Shepherds pie with leeks, goats cheese and parsley

Paul Bloxham chooses light, fresh Welsh goats' cheese and meltingly soft leeks for this tasty flag-waving rendition of the family favourite
By Paul Bloxham
Shepherds pie with leeks, goats cheese and parsley
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

Shepherds Pie with Leeks, Goats Cheese and Parsley

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 1 sticks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, finely chopped
  • 1/2 swede, finely chopped
  • 450 g minced Welsh lamb
  • black pepper
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 3 tsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 275 ml veal jus, <P> </P> or stock

For the topping

  • 2 large leeks, cut in julienne
  • 1 kg Desirée potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 50 g butter
  • 100 g soft goats' cheese
  • small bunch parsley, chopped

Method

1. To make the base of the pie, heat the oil in a large frying pan or casserole then add the onions, celery, carrot and swede and cook over a medium heat for about 3 minutes. Remove the vegetables from the pan and set aside.

2. Raise the heat under the pan, add the lamb and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes until it is nicely browned all over. Season with salt and pepper, then add the cooked vegetables, thyme and the parsley.

3. Stir in the flour and tomato purée, then gradually add the veal jus to the mixture, stirring until it is all incorporated. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook gently for about 20 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, prepare the topping. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil. Add the strips of leek and cook until tender and meltingly soft. Drain and reserve the leeks.

5. At the same time, simmer the potatoes in a large pan of salted water until tender. Drain then return the potatoes to the saucepan, cover with a clean tea cloth and leave them to steam for about 2 minutes.

6. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

7. Add the butter and goats' cheese to the potato and mash until smooth. Taste and add salt and pepper as necessary. Stir in the parsley and half of the leeks.

8. When the meat is ready, spoon it into a baking dish and smooth the surface with the back of a spoon. Spread the mashed potato mix evenly over the top. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the top is crusty and golden.

9. To serve, spoon the shepherd's pie out onto plates and garnish with the remaining leeks.

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