Sunday, August 28, 2011

Classic Shepherd's Pie

Serves 4


1 tbs olive oil
1 brown onion, finely chopped or grated
1 carrot, peeled, finely chopped
2 celery sticks, trimmed, finely chopped (optional)
500g lamb or beef mince
2 tbs plain flour
375ml beef stock
1 dried bay leaf
1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 tbs tomato paste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 (about 200g each) desiree potatoes, peeled, chopped
40g butter, chopped
125ml (½ cup) milk
1 tsp parmesan cheese, grated (optional)
Melted butter, to brush


Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot and celery and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until soft. Add lamb mince and cook, stirring to break up any lumps, for 5 minutes or until lamb changes colour.

Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until combined. Add stock, bay leaf, Worcestershire sauce and tomato paste. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or until sauce thickens. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile: cook potato in a saucepan of salted boiling water for 15 minutes or until tender. Drain well. Return to the pan with the butter. Use a potato masher or fork to mash until smooth. Add milk and use a wooden spoon to stir until combined. Add Parmesan cheese and stir to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 200°C. Remove bay leaf from the lamb mixture then spoon mixture into a 2L (8 cup) capacity ovenproof baking dish. Top with mashed potato and use a fork to spread over lamb mixture. Brush with butter. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until mashed potato is golden brown. Serve immediately.

Notes & Tips

You can substitute the celery in this recipe with some peas instead

For a nicer presentation, you can pipe the mashed potatoes instead of using a fork. You'll just have to allow the potatoes to cool down a bit before putting it into the piping bag

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