This is my go-to dish if I need something filling, deliciously tasty and relatively quick for when people come over at the last minute. When Steve and I started cooking together he would often ask me what I’d made for dinner the night before and it’s fair to say that shepherd’s pie came up a few too many times for his liking. Steve was simply trying to make me realise that I needed to mix it up, expand my repertoire and push myself a bit more. Now I just don’t tell him when I make it. Comfort food is my favourite kind of food.
WILL’S SHEPHERD’S PIE
Prep and Cook Time: 70 minutes Serves: 6
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, finely diced
2 carrots, diced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1kg lamb mince
1 cup red wine
1 tablespoon cornflour
300ml beef stock
1 bunch of thyme, leaves picked
1 bunch of rosemary, leaves picked
1 bunch of mint, leaves picked and roughly chopped
200g frozen peas
2kg desiree potatoes, chopped
sea salt flakes and freshly
ground black pepper
1 cup thickened cream, warmed
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
2. To make the potato topping, in a large saucepan, cover the potato with cold salted water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the potato is soft enough to mash, 20–25 minutes. Drain the potato in a colander and allow it to sit on top of the saucepan while it’s still on a low heat for a minute or two. This heat helps dry out the potatoes slightly. Now place the potatoes back in the pan and begin mashing. Add the butter, a large pinch of salt and pepper and half the warm cream. Continue mashing and incorporating the rest of the cream until you have a nice smooth mash.
3. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan or wok on medium–high heat, add the onion, carrot and a pinch of salt and saute for 3–5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and saute for a further 2 minutes.
4. Add the mince to the pan, stir to break up and fry for 5 minutes until brown. Deglaze the pan with the red wine and flambe. To flambe, tip the pan carefully away from you but towards an open flame, allow the vapours to ignite and keep the pan at arm’s length. Allow the alcohol to burn off naturally before you continue cooking.
5. Sprinkle the cornflour over the meat mixture and stir constantly for a few minutes to cook out the flour and remove any lumps. Pour in the stock, add the herbs and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes to thicken the gravy and intensify the flavour. Remove from the heat, add the peas and season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer the mixture to an ovenproof dish.
6. Carefully spoon the mashed potato onto the mince and spread out unevenly and bake for 30 minutes. Finish under the grill for a golden brown topping.
Thank you to Will and Steve for sharing with us three amazing recipes. If you have enjoyed cooking along with Will and Steve then click on the links below to buy your copy of – Home Cook, Aspiring Chef.
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