Family favourites: Shepherd’s Pie
By AdFeatures | Friday, November 02, 2012, 15:57
Something eaten throughout British homes, the classic Shepherd’s Pie has undergone a number of transformations since its creation. Originally, the Shepherd’s Pie used lamb mince with the beef variety most people now associate with the name known as Cottage Pie. Both dishes are similar in that they use a combination of meat and vegetables covered with mashed potato although the distinction over what meat is now less important.
The best way to make a Shepherd’s pie is to produce a succulent juicy pie that is both nutritious and tasty. The core ingredients include carrots, onions, celery and garlic and herbs. If these ingredients aren’t available then why not use a Schwartz ready mix to ensure you get the balance of flavours just right?
Minced lamb, a tin of tomatoes, peppers, skimmed milk, butter and stock are also added to the mix. Fry the meat with the other ingredients making sure that you drain off any excess liquid and fat and then pour into a greased ovenproof dish.
To make the topping, peel potatoes and boil until they are ready to be mashed. Make sure you cook enough potatoes to cover the meat and incorporate generous lashings of butter and milk into the mix. Place the whole dish into the oven and cook on a medium heat for around 25 minutes or until the potato has begun to brown.
In recognition of the eponymous shepherds, why not use organic food colouring to give a touch of green to the potatoes to resemble grass? This is a great option for those cooking the dish as a family meal with younger children always intrigued by colourful displays of food.
Peas, carrots and leeks or broccoli all go very well with this dish and Shepherd’s Pie will soon become a firm family favourite. Try cooking the broccoli with some toasted almonds and a dash of lemon juice to add some zest to the dish or add cheese to the mash potato topping.
One of the joys of these types of meals is that they take little time in preparation and can be frozen after cooking if you make too much. This is also an easy dish for children to learn how to prepare – with other easy to make examples including Spaghetti Bolognese and leek and potato soup.
Students often live on these types of meals, making them a versatile option. The great thing about them is that the ingredients are all easy to source and cheap to buy – making this an affordable staple for any diet. Adding vegetables to the mince can help flesh out the meal for those who can’t afford large quantities of meat with carrot, onion and garden peas all popular inclusions. Those after something a little different can even make a Fisherman or Admiral’s Pie which uses the same method but substitutes meat for fish.