If you’ve ever been to England, chances are, you’ve enjoyed a shepherd’s pie in a nice warm pub. Or if you’re like me – enjoyed one too many shepherd’s pies in too many pubs. Talk about the Heathrow injection. When I lived in England on my gap year, it was served at the school for both lunch and dinner all the time.
You can’t go past a dish like this to warm you up on a cold winter’s day and it can easily feed a crowd. I often make extra mashed potato (my girls love it) for dinner so that I can whip up a shepherds or cottage pie (using beef mince) the next night. It freezes well too and keeps in the fridge for a couple of days. Like lots of stews and curry dishes, I think it actually tastes better the next day.
Make this if you have friends or family in town. I can guarantee you it will go down well at some stage over the weekend. A Sunday lunch; makes for a good kids dinner if you have a tribe over; and talk about the best food to have in the fridge for when you get home late from the pub!
This is a simple shepherds pie recipe. I like to add fresh rosemary, but of course you could use dried instead and my secret ingredient is a spoonful of tomato relish for a touch of extra sweetness. Replace the lamb mince with leftover cooked roast lamb if you have it too. Delicious. I like to serve it with some mint jelly as well.
Comfort food at it’s best. Give it a try.
shepherds pie (serves 6 – 8)
1 x kilo of lamb mince
1 x brown onion, finely chopped
2 x garlic cloves, crushed
2 x sticks of celery, finely diced
2 x carrots, peeled and finely diced
1 x sprig of fresh rosemary, stems discarded
3 x tablespoons of plain flour
1 x generous tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
2 x bay leaves
100 grams of tomato paste
3 x cups of beef stock
1 x tablespoon of tomato relish
Olive oil, a dash, for frying the vegetables
Salt and pepper (preferably white pepper)
8 x potatoes, peeled and chopped in to chunks
A good knob of butter (I must admit, I’m a little heavy handed when making mashed potato)
A couple of tablespoons of milk
Mint jelly, for serving (optional)
- Heat a dash of olive oil in a large fry pan and saute the onions, garlic, celery, carrots and rosemary leaves until softened.
- Add the mince and season well with salt and pepper, stirring and continuing to cook until the mince has changed colour.
- Add the flour and stir through.
- Add the Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, tomato paste, stock and relish and simmer over a low heat for 40 minutes. (Add a splash of water if it needs it).
- Discard the bay leaves and transfer mince to a large casserole dish.
- While the mince is bubbling away, get on to making the mashed potato (see below).
- Spoon the cooked mashed potato on top of the mince mixture and spread out so that it is nice and even.
- Use a fork to fluff up the potatoes which will result in a nice crispy topping (see images below).
- Bake in a moderate oven (180℃) for 30-40 minutes or until nicely golden on top.
mashed potato – Place the potatoes in a large saucepan of salted water and boil until really soft. Strain water and throw the spuds back in to the saucepan with a really good knob of butter, a splash of milk and a good amount of white pepper. Put it back on the heat until the butter has melted and then give it a really good mash with a potato masher.
Serve with steamed greens, mint jelly and some bread, for mopping up the plate of course.
- You can also make this in to a cottage pie instead, which basically means that you use beef mince instead of lamb. If I’m making a cottage pie, I replace the fresh rosemary with some dried mixed herbs instead.
If you make this shepherds pie, please leave your comments below. xx