Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Shepherds pie (but with a variation on the mash!)

I am not quite sure when it became folklore that kids like mash. When my daughter gagged at the sight of mash I thought it was unusual but have since spoken to many parents whose children are the same. Even if you like it, sometimes you feel like a less starchy option or just want a change. 

So this recipe is essentially the meat part of shepherds pie and I freeze it like this to give me the option to choose the topping on the day.   My kids like it with rice, My husband likes it with celeriac gratin. Just because we can never agree on anything in our house my favourite is swede or potato mash (heavily buttered and with tons of pepper).  Cauliflower mash would also work well.   If you are going for some sort of mash you could always add this to the dish before freezing so you have less to do on the day you eat it. 

High quality full fat lamb mince is essential. A glass of red wine adds depth but is not essential. The recipe specifies passata but the resulting dish is not overly tomato tasting. However the passata could swapped either partially or fully for lamb stock if you prefer.  

I am not generally a fan on mushed vegetables but in this recipe using a food processor to get a very finely chopped vegetables does work well. It also makes it easy to disguise the vegetables from picky eaters (I am not just talking about kids here, I know if wives who hide vegetables in their husband's dinners too!) You could even add more carrots or other vegetables such as mushroom or red carrot if you need to up the vegetsble quota. 

(I don't bother getting the special grater attachment out for magimix) I just use normal large blade).

I make at least triple the amounts below in one go and fill the freezer.   


500g lamb mince 
1 large onion
1 large carrot 
2 sticks celery 
2 cloves of garlic 
1/3 bottle of passata (approximately 250ml)
1/2 tsp dried or fresh chopped rosemary 
Ghee or olive oil for cooking 


-Peel the carrots, garlic and onion and wash the celery 
-Chop the vegetables in half then process until finely chopped. 
-Add enough ghee or olive oil to cover the base of the pan and on a medium heat cook the vegetables for about ten minutes until softened 
-Add in the mince and stir round, till all the meat is browned 
-Add the rosemary, passata and seasoning 
-Turn down and simmer for half an hour (this develops the taste but you can miss this step out if in a rush and it will still be good) 

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