Inspired by Gary Rhodes recipe from 'New British Classics'. I got the idea for the potatoes from the website "My Daddy Cooks.com"
- 675g lamb, coarsely minced - shoulder is a good cut
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 3 onions, finely chopped
- 3 carrots, cut into 1cm dice
- 4 celery sticks cut into 1cm dice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 dessert spoon Tomato Ketchup
- 1 dessert spoon tomato puree
- 2-3 glasses red wine
- 25g plain flour
- 200ml Veal or Beef Jus or Chicken Stock
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 900g potatoes
- Season the minced lamb and fry it in the oil (in batches) to seal it.
- In a separate saucepan (I use my Le Creuset casserole dish) melt a knob of butter. Add the vegetables and season with salt, pepper and cinnamon. Then add the chopped herbs. Allow to cook for 5-6 minutes until beginning to soften.
- Add the fried lamb and cook on a medium heat for a few minutes. Add the tomato puree, ketchup and Worcestershire sauce and stir into the mix.
- Now it's time to add the red wine. For a really rich finish it is best to use all three glasses but adding only half a glass at a time, reducing by three quarters and repeating the process until all of the wine has been added.
- Sprinkle the flour into the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes. Pour in the jus or stock and bring to a soft simmer.
- The will now take, for a good rich shepherd's pie, 1-1.5 hours to cook. During the cooking time the sauce may become too thick, if so add a little water to loosen. Just don't allow the sauce to become too thin.
- Once the shepherd's pie mince is ready, spoon into a suitable oven proof serving dish.
- Whilst the mince is cooking prepare your potatoes. In a large saucepan bring some water to the boil and cook the potatoes. They will need about 20 minutes to be cooked but not too soft to slice. Alternatively cut the potatoes into 5mm slices before cooking - and reduce the cooking time to 6-8 minutes.
- Place the potato slices on top of the mince and sprinkle the cheddar over the top.
- Put the pie under a very hot grill until the cheese has melted and is brown and crispy.
Alternatively let everything go cold and re-heat in a hot oven (200c) for 35-40 minutes.