Shepherd's Pie

Preparation time:    40 mins
Cooking time:           1 hr 40 mins
Serves:                       4

What you need

675g John Penny minced lamb
2 tbsp bacon fat or dripping which can be bought from your local butcher
1 onions, chopped
2 carrots, finely diced
2 sticks celery, finely chopped

1 tbsp plain flour

1 bay leaves
3 sprigs thyme
tie bay leaf and thyme in a bundle for easy retrieval
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
2 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 pinch black pepper and salt

For the topping:
900g potatoes, peeled
60g butter
150ml milk
1 pinch nutmeg, freshly grated

How to cook

Using a frying pan heat half the fat in it add the vegetables.  Fry gently until patched with brown, scoop out onto a plate.  Raise the heat and add the mince. Pat it down flat and leave to fry without disturbing for several minutes until the underneath has browned. Then break it up and turn it over. Repeat the browning process, and then lift the mince out of the pan.

Drain off excess fat and return the mince and vegetables to the pan. Sprinkle over the flour and stir for about 30 seconds. Add the herbs, enough water to cover, tomato ketchup and Worcestershire sauce. Season with salt and black pepper.

Simmer for about 45 minutes - add more more water if it's drying out. Adjust seasoning, then tip into a pie dish and leave to cool. While the mince is cooking, place the potatoes in a pan and bring to the boil, simmer until tender.  Drain and mash with 45g of the butter and enough hot milk to make mash which is fairly soft, but still hold its shape.

Spread the mashed potato over the mince, use a fork to make patterns on the surface. Dot with the remaining butter.  Bake for 30 minutes until the top is browned and the juices are bubbling up round the edge.  Sprinkle with nutmeg and serve.

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