2 1/4cups(500ml) beef or lamb stock(boiling water plus 2 stock cubes is fine - use bouillon for gluten free)
1/4cup(60ml) double (heavy) cream
4tbsp(60g) unsalted butter
Place the potatoes in a pan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes.
While the potatoes are cooking, preheat the oven to 200C/400F. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and cook the onions, celery and carrot on medium heat for five minutes until they start to soften.
Add the minced lamb and cook until browned – breaking up any pieces as you go. Add in half the salt and pepper, the Worcestershire sauce and stock. Simmer for 5 minutes.
By this time, the potatoes should be cooked. Drain the potatoes and mash using a potato ricer. Add the cream, butter and remaining salt and pepper and mix together.
Mix the cornflour with two tbsp of cold water and stir into the simmering lamb mixture to thicken the sauce (you may need to add a little more if you like it thicker).
Turn off the heat and use a slotted spoon to scoop out the lamb mixture and place into a 7”x 9” (18cmx23cm) baking dish. This should leave most of the gravy behind in the pan.
Top the lamb with the mash potatoes, and flatten out with a spoon. Rough up the top of the mash with a fork (so you get nice crispy bits).
Place in the oven for 20 minutes until the mashed potato is golden brown. Heat up the gravy, then serve the shepherd’s pie with the gravy and some green veg.
What's the difference between Shepherd's pie and cottage pie?
Shepherd's pie is made with lamb mince, whereas cottage pie is made with beef mince. I tend to make and serve both with the same sides and I tend to make both in the same way..
Can I make it gluten free?
Yes! Use gluten free stock. Also check your Worcestershire sauce brand is gluten free - then you're good to go..
Can I make it ahead?
Yes, make the shepherd's pie right up to the point before you put it in the oven. Then quickly cool, cover and refrigerate, along with the gravy. It should be fine in the fridge for up to a day.Place in the oven straight from the fridge, for 20-25 minutes at 200C/400F until the potato is golden brown and the meat it starting to bubble up at the sides.Heat the gravy in a pan until piping hot..
Will it freeze?
I find the mashed potato can be a little watery after freezing, but so long as the pie is fully defrosted before reheating, the pie should be fine after cooking and crisping up in the oven.As above make the shepherd's pie right up to the point before you put it in the oven. Then quickly cool, cover and freeze, along with the gravy.Defrost in the refrigerator overnight (ensure it’s fully defrosted throughout before reheating), then place in the oven for 20-25 minutes at 200C/400F until the potato is golden brown and the meat is starting to bubble up at the sides.Heat the gravy in a pan until piping hot – it may need a splash of water and a whisk to remove any lumps (or you could sieve it)..
Can I make a vegetarian version?
Yes. If I’m making a vegetarian version, I use quorn mince (or similar alternative) with lots of very finely chopped mushrooms. Use a tasty vegetarian stock – such as Knorr vegetable stock pots. You may need to adjust the seasoning, as some vegetable stocks can be quite salty..
Can I double/triple it to serve to a crowd?
Yes, this works great as a big batch recipe, and doesn't need any adjustment to ratios of ingredients to make it work. You just need a bigger dish (or multiple dishes)..
Other variation ideas:
Add a teaspoon of mint sauce to the gravy for a hint of mint that goes really well with the lamb.
Add a layer of sauteed sliced leeks in between the minced lamb and potato layer.
Use sweet potato instead of regular potato and add half a tablespoon of curry powder to the mashed potato for a slightly spicier version. You can also add 1/2 tbsp curry powder, ½ tsp ground coriander, 1 tsp ground cumin and a pinch of chilli flakes when frying the mince if you want to really spice it up.
.Nutritional information is per serving, including gravy.