Happy New Year everyone! I hope you had an enjoyable evening welcoming in 2017, and hopefully anyone who had one too many gins, are not suffering with a hangover. I always find that New Years Day is one of those days, a bit like just after Christmas, that you don’t want to do much more than is necessary. Therefore, I like to russle up a meal that is simple but tasty, and doesn’t create too much washing up either.
Rustic Shepherd’s Pie
We had a leg of lamb left over from earlier in the week, along with a few potatoes, and some carrots that were thinking of getting up and walking out on their own accord. Shepherd’s Pie it is then, and as this one is not made from mince, the finished dish looks a lot more rustic than normal, hence it’s given name.
- Left over Lamb meat
- 1 large Onion
- 8 cloves of Roasted Garlic
- 4 Carrots
- 6 medium sized Potatoes
- 1 tablespoon Vegetable / Sunflower / Canola Oil
- Black Pepper
- Ground White Pepper
- 100 ml Milk
- 2 heaped teaspoons Butter
- 2 heaped teaspoons Wholegrain Mustard
- Lamb or Beef Stock Pot/Cube
Place the garlic cloves into a medium (approx 160ºC) oven for 20-30 minutes until they have softened in their skins. While these are roasting, peel and cut your potatoes into quarters and place them into a pan of cold water and bring to the boil, then simmer until a knife can slide into the potatoes with minimal effort.
Remove the remaining lamb meat from the bone. It is not exact measurement, but I always find whatever amount is left is enough, anything from 500-750g is perfect, anything less you can bulk out with more carrots or other root vegetable. Chop the lamb into large, but still bite size chunks.
Fry the onion and carrot in the oil along with a pinch of salt. When the onion starts to brown, place a lid on your pan and reduce the heat, so it starts to sweat until the carrot softens. Remove the garlic cloves from their skins, chop roughly and stir into the onion and carrots, and also add the lamb meat.
Using the stock pot/cube and add only about a third of the hot water it recommends on the package, as you want a rich and intense gravy. Add this to the lamb mixture. Grind in a good amount of black pepper. I add about twenty turns of the pepper mill, but you can adjust to your own taste. Also, if you have some red wine that is open, a good splash in the mixture would work nicely, but it is not essential. Simmer on a low heat for 5 minutes.
After the gravy has slightly reduced, pour the lamb mixture into a casserole dish. After 15 minutes of cooling it down at room temprature, I then place mine in the fridge for another 15 minutes, as this makes adding the mash potato topping much easier cold, than if your filling is pipping hot.
To make your mash, add the milk, butter, pinch of salt and about half a teaspoon of white pepper to the potatoes and combine all together with a potato masher.
When you have made your mash, stir in the wholegrain mustard. Spread this evenly over your chilled lamb mixture and place into an oven at 180ºC for 15-20 minutes. Bake until the mash is golden.
Simply serve with vegetables or a salad of your choice.