Shepherd's Pie has to be in the top ten list of comfort foods; here's my version with a clever twist on this classic. Slow-cooked lamb shoulder, which falls off the bone to make a rich and delicious filling for this much-loved meal.
- 2 tbsp oil
- 4 lamb shanks
- 4 small onions, finely chopped
- 2 large carrots, chopped into 1cm pieces
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 500 ml boiling water
- 2 lamb stock cubes
- 4 tbsp plain flour
- 3 tbsp cold water
- 750 g potatoes
- 150 ml milk approx.
- 75 g salted butter
- salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 180C gas 4. Heat the oil and add the seasoned lamb shanks and brown really well.
- Add the onions and carrots and brown again. Add the tomato puree, water and stock cubes and season well with salt and pepper.
- Cook slowly in the oven for 2 hours, turning the meat over every 30 minutes. Although you may need to cook it for a little longer or shorter, keep an eye on it until the meat falls off the bone when gently pressed.
- Once cooked, carefully spoon all the contents into a colander over a bowl.
- Place the stock back into the pan and simmer until you have a nice flavoured stock. Mix the cold water and flour together to form a runny paste, then whisk into the simmering stock to thicken nicely. Remove from the heat.
- Pull all the meat from the bones, break it into small pieces, and pop it into a separate bowl along with the carrots and onions.
- Add enough thickened stock to coat the meat and vegetables well, then re-season. Pour into a deep dish and chill well.
- Preheat the oven to 200C, gas 6. Cook the potatoes in plenty of salted water, then drain and mash well. Add enough milk to form a soft consistency, then add the butter, mix and season well.
- Top the lamb mixture with the mash, then cook in the oven for 25 minutes or until piping hot in the centre and nicely browned.
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