RECIPE: Make Fado Irish Pub’s Shepherd’s Pie

Fado Irish Pub’s Shepherd’s Pie  
Courtesy of Fado Irish Pub
Fado Irish Pub’s Shepherd’s Pie Courtesy of Fado Irish Pub

I’d like to get the recipe for Fado’s Shepherd’s Pie with colcannon. My husband’s grandmother taught me to make this many, many years ago and I lost the recipe. Please can you help? — M.J. Letoha, Duluth

In sharing this recipe, Fado’s brand manager John Piccirillo wrote, “This dish has been a guest favorite for close to 20 years. Our founder, Kieran McGill, is from Ireland, and our recipe was inspired by how they make it at home. Shepherd’s Pie is traditionally made with lamb, but we use beef. It’s richer, and we feel it makes a better dish. Our culinary team took his input and created the dish we have today.”

The restaurant serves each pie in an individual 8-inch cast-iron skillet.

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A note about the ingredients: the restaurant prepares its browning sauce in-house. They suggest home cooks use Kitchen Bouquet. They make the demi-glace using Knorr’s powdered demi-glace sauce mix and recommend you use that at home. You can purchase this mix, which comes in a 28-ounce container, and follow the container directions to make 2 cups.

Another option is to purchase two packages of More Than Gourmet Classic French Demi-Glace. Each 1.5-ounce package of demi-glace concentrate can be reconstituted in hot water to make 1 cup. The More Than Gourmet product can be found in some grocery stores in the soup and sauce section. The soup section is also where you will find beef soup base.

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Fado Irish Pub’s Shepherd’s Pie
  • 2/3 cup 1/4-inch diced carrot
  • 1/2 cup 1/4-inch diced celery
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup 1/4-inch diced yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup 1/4-inch diced leek, white part only
  • 2 cups warm demi-glace (see note)
  • 1 tablespoon browning sauce (see note)
  • 2 teaspoons beef soup base
  • 1/4 cup canola or other vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • Salt and white pepper
  • Colcannon (see recipe)
  • On a medium saucepan filled with 1/2-inch water, insert vegetable steamer. Add carrot and celery and bring water to a boil. Cover pot and steam vegetables until tender, about 10 minutes. Keep warm.
  • Make filling: while vegetables are steaming, in a large saucepot over medium-high heat, cook ground beef until browned. Drain ground beef from pot and discard all the rendered fat. Reduce heat to low, return the beef to the pot and add steamed vegetables, onion, leek, demi-glace, browning sauce and soup base. Bring mixture to a simmer.
  • Make roux: while beef mixture is coming to a simmer, in a small skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Slowly stir in flour and whisk until mixture turns golden brown, about 5 minutes.
  • Slowly stir roux into beef mixture, stirring to prevent lumps. Then simmer filling 20 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add salt and white pepper, if needed.
  • Heat broiler. Lightly grease four 8-inch heatproof baking dishes or cast-iron skillets.
  • Divide the filling between baking dishes. Put the Colcannon into a piping bag fitted with a fluted tip, and divide the Colcannon between baking dishes, covering the filling by piping in a circular pattern moving from the outside of the dish to the center. If you don’t have a piping bag, you can use a food-safe plastic bag with one corner cut off to pipe the mixture, or simply spoon the Colcannon over the filling.
  • Heat the pies under the broiler, just until the Colcannon begins to develop golden edges. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

Nutritional information

Per serving: Per serving: 436 calories (percent of calories from fat, 64), 25 grams protein, 14 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 31 grams total fat (8 grams saturated), 77 milligrams cholesterol, 401 milligrams sodium.


Prepare the colcannon while the Shepherd’s Pie filling is simmering so it will be hot when you pipe it on top of the pies. If you don’t have cooked cabbage on hand, chop 1/4 cup cabbage and add it to the potatoes during the last 10 minutes of cooking. It will cook along with the potatoes. Just drain them together and proceed with the recipe.

  • 8 cups water
  • 1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons 1/4-inch diced cooked cabbage
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add potatoes and boil 20 to 30 minutes or until tender. Drain and move hot potatoes to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add green onion, parsley, cabbage, butter, milk, salt and pepper. Turn mixer to low speed and mix for about 3 minutes or until everything is completely incorporated. Taste for seasoning. Keep warm until ready to use. Makes 5 cups.

Nutritional information

Per serving: Per serving, based on 4: 192 calories (percent of calories from fat, 27), 4 grams protein, 32 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, 6 grams total fat (4 grams saturated), 16 milligrams cholesterol, 255 milligrams sodium.

From the menu of ... Fado Irish Pub, 273 Buckhead Ave., Atlanta. 404-841-0066,

Is there a recipe from a metro Atlanta restaurant you’d like to make at home? Tell us and we’ll try to get it. We’ll also test it and adapt it for the home kitchen. Because of volume, we can’t answer all inquiries. Send your request, your address and phone number to and put “From the menu of” and the name of the restaurant in the subject line.

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