Sophie Dahl's shepherd's pie with champ recipe

(226 ratings)

These shepherd's pies with champ, from The new BBC series, The Delicious Miss Dahl, are made with mince beef, plus meat-free puy lentil fillings

Preparation Time30 mins
Cooking Time1 hours (approx)
Total Time1 hours 30 mins (approx)

These tasty little shepherd's pies are from episode two of Sophie Dahl's BBC cookery programme, The Delicious Miss Dahl. They can be made with a meat filling, or choose the veggie option and fill them with puy lentils


For the champ topping:

  • Sea salt
  • 6 floury potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • Handful of frozen peas
  • 4 spring onions roughly chopped
  • knob of butter
  • 50ml milk
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 150g Cheddar cheese, broken into chunks
  • ¼tsp smoked paprika

For the tomato sauce base:

  • 2 red onions, peeled androughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 4 small carrots, peeled and chopped into small pieces
  • 2 sticks of celery,chopped into small pieces
  • 2 cans plum tomatoes
  • 1tbsp Worcestershire sauce 
  • 1tsp Tabasco
  • ¼tsp smoked paprika 
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 175ml red wine
  • 200ml vegetable stock 
  • Couple of springs of rosemary
  • Splash of balsamic vinegar
  • Small handful of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

For the beef mixture:

  • 250g lean beef mince

For the lentil mixture:

  • 1 tin puy lentils 




  1. For the champ topping, heat a pan of water, season with salt and add the potatoes and bring gently to the boil, simmer gently.
  2. For the tomato sauce base, heat a large frying pan and add some olive oil. Add the chopped onion, garlic, carrots and celery and fry gently to soften a little for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Add the tinned tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, smoked paprika, bay leaves, red wine, vegetable stock and the rosemary.
  4. Add the balsamic vinegar and some roughly chopped parsley and season well with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil.
  5. At this stage the sauce needs to cook for a few minutes on a medium heat until the vegetables are soft and then it is ready to be divided in two.
  6. For the beef mince: Heat a frying pan, add a pack of lean beef mince and fry off until the mince is a nice brown colour.
  7. Transfer half the tomato sauce into the browned beef.
  8. Add the tin of lentils to the remaining tomato sauce.
  9. Leave both frying pans on the hob while you finish the champ.
  10. Now finish off the champ topping. When the potatoes are almost done add the frozen peas and cook for a further minutes.
  11. Chop the spring onions, melt a knob of butter in a small saucepan and then soften the onions in the butter.
  12. Once the onions are softened add the milk and heat gently.
  13. Drain the potatoes and peas and mash roughly.
  14. Add the milk/butter/spring onion mixture to the potatoes and continue to mash until you have lovely chunky mash.
  15. Spoon either some of the lentil or beef mixture into an individual pie dish.
  16. Top each of the side dishes with half of the champ. Crumble over the cheese and smoked paprika
  17. Place your individual shepherd's pie on a baking sheet in a preheated oven at 200ºC for about 25 - 30 minutes.
Top Tip for making Sophie Dahl's shepherd's pie with champ

Champ is a creamy Irish mashed potato dish with chopped spring onions mixed in. Sophie Dahl also uses peas and chunks of cheese in her champ to make it even more delicious.

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