"Cottage pie refers to an English meat pie made with [Beef] mince and with a crust made from mashed potato. A variation on this dish using Lamb mince is known as shepherd's pie (shepherds - sheep/lambs). Unlike standard pies, cottage or shepherd's pie does not include a bottom pastry crust. (...) The term "shepherd's pie" did not appear until the 1870s, and since then it has been used synonymously with "cottage pie", regardless of whether the principal ingredient was beef or mutton. There is now a popular tendency for "shepherd's pie" to be used when the meat is mutton or lamb, with the suggested origin being that shepherds are concerned with sheep and not cattle. This may, however, be an example of folk etymology." by Wikipedia.org
I've been living on The Green Isle for over 4 years now and it's the first time we had a home made Shepherd's Pie. It was always easier and quicker to buy ready made version. But from now one it will be only home made Shepherd's Pie - there's nothing better! And you can add cheese, different veges etc. as you like :)
We made 2 loaf size pies, one was for the dinner straight away and the other went to the freezer ready to be baked in the future.
How to make it...
Ingredients (this amount will make 2 leaf tin size dishes or one big):
- 500 g minced lamb
- 3 medium size carrots, pealed and sliced
- 1 big red onion, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, diced
- 500 ml tomato puree
- 1 cube vegetable stock
- 500 g potatoes, cooked and mashed
- 5 tablespoons milk
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 tablespoon oil of olives
- 2 bay leafs, 3 pimento, salt and pepper
Mix mashed potatoes with milk, butter and nutmeg and set aside. On the oil caramelise carrots and onions, put aside. You need nice, smooth mash, not too thick so you can cover the pie easily - to do it add more milk if you need.
On the same pan and oil fry the meat. Put all the veges and meat into a deep pan, add tomato puree, stock, bay leafs, pimento, salt, pepper. Bring to simmering point, cover and simmer for 45 - 60 min. 15 minutes before end of simmering add garlic - this way you'll have a taste of it, in the finished pie. Leave the ready sauce to cool down a little.
Preheat the oven to 200 C. Prepare oven proof dish. First put he sauce and cover with your mashed potatoes. We had some goat's cheese and decided to add few sliced on top - it worked great. You can also grate some cheddar on top or mix it into the mash. Bake for 30 minutes (till the potatoes are golden brown and the whole pie is bubbling) on the middle shelf.
P.S. If you have problems with putting your mash on the sauce put your dish with the sauce to the freezer for few minutes so it hardens.
Oh, It's normal that some of the sauce will run away in the corners of the dish.