Lamb shepherd's pie

all details

With the arrival of winter, it's time to heat up the hearth and make a baking date with a golden shepherd's pie. You can make this pie with beef instead of lamb, just cook it a little longer. And, if you find the mashed potato too heavy, try topping the pie with puff pastry.

There's nothing like cosying up to a shepherd's pie.
There's nothing like cosying up to a shepherd's pie. Photo: William Meppem

Ingredients

1kg lamb shoulder, cut into 4cm dice

4 1/2 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp plain flour

2 brown onions, peeled, cut into 1cm dice

2 carrots, peeled, quartered lengthways, cut into 1cm pieces

4 celery stalks, cut into 1cm pieces

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves (no stems)

1 tbsp tomato paste

750ml cabernet sauvignon

2 bay leaves

750ml chicken stock (check is gluten-free if required)

800g désirée potatoes

55g butter

80ml milk

80ml pouring cream

parmesan cheese, to grate over mash

olive oil, to drizzle over mash

 

Method

Season the lamb well with sea salt and dust lightly in flour. In a large frying pan, heat 2 tbsp oil over a high heat. Add the lamb to the hot oil in batches and brown all over for about 1 minute. Remove the lamb with a slotted spoon and reserve, discarding any excess fat.

Preheat oven to 130°C. In a deep ovenproof saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, heat remaining 2 1/2 tbsp oil over medium heat and add onions, carrots, celery, garlic and thyme. Cook for 10 minutes over a low heat until softened. Add the tomato paste, cook for 2 minutes on medium-high heat. Add the red wine and simmer until the wine reduces to about 250ml (about 10-15 minutes). Add the bay leaves and chicken stock. Bring to the boil and then add the lamb and bring to a simmer.

Cover and place in the oven for about 2 1/2 hours until the lamb is tender. Remove from oven and strain liquid into a pan, reserving vegies and lamb.

In a pan, slowly reduce the liquid for 10 minutes, skimming off any impurities. Fold vegetables and lamb through the reduced sauce. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

Steam potatoes whole until tender. Cool slightly and peel. Mash potatoes with a potato masher or put through a mouli until smooth. Combine butter, milk and cream in a saucepan, season to taste with salt and white pepper and bring almost to the boil. Slowly add the hot-cream mixture to the hot mashed potatoes and mix until well combined and almost smooth.

Place lamb mixture in a baking dish, and top with potato mash. Sprinkle with grated parmesan and drizzle with olive oil to moisten cheese. Place in oven at 160°C for 8-10 minutes to heat evenly, then place under grill at medium heat to caramelise the cheese. Remove and serve immediately.

 

Photography by William Meppem. Food styling by Hannah Meppem. Food preparation by Nick Banbury.

 

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  • Main Ingredients - Lamb, Potato, Cream/Milk
  • Cuisine - British
  • Course - Dinner, Main-course
  • Occasion - Family meals

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5 comments so far

  • Nitpick time - Lamb Shepherd's Pie is a tautology... a Cottage Pie uses beef, Shepherd's Pies are always lamb.

    Commenter
    thos
    Location
    north
    Date and time
    June 19, 2014, 11:20AM
    • Bravo!!!

      Commenter
      Marie Noes
      Location
      In the paddock
      Date and time
      June 19, 2014, 12:03PM
  • Lamb Shepherd's pie? As opposed to a Shepherd's pie made with what? Last time I checked, Shepherds only looked after sheep......

    Commenter
    Sim
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    June 19, 2014, 11:25AM
  • Shepherd's Pie is always made with lamb; Cottage Pie uses beef. I put the cheese layer underneath the potato, and put attractive grooves in the mash with a fork - that way I get the cheesy flavour as well as the crispy potato topping. My family is always asking me to make this.

    Commenter
    Irene
    Location
    Date and time
    June 19, 2014, 12:10PM
  • Great recipe, easy to follow and totally delicious. Perfect for winter.

    Commenter
    Jenny
    Location
    Date and time
    June 27, 2014, 11:18AM

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