For our version of shepherd's pie, we slow-cook a lamb shoulder, shred it then bake it with potato mash on top. It's dead easy but does need a small amount of planning to cook the lamb overnight. We served it here with roasted carrots but beans, broccoli, brussels sprouts or cauliflower are good too. Ask your butcher for a lamb shoulder with the bone in as it will have more flavour than the boneless version, and the natural gelatin from the bones thickens the sauce.
salt and pepper
1 large lamb shoulder, bone in
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 bulb garlic, cloves peeled and roughly chopped
2 long red chillies, deseeded and roughly chopped
2 brown onions, roughly chopped
½ bunch rosemary, roughly chopped
½ bunch thyme, roughly chopped
2 tbsp dijon mustard
1 litre beef stock
400g frozen peas
½ bunch mint, roughly chopped
1 bunch dutch carrots
salt and pepper
1.2 kg potatoes, peeled
150g butter, melted
1. Heat oven to 105C. Season the lamb shoulder well. Add two tablespoons of oil to a large, heavy frying pan and sear all sides of the lamb on a high heat to get lots of colour and dark caramel tones.
2. Put the lamb in a large baking dish. Add remaining oil to a clean frypan and fry the garlic, chilli and onions to give them some colour. Add the rosemary, thyme, Dijon and stock, bring to the boil and pour over the lamb. Cover with a lid or foil and cook in the oven for a minimum of 12 hours – we usually cook it overnight. Remove lamb from the oven, skim the fat off the top and keep it to roast the carrots.
3. To make the mashed potatoes, fill a large pot with hot water, add salt and bring to the boil. Add the potatoes and cook until soft. In a medium saucepan, bring the butter and cream to a simmer and set aside. When potatoes are cooked, drain and return to the heat, stirring constantly for a few minutes to get rid of any excess water. Remove from heat, mash well with a masher, add the warm cream and butter and season to taste.
4. While the potatoes are cooking, pull all the meat off the bone, mix in the peas and mint and season to taste. Put the lamb mix in a baking dish or pie dish and pile the mash on top. Cut the tops off the carrots, put them on a baking tray and drizzle with lamb fat.
5. Bake the pie and carrots at 200C for 10 to 15 minutes or until the mash browns. They should be ready at the same time. Serve in the middle of the table with a big spoon.