I wanted some variation with my usual shepherds pie but it had to be similar enough that no-one noticed. They actually did notice but they also loved this variation that I produced.
Brown Sauce – I had HP in the cupboard
Carrots diced finely
Potatoes mashed – I had half a yam left so added this in which sweetened the mash.
Butter and Milk
Cheese – cheddar grated
Heat the oil
Add the onions and fry gently, removing when soft and beginning to caramelise. Line the serving dish.
In the same pan, fry the meat till it is browned all over, then add a good dollop of brown sauce, Mix well then add to the onions.
Without cleaning the pan, drain it if there is excessive fat; add the carrots to begin cooking after a few minutes add the frozen peas and mix well. Add another good dollop but this time of tomato sauce and mix well.
Layer this above the onion and meat. If it has become very dry add a few millimetres of boiled water to keep it moist whilst cooking.
While all this is going on have the potatoes on and boiling so they can be mashed with butter and milk. You will have your own method of making the perfect mash for your family. Layer this on top of the carrot and pea mix.
Sprinkle liberally with cheese and put in a high pre-heated oven for about 25 minutes until the mixture is clearly bubbling and the cheese on top is turning a golden brown.
Serve piping hot with a salad or further bright coloured vegetables.
This is a great pre-prepared dish that can sit ready and waiting till you are ready to cook when you get in from the school run or work. It works very well for a cosy supper dish with relaxed friends that can be organised before they arrive and then cooked when needed.
Spice it up by swapping the brown sauce for Worcestershire Sauce or add a chopped chilli to the meat.
let me know what you try and enjoy.
Everyone has a favourite recipe for Shepherds or Cottage Pie; do you use lamb or beef? Do you add cheese? What veg do you add in. My recipe uses beef and is quick and easy to fit into a busy family life.
Onions chopped finely
Mashed potatoes with milk and butter
I make straight in the serving dish, to save time and washing so while the potatoes are boiling to make the mash, I chop my onions and put them in the microwave to soften (you can add a dash of water or oil but I do for a very short burst with nothing).
Then I add the meat and microwave in short bursts turning regularly. I want them brown all over, which could easily be done in a pan before transferring. At this point depending on the meat you may wish to throw some of the additional liquid, keep some to keep moist but if the meat has lost a lot of water or fat get rid of now.
Sprinkle over the Mixed herbs and Oxo cubes (I use two to give depth) then cover with baked beans.
Cover with the mashed potato and leave till you are ready to cook then in the hot oven till the mixture is bubbling round the edges and the potato is nicely browned.
Serve with other vegetable if you like or a crunchy salad. We love pickles and chutneys and these go really well with this. Great prepare in advance one pot meal for the whole family.
Enjoy and let me know what variations you serve for your hungry mouths.
This came about after I had spent a couple of weeks in and out of hospital so had loads of potatoes left over that the rest of the family didn’t need having lived off pasta and takeaways.
Potatoes mashed with butter and milk
Bacon lardons optional
Onion finely chopped
Cheese – cheddar
I boiled up the potatoes until they were very soft then mashed them really well with loads of butter and quite a lot of milk.
In the meantime I had fried the bacon lardons and onions in a touch of butter then added the mixed herbs.
I then added a good teaspoon of marmite to the potato mix. It needs to colour it but not overpower the potato. Nobody should be able to realise what was added especially marmite haters such as my husband. Mix in really well, this just adds a wonderful depth to the taste.
I added the bacon mix at this point and mixed it all well.
Then add plenty of grated cheese – I always use cheddar as I have plenty but you could use red Leicester which would give great colour, or a vegetarian alternative.
Then arrange in a baking dish.
A good layer of spinach makes this a meal in itself. Add the potato mix as a complete layer. If you have a small deep dish you could do spinach, potato, spinach, potato. Then top it with another good covering of grated cheese.
This is now ready to pop into a hot oven 30 minutes before you are ready to serve.
A great filling warming dish, you could serve another vegetable or a salad with it. I served with a bowl of baked beans that I had added a teaspoon of curry powder to. I made enough for five but one child didn’t eat with us that night. It all disappeared.
Enjoy and let me know how you try yours.