Who doesn’t love a good old Shepherds Pie? Traditionally made with leftover roast lamb which is quite funny as there is rarely leftover roast lamb in our house. This version is rich and satisfying, made with finely minced lamb and a gravy, laden with red wine and the sharp tang of Worcestershire sauce. Topped with creamy mash and not so traditional tasty cheese, this will definitely become a winter favourite. I remember as a kid, my Mum and Nan used to make Shepherds Pie with chicken noodle soup mix. While it tasted fantastic and was a firm favourite, I try and steer away from packet food as I really believe you can achieve the same great flavour, in a healthier way and I find great comfort in knowing exactly what is in my food, most of the time.

Prep time: 25 Minutes

Cooking time: About an Hour (longer if you like the flavours to really simmer away)

$$ Medium Budget

Serves 4 (just double the recipe for a bit of a crowd)

Olive oil for frying

800gm of lamb mince

2 cloves of garlic

1 large brown onion, finely diced

2 carrots, peeled and diced

2 bay leaves

3 tbs of tomato paste (low sodium if possible)

1 cup of beef stock

1 cup of red wine

2 tbs of Worcestershire sauce

Sea salt & pepper

1 tsp of sugar

For the Mash:

800gm of good mashing potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

80gm of butter

1/2 a cup of milk

Sea salt and cracked pepper

1 cup of grated cheddar cheese

A sprinkling of dried oregano

To prepare the Shepherds Pie, heat a large frypan and add a little oil. Fry the onion, garlic, basil and bay leaves for about 7 minutes until the veggies are starting to soften.

Increase the heat on the pan and add the lamb mince. Use a wooden spoon to break the mince up and continue frying until brown and any liquid has reduced. Add the tomato paste and stir to combine before pouring in the stock, wine and Worcestershire sauce. Season with salt, pepper and sugar and stir until the mixture comes to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes (or longer if you like) until the liquid has reduced and you have a nice rich gravy.

Place the potatoes in a pot of cold, salted water and bring to the boil. Cover with a lid and boil for 15 minutes or until tender when pierced with a knife. Drain the potatoes and use a masher to get a nice, smooth, lump free consistency. Use a wooden spoon to beat the potatoes with the butter, milk and salt and pepper until smooth and creamy.

Transfer the mince mixture to a casserole dish or individual ramekins. Top with dollops of the mash and use the back of a fork to spread it out in an even coating. Sprinkle over the cheddar cheese and dried oregano and bake the Shepherds Pie in a 180°C preheated oven for around 30-40 minutes or until golden and bubbling. This can definitely be made ahead of time and baked just before serving. Serve with a side of greens…..

Love comfort food? You might like to try this recipe……