Afelia’s Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd’s Pie used to be on our dining table at least once or twice a fortnight when my children were younger, it was easy to make and they loved the mushy texture, it made for easy swallowing, lol! As my children have grown their palates have developed and they seem to be more demanding when it comes to certain types of food, this dish being one of them. Once upon a time they would look forward to it, but as they’ve grown they complain about it being too bland, so this Shepherd’s Pie has been revised to suit their ever changing taste buds.

Shepherd’s Pie was one of my favourites as a teen too – our school meals were halal and whenever this was on the menu we looked forward to it so much. We would drown our pies with gravy and eat it with sides of chips and veg, mmm, so good! This has to be without a doubt one of the easiest recipes that every individual should know how to cook from scratch and it was one of the very first British dishes I learnt to cook for myself as a teen.

In the beginning I never used to use anything other than onions, salt, a few ground powders and some gravy granules to my mince filling. However, as time has progressed I’ve tweaked the recipe to include ingredients that add much needed flavour to this otherwise bog standard dish. Whilst we’re not turning the filling to our pie into a curry, we are trying to make the dish more flavoursome and that is easily achieved by adding some ground spices. The ground spices lend more flavour to the dish without overpowering it.

As a busy mother of four young children, I also used to take shortcuts where I could, so using instant mashed potato was a no brainer, something I would encourage if you struggle to juggle it all. There’s no shame in taking shortcuts, because let’s face it, life can be difficult to manage at times. However, I would encourage making your mash where time permits, the taste of fresh mashed potato on top of your pie is second to none, as are most things made from scratch. The mash on this pie was so creamy and just so flavoursome, if you don’t make it from scratch all the time, definitely make it AT LEAST ONCE in your lifetime!

I have used carrots and peas but if you want to use anything else you are more than welcome to; try sweetcorn, mixed beans or peppers to change it up a bit and to inject some colour into the dish. Topping the dish with mature cheddar adds more flavour but is not essential, you can skip this if you’re watching your calorie intake. If you want to give your pie a kick, add some chilli sauce or chilli flakes to the filling, taste as you go along and stop when you feel it’s spicy enough.

There’s not much more to discuss as this is a pretty straightforward recipe and this updated version has had the thumbs up from the one child in my family who hates Shepherd’s Pie, so I’m hoping it gets your approval too, lol! Let’s begin….

 

You will need: for Afelia’s Shepherd’s Pie

For the mash:
1kg white potatoes
1/2 – 1 tsp salt (adjust to your taste)
1 large tbsp butter
a little warm milk as needed (I used about 50ml, you may need less or more depending on the type of potato you use)
100g grated mature cheddar (optional)

For the filling:
1 tbsp oil
1 large onion
50g celery
2 medium carrots
700g lamb mince
1.5 tbsp plain flour
1.5 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp mixed curry powder (I would recommend using either TRS Madras curry powder OR Bolsts Mild Mixed Curry Powder)
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder OR 3 cloves of grated garlic
1 tbsp tomato puree
250ml vegetable stock (made dissolving 1 vegetarian Oxo cube in boiling water)
1 cup of frozen petit pois/peas

Method:

Afelia's Shepherd's Pie

It’s a good idea to measure out all of the spices before starting as they are added together in this recipe. I have here (bottom left photo) 1.5 tsp salt, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp coriander powder, 1 tsp cumin powder, 1/2 tsp curry powder, 1/2 tsp ground black pepper, 1 tsp garlic powder and 1 tbsp tomato puree. The Oxo cube is used for the stock which will be added later.

Pictured on the right is the onion, celery, petit pois and 1.5 tbsp plain flour.

Afelia's Shepherd's Pie

Before starting anything, bring to boil a large saucepan half filled with cold water, add 1 tsp of salt. This will be used to boil the potatoes if you are making it from scratch.

Peel and cut the potatoes into halves (small or medium potatoes) or quarters (large potatoes), then rinse under cold water.

Once the water is on a rolling boil (bubbling vigorously) add the potatoes and boil for 20 minutes, use a timer for this. The potatoes are cooked when a fork can be inserted easily into them, drain and leave to one side to cool.

Next peel and dice one large onion.

Afelia's Shepherd's Pie

Peel and dice two medium carrots, avoid dicing too finely as they will soften and reduce in size slightly.

Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a non stick saucepan, once hot add the diced onion followed by 50g of celery.

Afelia's Shepherd's Pie

Fry over a medium high heat for 5 minutes till you can see the onion and celery have browned slightly (top right photo).

Next add the diced carrots, mix and cover to cook for a few minutes over a medium flame.

Afelia's Shepherd's Pie

Next add the lamb mince and break it up as it cooks for a few minutes, this will help prevent clumping.

Now add 1.5 tbsp of plain flour, followed by all of the spices: 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp coriander powder, 1 tsp cumin powder, 1/2 tsp mixed curry powder, 1/2 tsp ground black pepper, 1 tsp garlic powder (or use 3 cloves of grated garlic) and 1 tbsp of tomato puree.

Afelia's Shepherd's Pie

Mix and fry everything uncovered to remove the rawness of the flour and spices (top left and right photos).

Cover and allow to cook over a low flame for 5 minutes whilst you prepare the vegetable stock.

In a heatproof jug, dissolve 1 vegetarian Oxo cube with 250ml of boiling hot water, alternatively use a halal chicken/beef stock if you prefer.

Afelia's Shepherd's Pie

Add the vegetable stock to the saucepan, mix and allow to simmer for 10 – 15 minutes or until the carrots are completely cooked through and the sauce is thicker.

Mashing the potatoes whilst they are warm makes them easier to mash. To the potatoes add 1/2 – 1 tsp salt and use a potato masher to mash them.Afelia's Shepherd's Pie

Add 1 heaped tbsp of butter, heat some milk in the microwave and add enough to create a smooth and lump free mash. I used about 50ml but you may need more or less depending on how soft/moist your potatoes are to begin with.

The mash is ready when you can run a fork over it and it leaves a trail like the one in the bottom left photo.

The filling should look like this once it is ready (bottom right photo), if the sauce appears too runny cook uncovered for 5 – 10 more minutes until it no longer is.

Add the petits pois/peas now and cook through for a minute, I almost forgot to add them here but do so in the next few steps (I was fasting so my brain wasn’t fully functioning, lol). This way the peas retain a beautiful green colour and will cook through completely in the oven.

Afelia's Shepherd's Pie

Take an ovenproof dish and add the filling (my dish measured about 22cm by 30cm), I added my petit pois at this point and mixed them through. Spread out the filling evenly.

Allow the mixture to cool for 10 – 15 minutes if you have time to spare before adding the mash on top, this way the mash won’t sink to the bottom.

Add a tablespoon of mash at a time over the filling.

Afelia's Shepherd's Pie

Continue adding till you have covered all of the filling.

Once covered, I find spreading the mash into a smooth layer is easier using a wet fork/spatula. Keep dipping the fork into the water to help smooth out the top of the pie until it look likes the top left photo.

I ran the fork across the pie diagonally to create a pretty finish and lastly went around the edge.

Afelia's Shepherd's Pie

The next step is entirely optional but adds that extra zhuzh to this dish. Grate 100g of mature cheddar and sprinkle over the top, the pie is now ready to be baked.

Bake in a hot oven, gas mark 6 (200 degrees Celsius, 400 degrees Fahrenheit) for 25 – 30 mins, or until the top of the pie is golden brown and the cheese has melted.

Afelia's Shepherd's Pie

Serve the pie with your favourite sides, try a steamed vegetable and garlic bread, and enjoy!

TIP: If you want the pie to hold it’s shape, allow it to stand for 20 minutes before serving, once cooler the portions won’t collapse and will retain a beautiful shape. Note – I didn’t actually do this myself because I was trying to get photos before daylight faded, lol!

Afelia's Shepherd's Pie
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
For the mash:
  • 1kg white potatoes
  • ½ – 1 tsp salt (adjust to your taste)
  • 1 large tbsp butter
  • a little warm milk as needed (I used about 50ml, you may need less or more depending on the type of potato you use)
  • 100g grated mature cheddar (optional)
For the filling:
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 50g celery
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 700g lamb mince
  • 1.5 tbsp plain flour
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp mixed curry powder (I would recommend using either TRS Madras curry powder OR Bolsts Mild Mixed Curry Powder)
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder OR 3 cloves of grated garlic
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 250ml vegetable stock (made dissolving 1 vegetarian Oxo cube in boiling water)
  • 1 cup of frozen petit pois/peas
Method
  1. It’s a good idea to measure out all of the spices before starting as they are added together in this recipe. I have here (bottom left photo) 1.5 tsp salt, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp coriander powder, 1 tsp cumin powder, ½ tsp curry powder, ½ tsp ground black pepper, 1 tsp garlic powder and 1 tbsp tomato puree. The Oxo cube is used for the stock which will be added later.
  2. Pictured on the right is the onion, celery, petit pois and 1.5 tbsp plain flour.
  3. Before starting anything, bring to boil a large saucepan half filled with cold water, add 1 tsp of salt. This will be used to boil the potatoes if you are making it from scratch.
  4. Peel and cut the potatoes into halves (small or medium potatoes) or quarters (large potatoes), then rinse under cold water.
  5. Once the water is on a rolling boil (bubbling vigorously) add the potatoes and boil for 20 minutes, use a timer for this. The potatoes are cooked when a fork can be inserted easily into them, drain and leave to one side to cool.
  6. Next peel and dice one large onion.
  7. Peel and dice two medium carrots, avoid dicing too finely as they will soften and reduce in size slightly.
  8. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a non stick saucepan, once hot add the diced onion followed by 50g of celery.
  9. Fry over a medium high heat for 5 minutes till you can see the onion and celery have browned slightly (top right photo).
  10. Next add the diced carrots, mix and cover to cook for a few minutes over a medium flame.
  11. Next add the lamb mince and break it up as it cooks for a few minutes, this will help prevent clumping.
  12. Now add 1.5 tbsp of plain flour, followed by all of the spices: 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp coriander powder, 1 tsp cumin powder, ½ tsp mixed curry powder, ½ tsp ground black pepper, 1 tsp garlic powder (or use 3 cloves of grated garlic) and 1 tbsp of tomato puree.
  13. Mix and fry everything uncovered to remove the rawness of the flour and spices (top left and right photos).
  14. Cover and allow to cook over a low flame for 5 minutes whilst you prepare the vegetable stock.
  15. In a heatproof jug, dissolve 1 vegetarian Oxo cube with 250ml of boiling hot water, alternatively use a halal chicken/beef stock if you prefer.
  16. Add the vegetable stock to the saucepan, mix and allow to simmer for 10 – 15 minutes or until the carrots are completely cooked through and the sauce is thicker.
  17. Mashing the potatoes whilst they are warm makes them easier to mash. To the potatoes add ½ – 1 tsp salt and use a potato masher to mash them.
  18. Add 1 heaped tbsp of butter, heat some milk in the microwave and add enough to create a smooth and lump free mash. I used about 50ml but you may need more or less depending on how soft/moist your potatoes are to begin with.
  19. The mash is ready when you can run a fork over it and it leaves a trail like the one in the bottom left photo.
  20. The filling should look like this once it is ready (bottom right photo), if the sauce appears too runny cook uncovered for 5 – 10 more minutes until it no longer is.
  21. Add the petits pois/peas now and cook through for a minute, I almost forgot to add them here but do so in the next few steps (I was fasting so my brain wasn’t fully functioning, lol). This way the peas retain a beautiful green colour and will cook through completely in the oven.
  22. Take an ovenproof dish and add the filling (my dish measured about 22cm by 30cm), I added my petit pois at this point and mixed them through. Spread out the filling evenly.
  23. Allow the mixture to cool for 10 – 15 minutes if you have time to spare before adding the mash on top, this way the mash won’t sink to the bottom.
  24. Add a tablespoon of mash at a time over the filling.
  25. Continue adding till you have covered all of the filling.
  26. Once covered, I find spreading the mash into a smooth layer is easier using a wet fork/spatula. Keep dipping the fork into the water to help smooth out the top of the pie until it look likes the top left photo.
  27. I ran the fork across the pie diagonally to create a pretty finish and lastly went around the edge.
  28. The next step is entirely optional but adds that extra zhuzh to this dish. Grate 100g of mature cheddar and sprinkle over the top, the pie is now ready to be baked.
  29. Bake in a hot oven, gas mark 6 (200 degrees Celsius, 400 degrees Fahrenheit) for 25 – 30 mins, or until the top of the pie is golden brown and the cheese has melted.
  30. Serve the pie with your favourite sides, try a steamed vegetable and garlic bread, and enjoy!
Notes
TIP: If you want the pie to hold it's shape, allow it to stand for 20 minutes before serving, once cooler the portions won't collapse and will retain a beautiful shape. Note - I didn't actually do this myself because I was trying to get photos before daylight faded, lol!

If you like the recipe please share with friends and family, also follow me on Facebook and Instagram. Questions? Leave a comment below or message me on Facebook.

 

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Comments 2

  1. ru22
    Reply

    salam sis, when ever i wash my mince meat and put it in the pan loads of water comes out and makes everything so watery and tasteless when i add the curry powders in.. what should i do any tips?

    10 February, 2018
  2. Sharmin
    Reply

    😍😍😍

    10 February, 2018

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