You’ve got to love a good Ol’ Shepherd’s Pie on a cold winter night. This recipe takes a bit longer than some that I have seen, but the flavour is so much better for the extra simmer time. This one is also a great way to sneak in some grated carrot & zucchini if the young ones are hard to feed veges to 🙂
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, grated
1 zucchini, grated
Large handful baby spinach leaves (optional)
500g lamb mince (I sometimes use beef if lamb mince is hard to find)
2 tablespoon plain flour
500ml (2 cups) beef stock
1 dried bay leaf
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Salt & pepper to season
4 large potatoes, peeled, chopped
Melted butter, to brush
Heat oil in a large, heavy based saucepan, over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot and zucchini and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until soft. Add mince and cook, stirring to break up any lumps, for 5 minutes or until meat 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, covered, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes, until the sauce thickens. Season with salt and pepper.
While the meat mixture is simmering, cook the potato in a saucepan of salted boiling water for 15 minutes or until tender. Drain well. Return to the pan with the butter and mash until smooth. Add the milk and use a wooden spoon to stir until combined. Season with salt and pepper.
Now this is the optional part: The second time I made this, I lined the baking dish with store-bought pastry sheets. The third time I didn’t, and there was an uproar. “where’s the pastry!!”. So up to you, but if you do, you may have to continue that way from then on.
Preheat oven to 200°C. Spoon meat mixture into a 2L (8-cup) ovenproof baking dish. Top with mashed potato and use a fork to spread over meat mixture. Now if you want to be fancy, you can pipe pretty scrolls of potato on top of the pie, but frankly, it’s mid-week and I’ve already spent far too long in the kitchen tonight, so gooping it on with a fork it is!
Brush with butter. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until mashed potato is golden brown. Serve immediately