Shepherds Pie

DSC_0078.JPGAnother family favourite and it also uses up leftover potatoes.

This is what we call Shepherds Pie in our house though I think strictly speaking it should be called Cottage Pie since I make it with minced beef.  You can of course change the recipe to use minced lamb if you wish and I think a combination of beef and lamb mince would be the best.

1 kg minced beef

1 large onion finely chopped

4 medium carrots finely diced

Ground white pepper

1 Beef Stock cube

2 tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce

2 tbsp. Tomato Puree

6 heaped tbsp. good quality ketchup

For the topping:

Approx 1 kg of potatoes

Knob of butter

Salt and pepper

Splash of milk


Peel and cook the potatoes for the topping.  You want to cook the potatoes until they are quite soft as this will make them mash really easy and give you a nice creamy topping.  Meanwhile place the onions and carrots in a large saucepan with a little oil and butter and cook on a low heat with a lid on.  You want the carrots to steam in their own juice otherwise they will remain quite hard if not cooked well at this stage.  A little salt will help the juices flow and give you more steam.  Add the minced meat and allow it to cook until it turns brown.  Keep stirring and turning the meat to encourage it to break up as you don’t want meatballs in your shepherds pie.  You can then add the pepper and crumble in the stock cube.  Add the Worcestershire sauce, tomato puree and ketchup and mix thoroughly.  Allow the mixture to cook on for a few minutes to allow any water to evaporate but make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the saucepan.  You could also put in a handful of peas at this stage but my 2 DD’s don’t like peas so I have to leave them out.DSC_0074

When the potatoes are cooked drain and mash them with the butter, salt, pepper and milk.  You want a nice creamy mash to top the pie.DSC_0077

Place the meat mixture in an ovenproof dish and spoon the mash over in little dollops.  Using a fork bring the dollops together to cover the meat mixture and then score the top with the fork.  These ridges will turn into nice brown slightly charred bits on top.  Place in a hot preheated oven (220C) for 20 to 30 mins or until nice and browned on the top.  Serve with salad or green vegetables.

You will most likely have leftovers from this and the pie will be even nicer reheated the next day. For fussy eaters the carrots can be grated in and they will virtually disappear.  The shepherds pie can also be frozen at the point before it goes in the oven.  Defrost fully before cooking and fluff up the potatoes again with a fork.  Also you can use leftover potatoes too but I advise warming them up before topping the pie as its too difficult to spread them on the hot meat filling when the potatoes are cold and you just end up with a mess!!




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