|350g / 12oz minced lamb|
|2 medium onions|
|140g / 5oz carrots|
|½ teaspoon dried thyme|
|½ teaspoon ground cinnamon|
|2 shakes of Worcestershire Sauce (Lea & Perrins)|
|1 level tablespoon of plain flour|
|2 garlic cloves|
|1 level tablespoon of tomato puree|
|2 tablespoons of olive oil|
|250 ml lamb or vegetable stock|
|POTATO & CHEESE TOPPING|
|700g / 1lb 9oz white potatoes|
|55g / 2oz Cheddar cheese|
|45g / 1½oz butter|
|Salt and Pepper to taste|
Finely chop the onion and garlic.
Chop the carrots into small pieces.
Peel the potatoes, cut them into quarters and put them in a pan of salted water to stop them going brown.
Grate the Cheddar cheese
Pre heat the oven to 200°C / 400°F / Gas Mark 6, slightly lower for fan-assisted ovens.
This recipe will give you four main meal size individual Shepherds Pies. Eat one on the day you cook them and freeze the others for use later. They will keep in the freezer for a couple of months and taste delicious even when defrosted and cooked. Allow about three hours to defrost at room temperature. To cook them when defrosted, place in a pre-heated oven at 160°C / 300°F / Gas Mark 2 for 25 minutes then turn up to 200°C / 400°F / Gas Mark 6 for 10 minutes.
Recipe by David Marks.
Pour the olive oil into the pan on a medium heat and add the chopped onions. Cook for about 12 minutes turning the onions frequently until they are softened.
Add the carrots then cook for a further 5 minutes turning the mix frequently. Remove them from the pan and keep them for use later.
Add the minced lamb to the pan and keep stirring and turning the meat until it is browned. Break up any pieces of the mince which are stuck together.
When all the meat is browned, add the cooked vegetables, chopped garlic, thyme, cinnamon, Worcestershire Sauce, stock and tomato puree. Sprinkle on the flour and mix well.
Turn the heat down to low, put a lid on the pan and let the mix cook for about 35 minutes. Stir it every ten minutes and add a couple of tablespoons of water if the mix is starting to stick to the pan. Taste and add salt and pepper as required.
While the pie filling is cooking put the potatoes on a medium heat for 25 minutes until they are cooked.
Drain the all the water from the potatoes and then leave them to stand for 5 minutes with no lid (or just a tea towel) on the pan. Add the butter and mash the potatoes to a puree. This will take at least two minutes.
Pour the meat into the base of each individual pie dish so that it is just over one half filled.
Spoon the mashed potato gently over the meat and even it out gently. Don't use too much pressure or the mash will disappear into the meat rather than staying on top of it. A small amount of mash at a time works best.
Fluff up the mash topping with a fork and then sprinkle the grated cheese over the top.
Put the dish in the pre-heated oven and cook for 30 minutes turning the dish round once after 15 minutes.
The Shepherds Pie is ready when the cheese and mash on top turns a golden brown.
See Cook's Notes above on freezing, defrosting and then cooking the remaining three portions.