INGREDIENTS:

Shepherds Pie

1½ kg boned lamb leg minced or 1¼ kg bought lamb mince

2 tsp butter

1½ medium onions chopped

3 medium carrots chopped finely

2 tbs flour

1 tub tomato paste

1 tbs worcestershire sauce

2 tbs fresh thyme chopped finely

1½ cups beef stock

50g butter melted

5 large potatoes peeled

 

ANOTHER WINTER FAVOURITE - IF YOU CAN STOP THE GUESTS GOING BACK FOR SECONDS, IT MAKES GREAT LEFTOVERS

Heat some oil in a large pan and add the mince. Cook lamb until browned all through, stirring constantly to break up the chunks.  Remove from pan to a colander and reserve.

Heat the 2 tsp butter in the same pan; cook the onion and carrot, stirring until the onion is translucent but not browned. Return lamb to the pan and mix through the vegetables.

Add flour to the pan and mix thoroughly through the meat and vegetables. Cook while  continually stirring for 2 minutes. Stir in paste, Worcestershire, thyme, and stock; bring to the boil, stirring until mixture thickens. Lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 20-30 minutes

Peel the potatoes and boil in unsalted water until tender. Remove from the heat and drain. Mash well, leaving the potato a little harder and drier than you would with straight mashed potato.

Spoon the meat mixture into the bottom of a deep 2 litre ovenproof dish, leaving room for the potato on top. Pat down so the surface is flat, and clean the sides of the dish above the meat, then gently spoon the mash over the top, spreading with the back of a wet wooden spoon as you go. Mash should be approximately 20mm thick all over.

Score the surface of the potato with a fork running lengthways, then crossways to form a hatching pattern. Brush gently with melted butter.

Bake uncovered in a moderate oven (185 degrees) for about 40 minutes, or until the top is browned.

 

Serves six easily.

IF YOU HAVE THE TIME, IT'S WORTH BUYING BONED LEG OR SHOULDER LAMB, CUTTING IT INTO CHUNKS AND MINCING IT YOURSELF. BUY 1.5KG AND TRIM THE FAT AND SINEW OFF THE CHUNKS AS YOU GO TO ENSURE A NICE LEAN MINCE.

USE THE SAME RECIPE WITH BEEF MINCE TO MAKE COTTAGE PIE FOR A CHANGE OF PACE.

Quite a simple recipe, but it does take a little time.