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Guinness Shepherd’s Pie

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Guinness Shepherd's Pie uses the Irish beer to flavor a classic Irish ground beef casserole recipe. Perfect for St Patrick's Day!

Guinness Shepherd’s Pie is a fun twist on the classic Irish recipe! Great to make for St Patrick’s Day or as a beef casserole.

A portion of the Guinness Shepherd's Pie from the side on a white plate

Guinness beer and ground beef are classic flavor pairings!

This shepherd’s pie recipe uses this pairing for a delicious and fun variation.

The Guinness beer cooks off, so it is not alcoholic, but leaves the beer flavor in the meat.

Strong enough to taste it, but not overpowering.

A spoon in the Guinness Shepherd's Pie casserole dish

I also like to make this beef casserole veggie heaving by adding a LOT of peas and carrots to the meat mixture.

You can even add other non-traditional vegetables that you love. Pearl onions and corn would be fun additions!

Adjust the portions, or even the vegetables as you want.

A pile of the cottage pie on a white plate

Shepherd’s pie is traditionally made with ground lamb.

But as the dish became popular outside of the UK, ground beef became a common substitute. Especially in the United States where beef is much more prevalent than lamb.

Technically, because it uses beef, it should be called a Guinness cottage pie. But many are not aware of the differences in these dishes.

Learn more about Shepherds Pie vs Cottage Pie.

A portion of Guinness Shepherds Pie on a small round white plate


I love to find ways too make a homemade meal faster and easier for those busy nights.

This Guinness Shepherds Pie freezes very well! So you can make a large batch and freeze some in a foil pan for a later date.

And it is also a great recipe to make in advance, without freezing, such as if you are doing a meal prep session.

Another great shortcut is using store bought mashed potatoes. And sometimes I like to lighten it up a little with a cauliflower mashed potato instead!

A spoon scooping the cottage pie out of a blue dish

Leakage from the Sauce

I get people asking me how to prevent the sauce from leaking out from under the potatoes and getting on top of the potato crust.

I have not found a fool proof way to do this.

But! If you follow the instructions below, this has been the best version I have found to date.

I did have some leakage where the sauce started to pool up on top of the potatoes, but it disappeared when ready to serve.

I think this was a combination of it going back down the sides as well as soaking through the potatoes.

Try to make the potatoes just ever so slightly mound up in the center of the dish and slope down toward the edges and corners, which should also hopefully prevent some pooling if the sauce does get up on top.

Pin image for Guinness Shepherd's Pie with a portion on a white plate and title at bottom

Guinness Shepherd’s Pie

Guinness Shepherd's Pie uses the Irish beer to flavor a classic Irish ground beef casserole recipe. Perfect for St Patrick's Day!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Irish
Keyword: Beef, Holiday
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 543kcal


Mashed Potatoes


  • Prepare your potatoes. Peel the potatoes and cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes. Cook in boiling water until tender, approximately 20-25 minutes.
  • Drain the potatoes and return to the pot. Mash with the butter and milk, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside when done.
  • While the potatoes are cooking, start your filling. Brown the ground beef in a medium to large pot over medium heat until cooked through.
  • Add the carrots and onion, and cook until softened, approximately 5 minutes.
  • Add the tomato paste, garlic, cornstarch (or flour), and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook for one minute.
  • Add the Guinness and Worcestershire to the meat, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
  • Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 10-15 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 375F.
  • Stir the peas into the beef mixture. Pour the beef mixture into a small baking dish (approximately 8×8 inches).
  • Spread the potatoes across the top of the meat in the dish, edge to edge, completely sealing the meat in to trap the moisture and juices.
  • Bake until the top is starting to brown, approximately 20 minutes. Serve warm.


If you are trying to prevent sauce from pooling on top, make an ever so subtle mound in the center of the dish with the potatoes and have the potatoes very slightly slope downward toward the edges and corners. This should help encourage the sauce to go back in the bottom instead of sitting on top.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 543kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 106mg | Sodium: 214mg | Potassium: 1003mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 3029IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 94mg | Iron: 4mg
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By on February 3rd, 2021

About Kim

Kim has grown up with a passion for cooking good food! You can find her in the kitchen experimenting with new recipes, making dog treats, and eating Italian food!

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4 thoughts on “Guinness Shepherd’s Pie”

  1. This not a shepherd’s pie. Shepherd’s pie is made with mutton or lamb. There is a clue in the name.

    What you made wih beef is a cottage pie.


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