Shepherds pie is definitely an oldie, but a goodie. It is the perfect meal for this cooler weather and it is pretty easy easy to cook. Traditionally, a shepherds pie is made using leftover lamb from a roast or something similar. If we have leftover lamb, I will make it this way, but I also really like it made fresh from lamb mince or lamb shoulder, slow cooked. This time, I have used lamb mince.
The reason for making this shepherds pie was because a good friend of ours had a baby. I remember when my kids were born, the best thing people could bring round when they met the babies was meals. I found both times that it took about 4-6 weeks before I had enough ‘time’ to fit cooking a meal into my day, which in hindsight sounds ludicrous, but that first 6 weeks following a baby is clouded by a heavy fog.
A shepherds pie is a dish that lends itself to the inclusion of vegetables, which I love! To modernise it, you could top it with sweet potato rather than potato for something different.
Nutritionally, this dish is very good for you. If you can find a lean lamb mince, the rest of the dish is literally vegetables and sauces. And if there are enough vegetables in it, there is no need to serve it with any sides as you are getting all you need in that one pot. Just don’t go overboard with the potato.
The kids love this as it is quite similar in appearance to bolognese sauce, and it has peas in it!
KID FRIENDLY TIP: If you, as adults, want to have a nice hot meal straight out of the oven and it’s too hot for the kids, add some extra frozen peas to their dish – the heat will warm up the peas and the peas will cool the meal down so not to burn little mouths.
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 celery stick, diced
- 1 small eggplant, cut into 1 cm cubes
- 500g lamb mince
- 1 sprig rosemary, finely chopped
- 1 tbs thyme leaves
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 2/3 cup tomato paste
- 1 x 400g tinned diced tomatoes
- 2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 4 medium potatoes
- 1 tbs butter
- 1/4 cup milk
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 180°C.
- Heat oil, in a medium sized oven proof casserole dish, over medium heat.
- Add onion, garlic, carrot and celery and cook, stirring for 4-5 minutes until soft. Add eggplant and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Add lamb mince, thyme, rosemary and bay leaf and cook, breaking up the large pieces of lamb, until brown.
- Add red wine and tomato paste and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add tinned tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, and salt and pepper to taste and bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat and simmer for ~20-30 minutes until some of the liquid has evaporated. Once cooked, stir through frozen peas.
- Meanwhile, bring a saucepan full of water to the boil, peel potatoes and place them in the water. Cook until tender, ~15 minutes.
- Once potato is cooked, drain and mash with masher. Add butter, milk and salt and pepper to taste. Place on top of lamb mixture, smooth out and run a fork through the potato to provide some texture.
- Place into the oven and cook until the potato begins to brown, ~20 minutes.
- Serve between bowls – delicious!