Tender, meaty lamb mince in a rich sauce topped with silky soft mash potato. This is true comfort shepherd’s pie heaven.
This Sunday my sister and her boyfriend decided to visit which is always welcome and as they only come for a few hours, mainly to see the kids I feel it a duty to ensure they are fed well.
I could, of course, lay on a feast and end up having a food coma that would require us all to have an ‘old man’s hour’ after, but where would the fun be in that, apart from plenty of photo opportunities of the kids pestering the sleepy aunty.
Comfort food is where this sits best in my eyes. Something simple, pretty quick to eat and one that gets us all round the family table.
Shepherd’s pie is the meal I decided upon today. I love a good shepherd’s pie and is one of those meals that reminds me of being at home with my sister with mum and dad on these great family Sundays.
Should I say that this shepherd’s pie is better than my mums, I guess not, however, I have adapted it to how I believe a good classic shepherd’s pie should be.
‘Sorry mum I have changed the family favourite’
What is great about this dish is its simplicity, yet understated elegance. The deep flavour that comes with the lamb mince filling and meaty textures are enhanced by the silky soft mashed potato that sits on top with just enough pie liquor to seep around the plate like a glossy moat around a castle.
This really is comfort food heaven.
- 1 tbsp. Rapeseed Oil
- 2 Large Carrots peeled and cut into small dice
- 2 onions cut into small dice
- 1 Garlic clove crushed
- 500 g Lamb mince
- 2 tsp. Thyme leaves
- 1 tbsp. tomato puree
- 1 tbsp. Plain Flour
- 1 Lamb stock cube
- 1 Kg Potatoes peeled and into similar sizes
- 75 g Butter
- 75 ml milk
- Heat a large pan over a medium to high heat and add the oil followed by the onions and carrots. Fry for about five minutes until the onions are soft and starting to become slightly translucent. Add the garlic, thyme and lamb mince and fry until the mince has turned a deep shade of brown.
- Add the tomato puree and fry for a further minute followed by the flour. When the flour has been absorbed add 250 ml water followed by crumbling in the lamb stock cube and stir well.
- Turn down the heat so the pie mix is on a rolling simmer and continue to cook for 30 minutes with a lid on, stirring occasionally.
- While the pie mix is simmering bring the potatoes to the boil in salted water. Once boiling turn down slightly and cook until the potatoes are cooked through.
- While the potatoes are cooking pre-heat the oven to 200C / 180C fan.
- Drain the potatoes and mash in the pan or a large bowl until the potatoes are all mashed and fluffy. Add the butter and mix through. Heat the milk in the microwave or in a small pan to take the cold away as this helps with making the mash then add a little at a time and stirring well. Season to your liking with a little salt and pepper and place to the side.
- Remove the pie mix from the heat, stir and season well. The mix will now be soft, silky and have a lovely sheen. Spoon the mix in to your baking dish (6” x 12”). Follow this by topping with the mashed potato and if you fancy it make a pretty pattern on top or keep rustic.
- Drizzle a little olive oil on the top and cook in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes until golden brown and bubbling around the edges.