Annika Eats

Shepherd's Pie

This is a classic recipe but my grandfathers version. A lamb mince filling topped with mashed potatoes, a thick white sauce and savory crumble for texture, perfect Shepherd’s Pie meal for easter. 

I remember eating this growing up and it easily has to be one of the top 5 favourite dishes my grandfather would make. It has 4 layers in total and seems like a little effort but trust me it is absolutely delicious and worth all the work/effort. The flavors are perfect together and makes for a yummy all in one meal. We make this at home quite often as everyone loves it. You don’t need to make the sauce and the crumble but it is a game changer and if you are making it for a celebration I would recommend making it with the sauce and crumble. 

How to make the Mince filling layer for the Shepherds Pie?

It is a shepherds pie hence we use lamb mince but if you do not have lamb mince you can get away with beef mince. We need to brown the meat until it is crispy and has a little color on it. We then remove the meat and cook the onions, carrots and celery in the same pan with some oil. Now this is not a traditional shepherds pie recipe hence if you feel like I am not following the rules, it is probably cause I am not. Once the onions have softened we add the garam masala, dried herbs and bay leaves. Stir it well and add the bbq sauce, tomato paste and ginger garlic paste. Cook it a little to remove the acidity in the tomato paste. Add the mince into the pan and stir around. Add the water, corn peas and season with sat and pepper, cover and cook 20-25 mins until thickened and the mixture has cooked through. 

How to make the Mashed potato layer for the Shepherds Pie?

We start by adding water to a stock pot, add the washed potatoes into the pot, add half a teaspoon of salt and bring the water to a boil. Cook the potatoes until absolutely soft and fork inserted into the center of a potato should not have an effort involved. Remove the potatoes and peel them. Mash with some salt, pepper, milk and butter. We are not lookin for a creamy smooth texture. Hence mash it with a fork as well. Taste and season accordingly. 

How to make the White sauce layer for the Shepherds Pie?

To make the white sauce we need a small sauce pot and we start by making a roux. We add the butter and flour. Whisk it together until you can smell a baked biscuit. Do not allow it to get color hence make sure to reduce the heat if needed. Add the milk a little at a time and keep whisking to avoid any lumps. Seas the sauce with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Once it has gotten thick, take it off the heat and let it cool a little before you crack an egg into it and whisk really well. This will help it set while in the oven.

How to make the Savory Crumble layer for the Shepherds Pie?

This is a unusual crumble recipe but highly recommended. It starts off with flour, a little sugar and butter, like any regular crumble recipe. We then add paprika, dried herbs, black pepper powder and salt. Rub this between your fingers to resemble damp sand or breadcrumbs. We then add grated parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs into the mixture. Stir around to combine and set aside. 

We assemble this in an 8×8 inch tin with the mince at the bottom, the mashed potato on the top and then we pour over the sauce. Using your finger sprinkle the savory crumble everywhere covering the top of the pie. Ensure to pat down each layer evenly so that you get clean layers once it bakes. Bake this in a preheated oven at 180℃ for 10-15 mins. We want to achieve some color on the top but we also want that sauce layer to set. Remove from the oven and let it cool down a little before serving. If you serve it immediately the layers won’t be that distinctive. 

I would serve this with a green salad and some garlic bread or on its own as well. If you like spice, I would recommend using some paprika in the mince filling mixture but I prefer it like this. The leftover can be stored in an air tight container for ump 4 days in the fridge. You can make the layers ahead of time and assemble it when ready to bake. I wouldn’t crack the egg into the sauce and store it, I would store the sauce and crack the egg into the sauce when ready to layer. 

You can use any veggies you like in the mince filling but these are my go to options. As for the cheese I like Parmesan int he savory crumble but you can use any cheese you prefer, just make sure it is grated. If you are lookin for another meat inspired recipe to cook up this season, my Bolognese sauce is a definite winner. Now that we have covered how to make this recipe, let us get cooking. Happy Eating Ninjas!

Shepherds Pie

This is a classic recipe but my grandfathers version. A lamb mince filling topped with mashed potatoes, a thick white sauce and savory crumble for texture, perfect meal for easter.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Course Main Course, Brunch, Dinner, Pie, Lunch, Week night meals, Iftar
Cuisine English, British
Servings 6 people

Equipment

  • Large sauté pan with lid
  • Small sauce pan
  • Medium stock pot
  • Whisk
  • String spoon
  • 8x8 inch tin
  • Potato masher
  • Mixing bowl

Ingredients
  

Mince Layer

  • 2 tbsp Oil
  • 2 Onions
  • 1/2 cup Carrots
  • 1/4 cup Celery
  • 1/2 cup Peas
  • 1/2 cup Corn
  • 1 tbsp Tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp BBQ sauce
  • 1 tbsp Ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp Garam masala
  • 2 tsp Dried herbs
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1 tsp Balsamic vinegar
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 500 gm Lamb mince

Potato Layer

  • 500 gm Potatoes boiled and peeled
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 4 tbsp Milk
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg powder

White Sauce Layer

  • 15 gm Flour
  • 15 gm Butter
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1 Egg

Savory Crumble Layer

  • 6 tbsp Flour
  • 3 tbsp Butter
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper
  • 1 tsp Herbs
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 4 tbsp Breadcrumbs
  • 4 tbsp Parmesan cheese

Instructions
 

Mince Layer

  • In a large saute pan add some oil and cook the mince until it is crispy and has a little color on it. Remove the meat and cook the onions, carrots and celery in the same pan with some oil.
  • Once the onions have softened we add the fried mince, garam masala, dried herbs and bay leaves. Stir it well and add the bbq sauce, tomato paste and ginger garlic paste.
  • Add the water, corn peas and season with sat and pepper, cover and cook 20-25 mins until thickened and the mixture has cooked through.

Mashed Potato Layer

  • In a stock pot pour room temperature water, add the washed potatoes into the pot, half a teaspoon of salt and bring the water to a boil. Cook the potatoes until absolutely soft and fork inserted into the center of a potato should not have an effort involved.
  • Remove the potatoes and peel them. Mash with salt, pepper, milk and butter. We are not lookin for a creamy smooth texture we want it chunky. Add the balsamic vinegar taste and season accordingly.

White Sauce Layer

  • In a small sauce pot we add the butter and flour to make a roux. Whisk it together until you can smell a baked biscuit. Do not allow it to get color hence reduce the heat if needed.
  • Add the milk a little at a time and keep whisking to avoid any lumps. Season the sauce with nutmeg, salt and pepper.
  • Once it has gotten thick, take it off the heat and let it cool a little before you crack an egg into it and whisk really well. This will help it set while in the oven.

Savory Crumble Layer

  • In a mixing bowl add the flour, sugar, butter, paprika, dried herbs, black pepper powder and salt. Rub this between your fingers to resemble damp sand or breadcrumbs. We then add grated parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs into the mixture. Stir around to combine and set aside.

Assemble

  • Preheat the oven to 180℃ and get an 8x8 inch tin.
  • Layer the mince at the bottom and pat down. Then the mashed potato on the top and pat down again. Then we pour over the sauce and spread evenly. Using yours fingers sprinkle the savory crumble everywhere covering the top of the pie.
  • Bake at 180℃ for 10-15 mins. We want to achieve some color on the top but we also want that sauce layer to set. Remove from the oven and let it cool down a little before serving. If you serve it immediately the layers won’t be that distinctive.

Notes

  • The mince filling shouldn’t be too watery hence dry it up over the stove if needed before layering.
  • Make sure to over cook the potatoes for the mash, it will make the mashing process easier.
  • Do not add the raw egg into the sauce while it is still on the gas, this will curdle the sauce.
  • Patting each layer down gives you distinctive layers once baked.

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