Friday, March 14, 2014

Shepherd's Pie


Shepherd's pie is a dish that I've been meaning to try to make since I moved to the UK. It's basically the same thing as cottage pie (which is made with beef instead of lamb). And while it's called a pie, it's only topped with mashed potato - there's no pie crust needed. On a cold night, it makes the perfect warm dish to fill you up - and this could have easily served six people, which meant A and I had plenty of extra meals out of it.

Shepherd's Pie
Adapted from Jamie and Nigel


1 onion
2 carrots
2 sticks of celery

handful of button mushrooms, chopped (optional)
2 cloves of garlic
a small bunch of fresh rosemary (I used dried)

Worcestershire sauce
olive oil
500g good-quality minced lamb
1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
250ml lamb or vegetable stock

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 kg potatoes
100ml semi-skimmed milk


Boil and mash 1kg of big, floury potatoes, adding a thick slice of butter as you mash (or, if you're me, skip the butter and just add some milk until the mash is the consistency you like). Soften the onion, peeled and chopped in a little butter. (You can add a few diced carrots and celery at this point, and the mushrooms if you're using them.) When the vegetables are softened a bit, add 500g minced lamb, letting it brown thoroughly. Now add your salt, pepper, rosemary and a shake or two of Worcestershire sauce, the tomatoes, and about 250ml of stock. Let the mixture simmer gently for 30 minutes. Tip the lamb into a shallow baking dish, top with the mash, use a fork to rake the top so that you get extra crispy bits, then bake for 35-40 minutes in a hot oven till the surface is crisp. Serves 6.

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