The Best Shepherd's Pie in Toronto
The best Shepherd's Pie in Toronto evokes images of cobblestone streets and old English stout. While we might not have the streets (though if you squint hard enough at a pothole-marked Steeles Ave., it might start to look like cobblestone) and the stout is only sporadically available, Toronto does have some pretty decent options for an authentic plate of hearty Shepherd's Pie.
Traditionalists vow it must be made with lamb, ideally braised with wine or beer and mixed with carrots, peas, and other vegetables. The top crust--the mash--may be classic or garlic flavoured, but always generously applied, fluffy, and crispy on the edges where the oven has done its thing. Bangers on the side? That's a matter of preference.
Here is the list of the best Shepherd's Pie in Toronto.
Stout Irish Pub in Cabbagetown makes its Shepherd’s Pie with ground lamb (sticklers for precision would argue that Shepherd’s Pie by definition is made with lamb; the beef variety is called ‘Cottage Pie’), which has been braised with red wine, roasted with vegetables, and topped with garlic mashed potatoes and leeks. Gluten free as well. More »
The Monk’s Table has a great selection of European draft beer but uses just one variety (an English ale) to make its signature Shepherd’s Pie. The hearty dish uses seasoned ground lamb, vegetables, and a mashed potato crust, all topped with cheddar and a bit of Stilton for the full English experience. $12. More »
This is pub fare at perhaps its most pricey, with the Shepherd’s Pie at Le Petit Castor ringing in at about $22. The recipe, at least, sticks with the traditional (no little beavers in this mix, in other words), with ground lamb, peas, carrots, and mashed potatoes. More »
Another $20+ option but this one involves truffles. Habits Gastropub in Little Italy makes its Shepherd’s Pie with lamb braised with Amsterdam Nut Brown Ale, tosses it in some pearl onions and roots, and tops it off with truffled mashed potatoes. I bet that’s how the rich shepherds did it. More »
North York’s answer to grilled lamb sausages, apple and Stilton salad, and chicken pot pie. A list like that of course includes Shepherd’s pie, which is made with lamb and vegetables in a house gravy and topped with scallion mashed potatoes. $13 More »
For those who like their Shepherd’s Pie with a side of rowdy beer-drinkers and group sing-alongs. The Shepherd’s Pie here is traditionally Irish, made using Ontario lamb, carrots, peas, corn, and a mashed potato crust. Lots of European beer options to go alongside. $16 More »
The Roy’s Shepherd’s Pie is actually made with beef. Rowe Farms grain-fed naturally raised beef, but beef. While the semantic police may be preparing to storm the doors with “Cottage Pie” signs, the rest of us can enjoy the fairly priced ($12) dish made with carrots, peas, corn, and homemade mashed potatoes. More »
Another blasphemous version of the traditional lamb pie, made at The Lakeview with seasoned ground beef. The classic plate, which, unfortunately, is not available during those 3 a.m. drop-bys, is made with Lakeview’s house gravy along with carrots, peas, corn, and a mashed potato crust. $13 More »