Budget Corned Beef Shepherd's Pie

This flavourful version blends the usual minced beef with canned corned beef for a comforting, affordable meal.

 With the economy in the doldrums these days, it’s a good time to experiment with recipes that utilise cheaper ingredients for maximum flavour. So we’ve come up with this corned beef shepherd’s pie. It almost halves your grocery bill by mixing canned corned beef with a bit of freshly ground beef (using just the canned version alone proved too mushy).

beef shepherd pie 2

This more affordable option gives the classic British pie a savoury depth and richness you won’t get from plain minced meat. A dusting of buttered panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) gives the surface a light crunch. Delish.

Corned Beef Shepherd's Pie

Serves 2 - 4


5 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into large cubes

1 tsp salt

70g butter

¼ cup milk

For corned beef filling:

1 tbsp cooking oil

1 medium red onion, chopped

1 cup minced beef (about 225g)

2 red chillies, chopped

½ tsp salt

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 cup frozen mixed vegetables (like peas, corn and carrots)

1 can corned beef

½ cup spaghetti sauce (like Prego’s Traditional)

2 tbsp tomato ketchup

½ tsp ground white pepper

½ cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)

30g butter, melted


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add potatoes and salt and simmer till the potatoes are very tender. About 10 mins.
  2. Drain the potatoes and push them through a ricer into a large bowl.
  3. Add the butter to the potatoes and stir to form a mash. Add the milk and some salt to taste and mix evenly. Set aside.
  4. To make the filling, heat the oil in a large pan and add the onion. Fry till the onions are soft, about 5 mins, then add the minced beef, chillies, salt and Worcestershire sauce.
  5. Stir-fry for about 5 mins, or until any moisture that the meat releases has evaporated, then add the mixed vegetables and corned beef.
  6. Fry until there isn’t much moisture left in the pan and the corned beef has darkened, then add the spaghetti sauce and ketchup.
  7. Mix evenly and bring to a boil. Taste and add more salt if necessary.
  8. Add pepper and stir. Remove from the heat.
  9. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  10. Pour the filling into the bottom of a 25cm x 15cm x 6cm baking dish, then top with the mashed potatoes.
  11. Toss the panko in a bowl with melted butter, then spread it in an even layer across the pie’s surface.
  12. Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes, or until the top is golden-brown and the filling bubbles gently up the sides of the dish.

beef shepherd pie small

 Photos & video: Ealbert Ho

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