Monday, May 10, 2010

Recipe: Shepherd's Pie

Mum made shepherd's pie quite often when we were growing up. I have never been much of a meat eater but even still I used to gobble this meal down whenever it was served up. And it must be a bit of a winner with the men because it was always a big hit with my brothers and my dad when I was living at home and now that I am making it myself, David gets very excited whenever I mention I might make it for dinner. 

I always make sure I buy premium mince (not that you didn't mum but you know I am fussy as anything about these things...), and I put heaps of veggies in as well as red kidney beans - yum!

It only takes about 10 mins to prepare and roughly an hour to cook.  This recipe serves 4. Oh and I have also been known to make a veggie version of this recipe (much to the disgust of the men in my life) - you just leave out the lamb, and add lots of beans instead.

    •    1 tbs olive oil
    •    1 brown onion, halved, finely chopped
    •    1 carrot, peeled, finely chopped
    •    2 celery sticks, trimmed, finely chopped
    •    500g premium lamb mince
    •    1 tin of red kidney beans
    •    Frozen green peas (as many as you like)
    •    2 tbs plain flour
    •    500ml (2 cups) beef stock
    •    1 dried bay leaf
    •    1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
    •    1 tbs tomato paste
    •    Salt & freshly ground black pepper
    •    4 (about 200g each) desiree potatoes, peeled, chopped
    •    40g butter
    •    125ml (1/2 cup) milk
    •    Melted butter, to brush

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot and celery and cook, stirring, until they soften a bit, about 5 minutes. Add the lamb mince and cook, stirring for about 5 minutes (until lamb changes colour) - make sure you break up the lumps.

Add the flour and stir until combined. Add the stock, bay leaf, Worcestershire sauce and tomato paste. Bring to the boil. Pop in the tin of red kidney beans and reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring every now and then for about 30 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Season with salt and pepper and give it a taste. Preheat oven to 200°C.

While the lamb is cooking, cook the potato in salted boiling water until they are tender (usually about 15 - 20 mins). Drain the water and pop the potatoes back in the pan with the butter. Mash until smooth. Add the milk and use a wooden spoon to stir until combined. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Now put the frozen peas into the mixture and stir them around.  The peas don't need to cook on the stove top they will cook while the pie is in the oven. Spoon the lamb mixture into an ovenproof dish and then put the mashed potato on top and use a fork to spread over lamb mixture. Brush the potato with butter so that it goes nice and brown and use your fork to make swirly whirly patterns in the potato. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until mashed potato is golden brown and serve immediately.