Pastel Tutup – Indonesian Shepperds Pie

Pastel tutup is what they call this shepeherd’s pie it in Indonesia. This dish is highly popular, especially among the Javanese community. This is quite different from the pastel ayam (Indonesian Empanadas). Pastel tutup has a stir-fried filling usually consists of ground meat, veggies, bean thread noodles (soun), wood ear mushrooms, seasonings, and spices, sandwiched in between layers of creamy mashed potatoes and then baked. Now you can see why it’s a marriage between the East and the West. It bears a lot of similarities with Shepherd’s Pie or Cottage Pie. The difference is in the filling, which has been adapted to more Asian flavor.


Mashed potatoes:
  • 800gr potatoes 
  • 3tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2tsp salt
  • 1/4tsp ground white pepper
  • 2 egg yolks

How to prepare:

  • Peel the potatoes and cut into smaller pieces
  • Boil them in a saucepan with water enough to cover the potatoes for about 10 minutes or so or until they are fork-tender
  • Drain off water and return it to the pot to let it dry off the extra liquid
  • Mash the potatoes while they are still warm with butter, cream, salt, pepper, and yolks until they are well-combined


  • 3tbsp butter
  • 1 large onion – diced
  • 700gr ground chicken – I used about 350 gr leftover rotisserie chicken meat
  • 2tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 80gr diced carrots
  • 80gr peas
  • 1 1/2tsp salt – or more to taste
  • 1/4tsp sugar
  • 1/2tsp nutmeg powder
  • 1/4tsp coriander powder

How to prepare:

  • Preheat a skillet/wok, when it’s hot add butter
  • Add diced onion and stir fry until fragrant and soft, about 3 minutes
  • Add the ground meat and stir fry until they turn color and cooked through, about 3 minutes or so.
  • Sprinkle in the all-purpose flour, mushrooms, noodles, seasonings and spices and broth
  • Bring to a gentle simmer and then cover to let it slowly simmer for about 10 minutes
  • Stir in the mixed veggies and give it a stir
  • The sauce has thickened slightly. Have a taste and adjust by adding more salt if necessary

Assembling the pastel tutup:

  • Preheat oven to 400 F (204 C). Use a 7 x 11 inch glass baking dish
  • Spread half of the mashed potato mixture on the bottom of the dish
  • Spread the filling evenly on top of it after that
  • Cover the filling with the rest of the mashed potato mixture starting from the edge to prevent the filling from bubbling up while baking
  • Smooth it with a rubber spatula


  • Place the dish in the oven, third rack from the top and bake for about 25 minutes until the top just lightly golden brown. If you want a deeper golden brown, you can turn on the broiler (top heat) and broil it for few minutes until you are happy with the color, but watch it closely or it may create burn spots later


  • Remove from the oven and let it cools down for 15 minutes before serving

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