Spiced Lamb Shepherd’s Pie

spiced shepherds pie

One of the things I love about Pinterest is that when I can’t think of what to cook I can have a quick look through some of my boards for inspiration. Usually within two minutes I have picked out a recipe. This happened the other day. I was tired, it was cold & we all wanted something comforting which didn’t take long or require too much effort.

I found this recipe by Rose Prince which I had pinned from a newspaper. I have changed the recipe a little to suit my tastes as I like really spicy food. You can adjust the chilli to suit you by putting it in little by little & tasting. The beauty of this is that you can make the lamb filling taste exactly as you like it before it goes into the oven.

All in all it takes about an hour and a half depending on your oven temperature. Most of that time is just waiting for things to bake, there is not really much work here.

I think this is a great weekday meal as you can prepare so much in advance. The filling can be made days in advance & even frozen so you could just take it out of the freezer before work. You could also roast the potatoes before and then just heat them up, add the sour cream and assemble the pie in five minutes. It then just needs half an hour in the oven.

I served it with some crunchy sauteed cabbage and beans for texture. We didn’t have any sauce or gravy and it was not dry at all. This was a big hit with all my family.

Cover filling with potatoes

Ingredients (Serves 4-6)

1kg lamb mince
1 large onion
2 cloves garlic
3 tsp toasted cumin seeds
2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp chilli powder (less if you are using Cayenne)
30ml sherry/port/red wine
1 tbsp tomato paste
400ml lamb stock
handful fresh chopped parsley
1.5kg sweet potatoes
100 ml yoghurt or sour cream
20g butter

What to do:

1. Clean the sweet potatoes and pierce them with a sharp knife. Place them on a baking tray in a hot oven (200 degrees) for about 45 minutes, until they are soft.

2. Meanwhile you can prepare the mince filling. Chop the onions and begin to saute them in a little olive oil. Once they are fairly soft add the garlic and fry gently to release the flavour.

3. After a couple of minutes add the whole spices and fry them until browned (about a minute) and then add the powdered spices and fry for a further 30 seconds.

4. Use another pan to fry the lamb off until there is no red colour left. Strain out any liquid which has come from the meat and discard it.

5. At this point add the meat to the onions and spices. Use the alcohol to de-glaze the empty pan and then transfer that into the meaty mixture.

6. Finally add the tomato paste and stock and bring everything up to a simmer. It needs to cook for about 30 minutes. Aboout half way through check the seasoning and if needed add salt and more chilli.

Shepherds pie filling

I did not add salt before as you never know how salty the stock is.

7. Once the sweet potatoes are soft remove the skins and mash the flesh. Add the yoghurt and some seasoning.

8. The lamb filling is ready once it has thickened a little and there most of the liquid has evaporated. If you are using parsley add it now.

9. Put the filling into an oven dish (like a lasagna dish) and cover with the sweet potatoes. Use a fork to make swirls in the top of the potato as these caramelise and add a wonderful flavour and texture. Dot butter over and put the pie into a high oven for around 30 minutes or until the topping is nicely coloured.

bake until caarmelised

Bake the pie until the topping is caramelised

by Sally

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