This is a combination of my favorite corned beef and cabbage recipe, and my favorite shepherd's pie recipe. It involves a few extra steps when compared to your traditional boiled beef dinner, but the payoff at the end is well worth the extra effort. By layering the ingredients in a casserole dish, each serving has the perfect proportions of beef, cabbage, carrots, and potatoes.

Recipe Summary

40 mins
4 hrs 50 mins
10 mins
5 hrs 40 mins
8 servings


Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Put corned beef in a pot with onion and celery and sprinkle spice packet over top. Pour in cold water to cover. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Skim off and discard any foam if desired. Once boiling, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer gently until tender, about 3 1/2 hours. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 145 degrees F (63 degrees C).

  • Carefully remove corned beef to a bowl and let cool. Taste broth and add salt if needed.

  • Bring broth to a boil over high heat. Add cabbage to the boiling broth. Cook until cabbage just starts to soften and sweeten up, about 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon and remove cabbage to a bowl.

  • Add carrots to the boiling broth. Cook until carrots start to soften, about 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon and remove carrots to a bowl.

  • Add potatoes to the boiling broth and reduce heat to medium. Cook until tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

  • While the potatoes are cooking, slice the cooled corned beef along the fatty seam to separate into 2 pieces. Identify the direction of the meat fibers and cut across them (against the grain) to slice into 1/4-inch thick slices, trimming off and discarding any giant pieces of fat. Set aside.

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Butter a 9x15-inch casserole dish.

  • Use a slotted spoon and remove cooked potatoes to a bowl. Reserve broth. Add butter, salt, pepper, cayenne, and milk to the potatoes. Mix and mash until very smooth. Toss in 3/4 cup Cheddar cheese and mix until incorporated.

  • Pour cabbage into the prepared casserole dish and press on it until nicely compacted. Evenly distribute and press carrots over the cabbage. Place a nice, even layer of corned beef on top, overlapping a bit and distributing the nice fatty pieces evenly until fully covered. Pour in 1 cup of the reserved broth. Dollop mashed potatoes over top, then spread into a uniform layer with the back of a spatula. Switch to a fork and push potatoes to the edge of the dish. Then drag the fork sideways back and forth over the potatoes to create a texture. Repeat this texture going top to bottom over the potatoes. Sprinkle with a little more Cheddar.

  • Bake in the center of the preheated oven until beautifully browned and piping hot, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

  • Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, warm any remaining broth over medium-low heat.

  • Cut Shepherd's pie into squares and garnish with scallions. Serve with warmed broth.


Chef's Notes:

When you buy your corned beef you usually have a choice between a flat, lean one and a thick, fatty one. Use the thick, fatty one if you can get it.

You can use any green cabbage in place of Savoy, and any Cheddar cheese you like.

This technique is perfect for making individual-sized portions, just use small baking dishes.

Editor's Note:

Nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of corned beef broth. The actual amount of broth consumed will vary.

Nutrition Facts

664 calories; protein 31.3g; carbohydrates 59g; fat 35.3g; cholesterol 143.5mg; sodium 1330mg. Full Nutrition


Rating: 5 stars
Omg this was so good Read More
Rating: 4 stars
This was super tasty but very labor intensive. I couldn’t find Savoy cabbage so I grabbed two of the smallest regular heads of I could find on the shelf, and that wound up being about twice as much as I really needed. That’s my own substitution though so I don’t hold it against the recipe. If I did have one thing to change though it’d be to “follow your heart” on how many carrots you really need. I used three as instructed and it was a bit of thought work to ensure that every serving at least got some hint of carrot in it. I’d have used maybe five or six carrots to do it over. But I can’t argue with the results. Deprived of the bars and parades and other usual trappings of St. Patrick’s Day, this recipe was part of the stay-at-home substitution and was good enough that, despite the effort, it’s probably become a tradition in its own right. Just know what you’re getting yourself into, particularly if like me you don’t have a dishwasher. I froze the leftover broth to use in boiling potatoes come Christmas or Thanksgiving. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
The recipe was very good! It came out pretty good as reflected in the double photo. I let the potatoes get over cooked due to temperature fluctuations of my oven but it was still good overall. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Incredible! The buttery, cheesy mashed potatoes on top of the corned beef and cabbage is a game changer. CJ does it again. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Made this today and it turned out fantastically!!! The whole family loved it! Thanks Chef John!? Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Hey Chef John from! Made this tonight on St. Paddy's day and it was a hit! My corned beef wasn't quite corned enough, so I put a thin layer of stone ground mustard between the beef and the potatoes and that did the trick! Not the prettiest picture, but it's delicious. Thanks for the recipe! Long time watcher, first time reviewer, Justin Read More
Rating: 5 stars
It's incredibly good! I made it in small tins for individual servings because they're just for me and froze them. This stuff is great! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I made this tonight and it was a big hit. There were more steps than I'm used to when it comes to making a corned beef dish, but it was worth the time. The only changes I made were adding some garlic powder, salt and pepper on top of the cabbage mixture and adding extra cheese to the mashed potatoes (probably 1 1/4 cup total cheese including what was sprinkled on top). I've already been asked when this will be made again. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
It takes a while to make but it turned out great. will probably make it again next year Read More