Shepherd’s Pie is a traditional British recipe, but oh so often what is served is not a real Shepherd’s Pie but a Cottage Pie.
Cottage Pie is NOT just another name for Shepherd’s Pie – the two are different – albeit very similar.
A true Shepherd’s Pie is made with minced lamb while a Cottage Pie is made with minced beef, if this is served with grated cheese on the top it actually then becomes a Cumberland Pie.
So just how do you make a real, traditional Shepherd’s Pie? Well, it really is a very simple dish to make and completely delicious. If you haven’t tried the real thing do give it a go and try this traditional British recipe.
1lb lean minced (ground) lamb
1 tablespoon oil
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 oz plain flour
I teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 dessertspoon tomato purée
3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
10 fluid ounces lamb stock
4 large potatoes
A little margarine and milk
½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
Peel and chop the potatoes, cook in boiling salted water until soft. Mash the potato, mix in a little margarine and milk and grated nutmeg and allow to stand.
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas
Heat half the oil in a frying pan until it is very hot, then add the lamb and fry until, until browned, then drain in a colander to remove any excess fat.
In a sauce pan, heat the remaining oil over a low heat and gently fry the onion and thyme, until the onion is soft but not browned.
Add the cooked mince, sprinkle in the flour and add the tomato purée and salt and pepper.
Cook for 5 minutes, stirring all the time
Add the Worcestershire sauce and stock and bring to the boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes. Continue to simmer until the liquid has reduced and thickened, taste and adjust seasoning. Cool.
Pour the lamb mixture into one large ovenproof baking dish or four individual ovenproof baking dishes and top with the mashed potato.
Place in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, until the mashed potato topping is golden-brown and crisp.
Serve with crisp seasonal vegetables.
And that is a true and traditional Shepherd’s Pie – enjoy!