SHEPHERD’S PIE ‘MY WAY’

2016-08-26
  • Servings : 4
  • Prep Time : 10m
  • Cook Time : 50m
  • Ready In : 60m

500g Lean beef or Lamb mince

700g potatoes, peeled, cooked and mashed

1 large carrot–peeled and diced

100g finely chopped onions

5g finely chopped or grated garlic

3 tablespoons olive oil

1.5 teaspoons salt or to taste

1 heaped teaspoon stock powder

3 heaped teaspoons gravy mix/powder

1 heaped teaspoon corn flour

1 dessertspoon soy sauce

½ cup water or stock

50g butter cut into fine cubes

50ml cream

Fresh or dried herbs (optional)

COOKING METHOD: I have cooked this Shepherd’s Pie ‘my way’ using ingredients that were available at the time in my pantry and fridge. If you prefer traditional Shepherd’s Pie then see Variations and Tips below.

Firstly cook the peeled potatoes in enough boiling water to cover them, add the 1.5 teaspoons of salt and cook till the potatoes are soft enough to mash, drain the water then add the cream to the potatoes (and season with extra salt if necessary) and mash them well then keep them aside for later.

In a fry pan add the olive oil then on medium heat soften the onions and garlic for roughly ten minutes. Increase the heat and add the mince of your choice, stir to break up the mince and brown the meat lightly, add the carrots and cook this mixture for another 5 to 10 minutes. Now add all of the other ingredients, except the potato mash and the butter.

Stir the meat to combine the ingredients well and then cook till the meat mixture has a thick sauce consistency (approximately 5 more minutes). Check the seasoning and adjust according to your taste.

To assemble the Shepherd’s Pie you will need an ovenproof dish of 8 cup quantity. Place the mince at the base followed by the mashed potatoes on top. For decorative purposes you may pipe the potatoes using a cake icing nozzle in a scroll pattern, or flowers, or do like I do and simply place the potatoes on top of the meat then make a pattern with a fork.  Finally, dot the top of the potatoes with the small cubes of butter to help brown the potatoes. Bake in the centre of an electric oven on 180 to 200 degrees for roughly 30 to 45 minutes or till the potatoes are brown on top (see pictures).

Variations and tips; Shepherd’s Pie can contain vegetables i.e. celery, peas, fresh bay leaves, tomato paste or puree, Worcestershire sauce, and plain flour to thicken etc. Mine is a variation using what I had available.  I often modify this recipe to suit my student’s taste e.g. my recent Korean student loved my sambal chili so much that I made my mince really spicy by adding my own sambal sauce while I was cooking the mince. You can use dried herbs instead of fresh.  I have most types of herbs growing in my garden so I often use fresh herbs like bay leaves and thyme for this recipe instead of dried.

Enjoy creating your own flavours with mince meat which is such a versatile ingredient, easy to cook and a good source of protein, iron and vitamins.

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