Shepherds pie

Brian Turners traditional farmhouse favourite is a simple and economical way to feed the family
By Brian Turner
Shepherds pie
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

For the filling

  • 25 g beef dripping, or lard
  • 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 450 g cooked lamb, minced
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed (optional)
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tsp tomato purée
  • 300 ml beef stock
  • 1 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

For the topping

  • 450 g potatoes
  • 2 tbsp double cream
  • 115 g unsalted butter
  • 1 pinches nutmeg, freshly grated

Tips and Suggestions

This is essentially a leftover recipe, but you can make it with fresh lamb (or beef). Buy mince, and cook it with the vegetables for longer than above. Also, you dont have to use a piping bag for the potato. Spoon it on evenly and level with a palette knife dipped in olive oil or melted butter, then scroll to make a pattern. For variations, try adding fried mushrooms or sun-dried tomatoes to the filling, or grated cheese to the potato topping.

Method

1. For the filling:melt the dripping in a large frying pan and add the onion and carrot. Cook for a few minutes until soft but not coloured.

2. Add the minced lamb and fry for 2 minutes, then add the tomato purée, garlic if using it, and flour, and mix well.

3. Add the stock and bring to the boil, then simmer for 10-15 minutes until the stew thickens but does not stick to the pan.

4. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce, parsley and some salt and pepper, and remove from the heat. Put into a pie dish of about 850ml and leave to cool.

5. For the topping:peel the potatoes then cut them into even pieces and put into cold salted water. Bring to the boil and cook until tender, then drain and return to the pan. Put back on the heat to dry out carefully, stirring all the time.

6. Put the double cream and 85g of the butter into a clean pan and bring to the boil.

7. Mash the potatoes or pass them through a potato ricer and add to the cream mixture. Stir well, season with salt and pepper and add some nutmeg. Allow to cool. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4.

8. Put the potato into a piping bag with a 2cm plain nozzle and pipe on to the meat mixture in the pie dish. Put the pie dish into the preheated oven for 10 minutes to set the potato topping.

9. Melt the remaining butter and carefully brush over the top of the pie. Put back in the oven for a further 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately.

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