missing the very tongue in cheek writing style that is glebekitchen:-)

  3. This does sound great and can’t wait to try. I feel for you all and your bland shepherds pie though. Make it with lamb and love and it won’t be bland. Also gravy not ketchup and we use cheese in the potato layer in the uk aswell.

  4. Fantastic idea. We so rarely have much leftover stew, though (it’s usually so good we eat it all). Is there a pre-made stew you could recommend if I wanted to play with this recipe? Also, are you in Ottawa?

  5. I know it doesn’t really matter, but I feel you’d appreciate the tidbit. Sheppards pie refers to the variation made with lamb mince. Cottage pie is the beef mince variation. Some people in the UK really care about the disitnction.

    Regardless, a good looking recipe that I’ll try whenever my parents are craving that classic sheppards pie taste because, like you, I find it bland and dull (like many quintessentially British dishes).

    • Haha. Yes. I have heard that and I have been corrected by more than one person from the UK. I’m in Canada and here beef is used for shepherd’s pie. The lamb variation is almost never seen – which is too bad because it would probably be better. I don’t cook either though. Hachis parmentier for me.

  6. Sounds good, I will definitely try this. Regarding ketchup: I only ever used Heinz, and that was only on cheese on white bread toast. One small bottle lasted me four or five years! Then I discovered Wilkin and Sons of Tiptree tomato sauce. What a game changer, it tastes incredible! Not mainly of vinegar like other ketchups.I now look for excuses to eat it, especially on chips/French fries, though I’d never use it on Shepherd’s pie. I have even had a teaspoonful for a taste from the bottle on occasion.

    • Haha. I found a locally produced ketchup that I quite like as well. It’s spicy, not as sweet and really tasty. It’s a bit of a stretch to call it ketchup in the Heinz sense but it is a treat on eggs or a burger and I eat spoonfuls of it regularly as well!

  7. 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….

    • Haha. That’s the only thing that can save regular shepherd’s pie. No ketchup needed on this version I hope!

  8. 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!

  9. 5 stars
    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!

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

4.84 from 6 votes (4 ratings without comment)

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