Shepherd’s pie is usually a simple mixture of ground lamb, vegetables and a creamy potato topping, but this recipe takes the basic concept and adds some tweaks. Although the ingredients might sound like an unusual combination, this is a really tasty recipe for the whole family, and you can even make double the amount and freeze the cooked pie in individual portions. The potato and parsnip topping is flavoured with turmeric, chilli, cilantro (fresh coriander), lemon juice, and butter. This goes on top of the lamb mixture, although of course you can use ground beef rather than lamb if you prefer.
The meat sauce is flavoured with curry powder, ginger, garlic, tomatoes and chickpeas. You can swap the chickpeas for frozen green peas if you prefer. Indian food is really popular in the UK, and in fact there are more curry houses in London than India! We have taken inspiration from the British love for Indian cuisine, adding some spice to this classic English dish for an unusual, delicious result, although you can reduce the amount of spice if you prefer.
You do not need to serve a side dish with this, since you have meat, vegetables and potatoes in the one dish, but if you want to, consider broccoli, asparagus or another green vegetable. You can either make one large shepherd’s pie or else make six individual ones if you have six ovenproof ramekins. If you love shepherd’s pie recipes but are in the mood for something a little more exotic, try this recipe. Continue reading
There might be various ways to prepare shepherd’s pie in an English household but one thing is agreed – this dish is made with lamb rather than beef, hence the word ‘shepherd’ in its name. Another English dish is the cottage pie, but that one is made with beef instead of lamb, and that name came about in 1791 when potatoes were being introduced as an edible crop which the poor could afford (the term ‘cottage’ referred to a simple house for farm workers). Both are delicious, but here we are using lamb. We are also adding carrots and peas, which are optional but very popular, adding colour to the dish.
Some people like to add a can of baked beans (white beans in a tomato sauce) instead of some of the stock or bouillon, while others might add celery or even an anchovy for more flavour in their pie. Although there is no right or wrong way to make an English shepherd’s pie, the main idea of the dish is a seasoned lamb layer underneath and a fluffy mashed potato layer on top.
The pie filling is usually prepared on the stovetop first and then topped with the potatoes and finally the pie is baked in the oven. If you are using the peas and carrots you might not want to make a side dish. Some people like to use corn kernels (sweetcorn) instead of peas. We like to mash the onions into the potato layer but you may have them in the lamb layer if you prefer. Continue reading
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