Shepherds pie is the ultimate comfort food and having a British father, it’s a dish I pretty much grew up on. I remember when we’d visit my Nanna, she’d always send us home with a huge dish of it and we’d eat it for days until we couldn’t bare the sight of it.
I grew up and left home and at least a decade past without me eating it until I discovered a recipe in the Australian Gourmet Traveller. It’s quite refined as far as this dish is concerned and what I’d call a shepherds pie with a twist. I especially love serving them up in individual ramekin dishes.
Below is the recipe, I hope that you enjoy it as much as I do!
1 tbsp oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves crushed
1 fresh bay leaf
800g lamp mince (I use beef)
2 tbsp tomato paste
250g (1 cup) chicken stock
125 ml red wine
60ml (1/4 cup) Worcestershire sauce
120g (1 cup) frozen peas, defrosted (I also substitute with 1 lg grated zucchini)
1 cup loosely packed flat leaf parsley coarsely chopped
800 g desiree potatoes, coarsely chopped
250 ml (1 cup) pouring cream
100 g butter, softened
NB: I also use a regular mash with butter and milk
Preheat oven to 200°C. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, garlic and bay leaf and cook until vegetables are soft. Season to taste, add mince and stir, breaking up mince with back of spoon until brown (5-7 minutes). Add tomato paste and stir to combine. Add stock, wine and Worcestershire sauce, bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and simmer until sauce is thick (20-25 minutes). Stir through peas and parsley and season to taste.
Meanwhile, for creamy mash, place potatoes in a pan and cover with cold salted water. Bring to the boil over medium heat and cook until tender (10- 15 minutes). Drain potatoes and return to pan. Add cream and butter and mash until smooth. Season to taste.
Divide mince mixture between four 2 cup-capacity ovenproof dishes. Top with potato and bake until golden (10-15 minutes). Serve with extra Worcestershire sauce to the side.