pastry rolled in a pinwheel filled with mashed potatoes, peas, carrots, and beef

Sheep Thrills (A Shepherd’s Pie Appetizer)

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Baaad Shepherd!….but, Great appetizer Ewe will love!   Seasoned Ground Beef, with small pieces of potatoes, peas, and carrots- an easy Shepard’s Pie in flakey puff pastry.  All the nostalgia and savory flavor of a simple Shepherd’s Pie in a delicious pinwheel appetizer with minced vegetables and a delicious brown puff pastry crust.  Golden light and delicious-  so hard to stop eating!

Unlike current variations of corned beef and cabbage, shepherd’s pie actually is an Irish delicacy.  This pie began as an easy Cottage Pie.  The cottage pie is made with veal and later it was traditionally made with lamb or other roasted meat.  Hundreds of years later, Shepherd’s Pie evolved to the use of fresh or previously cooked beef topped with a mashed potato crust – a practical and popular way to use leftovers.  This much-loved comfort food came from a desire to transform yesterday’s roast into a new family-pleasing savory meat pie appetizer- and this pie is packed with flavor.

We have taken these favorite flavors- and made them party-ready, hand-held, and delicious.  Move over Shepherd (or Cowboy) …Sheep Thrills is an Irish-inspired appetizer that is ready to Party!  Sure to become a St. Patrick’s Day favorite.

pastry rolled in a pinwheel filled with mashed potatoes, peas, carrots, and beef
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Sheep Thrills (A Shepherd's Pie Appetizer)

A Savory Shepherd's Pie Pinwheel Appetizer
Prep Time20 mins
Active Time1 hr
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American, Irish
Keyword: ground beef pinwheel, meat pinwheel, pinwheel, puff pastry appetizer, savory, shepherd pie appetizer, Shepherds Pie, shepherds pie pinwheel
Yield: 12
Author: Peter Pantze


  • 4 tbsp Butter
  • ½ Medium Onion Peeled and Diced
  • ½ cup Carrot Shreds
  • 1 ½ tbsp Garlic Finely Diced
  • ½ pound Ground Beef
  • 1 tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 1 tsp Italian Seasonings
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • ½ cup Frozen Peas
  • 2 cups Yukon Gold Potatoes Peeled and Cubed
  • 2 tbsp Heavy Cream
  • ½ cup Dubliner Irish Cheese Shredded
  • 1 sleeve Puff Pastry (normally 2 sleeves per pckg) Room Temperature
  • 1 Egg Whisked
  • Salt & Pepper


Mashed Potatoes

  • Peel and Cube potatoes
  • Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of salt to a boiling pot of water
  • Add potatoes to a pot and boil for 30 minutes or until tender
  • Drain potatoes
  • Add 3 tbsps of butter, cheese, and heavy cream
  • Mix until combined

Meat Filling

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees on Convection bake
  • Over medium heat pan fry 1 tbsp of butter, garlic, carrots, and onion until the onion is translucent
  • Add ground beef, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, bay leaf, Worcester sauce
  • Once the meat is browned, add salt and pepper to taste
  • Remove from heat, remove bay leaf, and mix in peas

Making the rolls

  • Spray a large cooking tray with non-stick cooking spray
  • Lay out 1 sleeve of puff pastry on a cutting board
  • Spread mashed potatoes to cover the pastry
  • Press the meat mixture into the mashed potatoes
  • Roll the pastry into a pinwheel log so that it is completed on the cutting board for easy slicing
  • With a very sharp knife, cut 1/2- inch thick spirals from the log and place them on the cooking tray
  • Brush an egg wash along the top and the sides of the pastry
  • Bake in the oven for 25 minutes
  • Enjoy!


Tip: Make sure to use a sharp knife while cutting the pastry dough to have clean swirls. 
The swirls can be frozen and baked at another time, just make sure the dough comes back to room temperature before baking. 
To reheat, we recommend using an oven or a toaster oven the keep the pastry crispy. 


Shepherds Pie with store-bought mashed potatoes- You can make this recipe even simpler with a container of Bob Evans premade mashed potatoes

Shepherd’s Pie isn’t necessarily a hamburger Shepherd’s Pie, Try your favorite meat, ground lamb veal, or ground turkey.  Savory pie filling wrapped in puff pastry sheets- Delish!  Use Spices, Salt and Pepper to taste.

Try Sheep Thrills with a delicious Cuss Kitchen cocktail: 

The Stiffy

The Harvest Hoe

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