This 1700s St. Patrick's Day Staple Is the ULTIMATE Comfort Food | Ancient Recipes With Sohla

This 1700s St. Patrick's Day Staple Is the ULTIMATE Comfort Food | Ancient Recipes With Sohla 1

Sohla recreates a Saint Patrick’s Day staple – Shepherd’s Pie. This old school Shepherd’s Pie recipe encompasses the very root of the Irish culture.


– 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
– kosher salt
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– 1 tablespoon butter
– 1 ½ pounds lean ground lamb
– 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped
– 1 cup finely chopped carrots
– ½ cup fresh shelled peas
– 4 garlic cloves, smashed, peeled, & finely chopped
– 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
– Freshly ground black pepper
– ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
– ½ cup unsalted cultured butter, room temperature
– ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk, warm and divided
– 6 ounces Irish cheddar, grated
– 1 egg yolk

1. Put the potatoes into a medium saucepan and cover with water. Season generously with salt and gently simmer until tender.
2. Meanwhile, heat oil and butter in a medium dutch oven over medium-high heat until foamy.
3. Add the ground lamb and break up with a wooden spoon.
4. Sprinkle over 2 teaspoons kosher salt and cook undisturbed until browned underneath. Reduce heat to medium.
5. Add onions and carrots. Cook, stirring occasionally until the onions and carrots are tender.
6. Add the peas, garlic, rosemary, pepper, and flour and stir to combine. Break up the meat even more.
7. Cook, stirring constantly, until the flour begins to smell nutty, about 2 minutes.
8. Add 1 ½ cups water, scrape up any fond.
9. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.
10. Drain the potatoes.
11. In a large bowl, mash the potatoes with butter, ½ cup milk, black pepper, and kosher salt. Add cheese and mix well to combine.
12. Beat egg yolk with remaining 2 tablespoons milk and mix into mash.
13. Spread half the mashed potatoes into the dish. Top with lamb mixture.
14. Then finish top with remaining mashed potatoes.
15. Bake at 425F until browned and bubbly, about 15 to 20 minutes.


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Ancient Recipes with Sohla takes the food you know and love and traces it back to its origins. In each episode, Sohla El-Waylly details the surprising history of some of our favorite dishes as she attempts to recreate the original version using historical cooking techniques and ingredients. Along the way, Sohla highlights the differences between the ancient recipe and how we would prepare the modern version today.

HISTORY® is the leading destination for award-winning original series and specials that connect viewers with history in an informative, immersive, and entertaining manner across all platforms. The network’s all-original programming slate features a roster of hit series, premium documentaries, and scripted event programming.


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  1. Garlic is nothing to do with Irish cooking now, so where’s the thinking it was used it in the 1700’s? Basic would have been meat, root veg, onion with a potato topping…nothing more.

  2. With my family, it's always been beef in Shepherd's Pie – and that's even with my dad being from England, himself. The way he always explained it is that a shepherd wouldn't be eating their own animals, which were worth more to them on the market than on the plate.

  3. Dear Sola, do you know "Vermicelles"? Its I think a very traditional dessert of northern italie or the ticino. Made out of chesnuts, that were for so long as important for this region as the patatoes für ireland. Now its a very luxurius thing that you eat on top of wipped cream or ice cream and meringues… or all three together and then the Vermicelles on top and topped with a bit of fruit jam. We always buy the paste in a shop and press it at home through a special tool so we get the spaghettie like form of the chesnut paste. I really absolutly am convinced that you would dig in this stuff:) And I have no clou how it is made or where it comes from…

  4. I wonder if the Worchestershire sauce with ground beef is basically to give a less flavorful meat more zip to make it fake the fuller flavor of lamb? And no shade on that combo… it's delicious.

  5. the back story is bollox as is the recipe they used leftover lamb from the previous day it was peasant food and COTTAGE = BEEF, SHEPHERDS=LAMB STOP SWAPPING BACK AND FORTH LIKE YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR TALKING ABOUT COS YOU DONT

  6. @History I like the historic bit of these videos, but come on… please have a proper chef cooking and presenting the dishes. She ends up burning most of them which really does not contribute for the otherwise great History video.

  7. Funnily enough ancient irish cooking before the greater part of British colonisation and dominance here was full of herbs and aromatic vegetables with wild garlic bring used in abundance with some of the ancient bog butter being actually flavoured With garlic; rosemary was like brought here through trade with Roman Britain in around the 3rd century AD; and things like onions, carrots, parsnips, celery cabbage, broccoli, turnip, spring onions, leeks, fennel, and herbs like parsley, thyme, caraway, and sage as well as fruits and nuts like chestnuts, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, apples, pears etc. There was also an extensive cheese and dairy industry here along with bread and sweet beer too. Moreover, there's some evidence to suggest that the modern Irish word for sweet 'milis' came from a specific dish in which milk or creamy was sweetened heavily with honey and meats like deer, poultry, lamb, beef, and pork were eaten too as well as lots of fish. So there is/should be a rich culinary history here but once Ireland became colonised and a lot of food was shipped to Britain and land was carved up and pribtised for wealthy landlords and the earls and lords people couldn't hunt, farm, or gather crops and meats in the same way they had done in centuries previous

  8. If it’s made with beef it’s cottage pie. If it’s made with lamb or mutten it’s shepherds pie. Many people incorrectly call the beef version shepherds pie

  9. This was so lovely! Shepherd's pie is one of my favorite foods to make for crowds and it also is a great make and freeze casserole to give to friends, so it was cool to learn more about it.

  10. The depth of field on the camera they are using to film this (which I'm sure is amazing) makes it look like it was filmed on a green screen. Technology is awesome.

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