1litre(4 ½ cups) beef or lamb stock(boiling water plus 3-4 stock cubes is fine)
120ml(½ cup) double (heavy) cream
120g(8 tbsp) unsalted butter
2heaped tbspcornflour (cornstarch)
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.
Add the onions, celery and carrot and cook 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 four 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 13”x 10.6” (33cmx27cm) 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.
Scaling the recipe downThis is a big batch Shepherd's pie (I like to make a big batch and then freeze half of it), but you can half the recipe to serve 4-5 or even quarter the recipe to serve 2. Stick to the same ratios. Of course you'll need to use a smaller baking dish for fewer people, but the cottage pie should take the same amount of time to brown in the oven.The frying of the vegetables and minced lamb will take slightly less time if cooking a smaller batch.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 is starting to bubble up at the sides.Heat the gravy in a pan until piping hot.Will it freeze?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).Nutritional information is per serving (working this out at 10 servings), including gravy.