Friday, 1 May 2009

Shepherd's Pie

Originally a poor man's way of using up leftovers, Shepherd's Pie is warm, tasty and satisfying- the ultimate British comfort food. Succulent lamb mince and vegetables in a thick flavourful tomato gravy, baked under a creamy mashed potato and cheese topping... mmm.

If you don't like lamb (re: if you are someone I just cannot relate to), feel free to replace with beef/any other mince but please be informed that you would then be making Cottage Pie and not Shepherd's Pie. That's right, no sheep meat no shepherd name :)

Dry fry together for 10 minutes until browned:
500g minced lamb
2 onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

Stir in 2 tbsp flour. Add and bring to boil:
2 carrots, finely chopped
1 tin (400g) chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
100ml beef stock (or 1 cube beef stock diluted in 1/3 cup water)
Salt and black pepper

*Change it up as you please: add different vegetables e.g. peas, chopped leeks and mushrooms, herbs like bay leaves or thyme or crumble in a few crushed dried chillies for a spicy kick.

Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Pour into a casserole dish and set aside.

Potato topping:
1 kg potatoes- boil until tender and mash. Stir in:
5 tbsp hot milk
30g soft butter
Salt and black pepper

Spoon the mash over the meat and spread to cover completely (without being too smooth- little rough bits give it a nice rustic appearance). Sprinkle with lots of grated cheese (any melty kind you like) and bake 30 minutes until bubbling and golden brown.

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