Shepherd's pie makes a comeback in Sydney

Justin North's shepherd's pie at The Centennial.
Justin North's shepherd's pie at The Centennial. Photo: Supplied

Shepherd's pie sound a little ho-hum? The sort of thing you might whip up at home on a Monday night using leftovers?

Sydney's top-shelf chefs didn't get the memo, as the city where no food stone is left unturned is elevating it to the quiet hit of 2014.

There it was on the opening menu at The Centennial when chef Justin North rebooted the Woollahra hotel in April.

Over at The Henson they reinvented it with duck, and MoVida chef Frank Camorra gave the dish a lentil flavour in a recipe for Good Food.

"Ten years ago shepherd's pie was sniffed at," says Four in Hand Dining owner-chef Colin Fassnidge.

Lentil flavour: Frank Camorra's shepherd's pie.
Lentil flavour: Frank Camorra's shepherd's pie. Photo: Marina Oliphant

"We mince our own lamb for ours. To tell the truth we sell too much of it. It can become a pain in the arse and we occasionally take it off the menu," Fassnidge says.

Even gastro temple Arras can't shake the dish.

"Years ago I did a version called sea shepherd's pie," says Adam Humphrey, chef-owner at the toqued diner. "I have a customer in Melbourne who eats here once a month and emails me what he'd like when he comes up."

This Friday, Arras - best-known for innovative creations such as red cabbage jelly - will serve the customer a traditional shepherd's pie.