Traditional shepherds pie

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Traditional shepherd's pie
This dish is pure comfort food and was first introduced at the time of Queen Victoria as a way of using up leftover meat. Shepherd's pie is made with lamb but you can substitute beef and beef stock for an equally delicious "cottage pie".
  • 1kg minced lamb
  • 50g pancetta, chopped into small cubes
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 stick celery, finely chopped
  • 1 leek, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 100g mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp rosemary, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp thyme, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 100ml red wine
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 275ml chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 150g frozen peas
  • 1.2kg maris piper potatoes, peeled
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 3 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 100g mature cheddar, grated
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Preheat oven to 200C.2. Fry the minced lamb and pancetta, in batches, until browned. Drain the fat and add to a large pan.3. Fry the onion, carrot, celery and leek until soft and starting to brown - about 15 minutes.4. Add the mushrooms, garlic, thyme and rosemary and fry until the mushrooms are soft and brown.5. Add the tomato puree and cook for 30 seconds, then add the red wine and reduce to a glaze.6. Stir in the flour until well distributed. Pour in the chicken stock and Worcestershire sauce.7. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Meanwhile make the potato topping.8. Cut the potatoes into smaller pieces and add to a pan of cold, salted water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes until soft.9. Drain well and mash together the potatoes and butter. Stir through the spring onions and 75g of the grated cheese.10. Mix the frozen peas into the filling and transfer to an ovenproof dish. Spoon on the potato topping and sprinkle on the remaining cheese. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes until browned and crisp.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: Serves 6