Classic Shepherd's Pie
We can't say for sure whether this is indeed a shepherd's favourite pie, but it definitely is ours. This British classic is hearty and warming, perfect for winter. It's the perfect dinner that everyone in the family will enjoy.
- 2 tbsp beef dripping, divided
- 1 kg minced lamb, preferably from the shoulder
- 2 large onions, finely diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and finely diced
- 2 celery sticks, diced
- 2 sprigs each rosemary and thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp flour
- 100ml red wine
- 400ml good lamb stock (or beef stock)
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- For the topping:
- 1.5 kg floury potatoes
- 100g butter, softened
- 1 tbsp double cream
- 75g parmesan, grated
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the beef dripping in a large cast iron pot set over a medium heat. Brown the mince (you may need to do this in batches) and when golden, remove from the pot with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of beef dripping and turn the heat down to low. Add the chopped carrot, onion and celery along with 1 teaspoon salt and saute for 10 - 15 minutes, until the vegetables are completely tender, but not coloured. Add the herbs and flour and stir then add the wine and reduce by ½. Add the stock, Worcestershire sauce and tomato puree and stir to combine everything. Bring to a boil then turn down to a simmer and leave to bubble away for as long as possible - up to 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Pour into an ovenproof dish and leave to cool.
- For the mash, cook the potatoes until soft in boiling salted water then drain and steam. Add the butter and double cream to a clean pan and set over a low heat. Pass the potatoes through a ricer into the pan and mix everything together. Add the parmesan and season well then add a good grating of nutmeg and place into a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle. Pipe the mash onto the top of the pie and cook until the potato is golden and the sauce bubbling and piping hot - about 30 minutes.