I love a classic shepherd’s pie, but I also love food with a bit of a kick,,,not necessarily heat, but plenty of taste…This is how this dish evolved, and will continue to evolve. If you prefer heat a few drops of Tabasco or a chopped green chilli would I’m sure just add to its evolutionary journey. It is best not to use a potato that is too floury, Whites or Maris Piper are fine,,,or if you are pushed for time an 800g bag of, defrosted, frozen mashed potato can be used. The inclusion of the peas is purely optional as most people tend to serve shepherd’s pie with peas anyway.However, this is a great recipe to use up any leftover veg you may have for instance you could substitute the mushrooms for green pepper or chopped carrot.
- 2 lbs potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 2 ounces butter
- 6 ounces tasty cheese, grated
- 1 bunch spring onion, chopped
- 1 tomato, sliced
- 1 lb minced beef or 1 lb lamb
- 4 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
- 2 ounces frozen peas (optional)
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 beef stock cubes
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons tomato puree
- 1 tablespoon marmite
- 1 (250 g) canplumb tomatoes in tomato sauce
- 1⁄4 pint water
- Over a high heat, in a large pan of salted water, boil the peeled and chopped potatoes for approximately 20 minutes.
- Drain well, cover with a tea towel and set aside.
- Meanwhile preheat the oven to 180c.
- In a large pan and over a medium heat,sauté the onions in the oil, once onions are softened add the garlic and mushrooms and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Increase the heat and add the minced beef, brown the meat by stirring frequently ensuring nothing burns.
- Reduce heat slightly and add the stock cubes, water, Worcestershire sauce, tomato puree, Marmite and tomatoes. Mix well and continue to cook for 15 mins, stirring occasionally.
- Using a large metal sieve drain the beef mixture, retaining the gravy to serve separately.
- Place the beef mixture in a large casserole dish, stir in the frozen peas (optional) and season to taste, set aside.
- In a small saucepan melt the butter and add the spring onion, sauté gently until the onions have softened and the butter has taken on the flavour of the onions.
- With a potato masher or ricer mash the potato until smooth and creamy.
- Stir in the onion butter mixture and 4oz of the grated cheese, mix well and season to taste.
- Spoon the potato over the cooked beef and smooth with a pallet knife, run a fork over the smooth potato to decorate and garnish with the remaining cheese and some sliced tomato.
- Reheat in the oven for 15 mins or until cheese topping is melting and golden.
- Serve hot with retained gravy.