Lamb Cobbler

Lamb Cobbler

John Cullen 0

"In Lancashire, when I were a lad, we had this at school. English cookery may be laughed at throughout the world, but this ranks alongside egg and bacon buttys on fried bread as one of the world's culinary masterpieces. Pupils would queue all lunchtime to have this, even though we knew that Nora, the chief 'cook' used to put her false teeth into anything she cooked for good luck. There is an Indian variation, based on 'qeema with peas' - if you like spicy food this will make your toes curl up."

Ingredients 1 h 45 m {{adjustedServings}} servings 459 cals

Serving size has been adjusted!

Original recipe yields 12 servings



Amount per serving ({{servings}} total)

  • Calories:
  • 459 kcal
  • 23%
  • Fat:
  • 27.2 g
  • 42%
  • Carbs:
  • 32g
  • 10%
  • Protein:
  • 19.5 g
  • 39%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 80 mg
  • 27%
  • Sodium:
  • 718 mg
  • 29%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

On Sale

What's on sale near you.


  • Prep

  • Cook

  • Ready In

  1. To make scone topping: Combine flour, baking powder, 1/4 cup Parmesan, and salt in a large bowl. Mix well. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Add milk and stir just until dough forms a ball.
  2. Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead a couple of times. until smooth. Pat out dough to about a 3/4-inch thickness and cut out 4-inch circles. Gather the dough scraps, press them together, and repeat. You should get about 12 rounds total. Place circles on a lightly floured plate or baking sheet and refrigerate.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x11-inch baking dish.
  4. To make filling: Heat the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 more minutes, taking care not to burn garlic. If using garam masala and curry paste, add them now (see Cook's Notes).
  5. Add lamb, Worcestershire sauce, brandy, port, and salt and pepper. Cook and stir until lamb is browned and cooked through, stirring frequently. Add peas to skillet and stir.
  6. Pour in 1 cup water or red wine and bring to a boil. Whisk in 1/4 cup flour. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until sauce thickens.
  7. Spread lamb mixture into prepared casserole dish. Cover with circles of scone dough, letting circles just meet at the edges but leaving room for steam to escape. Brush dough with milk, then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  8. Bake in preheated oven until scones are golden brown and filling is bubbly, about 25 to 30 minutes.
Tips & Tricks
Pistachio-Crusted Rack of Lamb

See how to make the perfect holiday lamb recipe.

Chef John’s Roasted Leg of Lamb

See how to make roasted leg of lamb with an herb, garlic, and pomegranate rub.


  • Cook's Notes:
  • For the Indian version, which I call "Qeema Cobbler," add 1 teaspoon garam masala and 1 tablespoon curry powder to the meat mixture.
  • For a different variation, use red wine instead of water to make the sauce.
Rate recipe

Your rating


Reviews 6

  1. 7 Ratings


I thought this was pretty good, but the rest of my family was not crazy about it. Probably won't be making again.


I had high hopes for this recipe, but I'm sorry I can't recommend it. One disclaimer: I had to stop halfway through, and resume cooking the next day as I did not have many of the ingredients that I thought I did. Instead of scones, I used refrigerated biscuits for the topping, and they were really good with the Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. But the lamb filling was lacking something, and tasted very gamey. Also, after baking, it turned out very greasy. Both of these are possibly due to the quality of the ground lamb. Even so, I would probably not make this again, as much of it seemed off. I'd sooner make a standard shepherd's pie, maybe with that biscuit topping.


Made just the lamb filling (steps 4 and 5), without the curry but with a pinch of mint. Served with spaghetti and brown butter. Delicious!