Monday, June 1, 2009

Spring Lamb Shepherd's Pie

Another comfort food! My dad bought some lamb the other day and what's better than a hearty shepherd's pie. I came across Jamie Oliver's recipe and it was terrific. Great flavour and even though I missed out a step (dredging the lamb in flour), the pie still turned out great in my own opinion.

Serves: 4-6

1kg boneless shoulder of lamb
2 x 15ml spoons flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 glugs of olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
2 sticks celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
50g pancetta, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 sprig fresh rosemary
400g can plum tomatoes, chopped
250ml lamb or vegetable stock
1kg Desirée potatoes
200ml milk
2 knobs of butter
A small handful of fresh rosemary

1) Preheat the oven to 190°C, 375°F, gas mark 5.
2) Trim any large bits of fat off the lamb, then cut the meat into chunks and put through small batches into the food processor until minced roughly. Place the mince in a bowl, and then add the flour and seasoning and toss until evenly coated.
3) Heat a large pan, and when it’s nice and hot, add the olive oil and lamb mince, and fry until browned all over. Add the onion, celery, carrot, pancetta and garlic to the pan, and throw in the sprig of rosemary and tomatoes. Pour in the stock and stir well so the mixture doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
4) Leave in the same pan or transfer to an ovenproof dish, cover and bake in the oven for an hour.
5) Meanwhile, peel the spuds, boil them in salted water until cooked through, then drain well. Heat the milk gently, then pour over the potatoes. Add a knob of butter and mash well until smooth and creamy.
6) Melt the remaining butter in a frying pan. When it starts to bubble, throw in the handful of rosemary and fry until crisp. Drain and add the rosemary to the mashed potatoes with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
7) Take the lamb out of the oven, spoon over the mash, then turn up the temperature to 200°C, 400°F, gas mark 6 and bake for about 20 minutes, or until bubbling and crispy and brown on top.

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