Shepherd’s Pie is a British comfort food, which I fondly remember my mum making, to combat the bitterly cold Northern England winters.
Though there are variations on the shepherd’s pie recipe, traditionally, the dish is comprised of ground lamb (if ground beef is used, the dish is referred to as ‘Cottage Pie’) with onions, carrots and peas, topped with fluffy mashed potatoes. I’m sharing my mum’s shepherd’ pie recipe which has some additional vegetables and a Pakistani touch, with some spices.
Prepping the meat:
- 4 tbsp oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 450g/1lb minced lamb
- 5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 ½ tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp red chilli powder (or to taste)
- 2tsp tomato puree
- 2 tsp dried basil
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 1 beef stock cube, dissolved in 400ml boiling water
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Prepping the vegetables:
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 carrots, peeled & sliced
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 200g peas
- 8-10 sliced mushrooms
For the Mash Potato topping:
- 700g/1½lb potatoes, peeled and cut into halves or quarters
- 55ml milk
- 75g butter
- 100g grated cheddar cheese
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to season
- Initially, set the potatoes to boil (until tender), as this takes time.
- In a saucepan, heat the oil. Add the onion and sautee for 10 minutes. Once softened, add the garlic, cumin seeds and red chilli powder and leave to cook for a further 5-10 mins.
- In the meanwhile, to prepare the vegetables, in a large frying pan or wok, heat the butter. Add the vegetables in the following order (carrots, red pepper, green pepper, peas & mushrooms) and in between adding each, sautee for 5mins, for a total of 25 minutes. Set aside.
- To the onions, add the mince and fry, stirring to ensure it is browned all over. While the meat is frying, break up any lumps with the back of the spoon. Add the salt and pepper.
- Next, add the tomato puree and basil and fry for a further 5 minutes.
- Add in the flour (this helps to thicken the juices) and stir. Pour in the stock and bring the mixture to boil and then let it simmer for 30mins.
- Add the vegetables to the minced lamb mixture. Set aside.
8. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
9. Once the potatoes are tender, drain, add the milk and butter, then mash until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
10. Pour the meat and vegetable mixture into a 1.4-litre/2½-pint ovenproof dish and spread the mash potato on top, smooth over and then drag a fork across the length of the mash potatoes. Lastly, evenly sprinkle the cheddar cheese.
11. Put the dish into the oven and cook until the surface is golden-brown.
Enjoy this hearty dish on its own or accompanied with a salad. Happy Cooking!
The dish can be prepared a day or two in advance and left in the fridge. When time to eat, cook in the oven, as described in Step 8 & 11.
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This article was first published on voicebowl.com