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Ah yes…good old Shepherd’s Pie. Now here is a meal that takes me back to my childhood (along with many other folk I’m sure), remembering happy, family dinners around the table. My mum would always serve us a homemade Shepherd’s Pie or a Cottage Pie once every week (the difference being one uses lamb mince, and the other beef mince of course). Both are equally comforting and just damn good home cooked fare.

We had some lamb mince in the freezer that I had picked up in the reduced aisle a couple of weeks back, plus the other few ingredients required, so I set to work yesterday on making it into a glorious Shepherd’s Pie. Perfect for this cold and wet weather, and something I was pretty sure both my husband and my kids would enjoy. I wasn’t wrong.

I took inspiration for this dish from the BBC Good Food website, which they refer to as their ‘No-fuss Shepherd’s Pie’. I’d say you need to allow approximately ten minutes for preparation and seventy minutes cooking time. The full ingredients list and the cooking method can be found here.

I made a few tweaks – to make our version (serves four) you will need:
– 500g of lamb mince
– Two medium sized onions (finely chopped)
– Two garlic cloves (finely chopped)
– Two large carrots (chopped)
– Two tablespoons of tomato purée
– One teaspoon of dried thyme
– 500ml of beef stock
– 900g of white potatoes
– a dash of milk
– a large knob of butter
– 25g of mature cheddar cheese (grated)
– Salt & black pepper to season

I followed the method above, however I added the garlic in with the onion and carrots, plus the dried thyme at the same time as the tomato purée. Also, to finish, I added some grated cheese on top for an extra five minutes (in addition to the twenty five minutes baking time) under the grill until crispy.

I served ours simply with some garden peas (one green vegetable that my children will actually eat, randomly, but I’m not complaining!) and to be honest, that’s all it needs, with the presence of the carrots in the meat sauce. Incidentally, they bring a lovely sweetness with them and I would certainly recommend using the cheese as a topping, the crispness is another welcome texture to a traditional, warming plate.

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