Guinness Lamb and Parsnip Cottage Pie

Guinness Lamb and Parsnip Cottage PieAfter spending two months in Dublin, Ireland, one cannot help but be influenced by the food. Cabbage, potatoes, seafood, lamb, Irish butter and Guinness are just a few of the commonly used Irish ingredients that inspired me.

It’s not to get excited when I talk about Ireland. This green country produces some of the best milk and butter I’ve ever tasted. They are so sweet, it’s almost like they’ve been sweetened with sugar. But it’s the year around green grass that not only makes happy cows but happy lambs as well. Irish lamb is very tender and tasty.

Guinness Lamb and Parsnip Cottage PieCottage pie is a common dish in Ireland. It’s also easy to make. Toss together some meat and veggies in a creamy sauce and top with mashed potatoes. You can usually use up leftover mashed potatoes making cottage pie.

My Guinness Lamb and Parsnip Cottage pie recipe dips heavily into Irish ingredients, using Guinness (one cannot visit Ireland without being exposed to plenty of Guinness), spring lamb and lots of Irish butter and milk.

I also used a mixture of parsnips and potatoes for my mashed topping but you can use potatoes, turnips, sweet potatoes or whatever beautiful root vegetables you like. Get creative!

Guinness Lamb and Parsnip Cottage PieAnd of course, you can switch out the Guinness for your favorite lager, but do remember bitter is key here because everything else leans towards sweet flavors. The bitter lager is beautiful in the creamy sauce with the lamb, parsnips, carrots and peas.

Do remember to only do a flash sear on the lamb because it also cooks while in the oven. Overcooked lamb becomes very tough and chewy.

Guinness Lamb and Parsnip Cottage Pie

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Bitter Guinness Black Lager pairs perfectly with lamb, herbs and sweet parsnips in this recipe inspired by the traditional Irish cottage pie


4 parsnips, peeled and diced

3 medium-size red potatoes, diced

4 carrots, chopped

1 cup kale, chopped

1 cup frozen green peas

1 lb. lamb chopped into bite-size pieces

5 Tbsp. all-purpose flour, divided

1 medium-size onion, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic

5 Tbsp. olive oil, divided

5 Tbsp. Irish salted butter, divided

¼ tsp. ground white pepper

1 tsp. garlic powder, divided

½ tsp. cinnamon, divided

1 cup Guinness Black Lager

2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 1/2 cups whole milk, divided

Salt and pepper to taste



Mash instructions:

Place parsnips and potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water.

Bring to a boil, before reducing to a simmer and cook until soft enough to mash.

Drain well.

Return vegetables to the pot and mash with a potato masher or fork.

Add ½ cup milk, 2 Tbsp. butter, 3 Tbsp. olive oil and season with salt. Mix well.

Add more milk if needed to reach desired consistency. Set mash aside until needed.

Lamb Filling Instructions:

Season lamb with salt, pepper, ground white pepper, ½ tsp. garlic powder, ¼ tsp. cinnamon and 2 Tbsp. flour.

Stir to coat meat.

Sear meat to rare, in a large hot skillet, in 2 Tbsp. oil over medium-high heat. Set lamb aside until needed.

Reduce heat to medium. Add another drizzle of oil and 3 Tbsp. of butter to pan and cook onions until soft. Add carrots and garlic. Sauté for about 30 seconds, before adding remaining 3 Tbsp. flour, white pepper, garlic powder and cinnamon. Cook while stirring, for about 2 minutes.

Slowly begin to add the Guinness, stirring constantly, to prevent lumps. Allow Guinness to simmer for about 2 minutes, then start to add milk.

Add Worchestshire sauce while the lager is simmering. By adding in increments, you allow the sauce to thicken without lumps.

Allow the sauce to thicken to desired thickness, before stirring in prepared lamb and peas.

Completed Dish:

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Pour the mixture into a greased or buttered casserole dish.

Cover the lamb mix with a layer of the parsnip mash.*

Pop into the oven until steaming hot, around 20 to 30 minutes. If you like browned top, turn the oven to broil for the last five minutes of baking.

Allow the dish to rest for about 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

*Dish is also perfect for making ahead and freezing for a later meal. Just cover with freezer wrap and pop into the oven at 350 F to defrost and bake.

More Lovely Cottage Pie Variations to Try:

Cottage Pie from My Gorgeous Recipes

Lentil Sheppard’s Pie from A Virtual Vegan

Butternut Squash Topped Cottage Pie from An Edible Mosaic

Vegan Sheppard’s Pie from As Easy As Apple Pie

Individual Cottage Pies with Cauliflower Topping from Living Chirpy

2 Comments Add yours

  1. As soon as I saw the title, I thought is Heidi turning into an irish girl? Looks like a great meal.

    1. Heidi Medina says:

      LOL, Jovina. Well two months in Ireland was bound to rub off a little. But I also learned plenty of other tricks from other countries as well. 🙂

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