Shepherd's Pie - The Ultimate Comfort Food?
Is Shepherd's Pie The Ultimate In Comfort Food?
Shepherd's pie is comforting, satisfying and most of all tastes great! My easy shepherd's pie recipe goes down great with my family, they always manage to finish off every last scrap!
A traditional Shepherd's Pie in the UK, is made with minced lamb, a pie made with ground beef is basically made exactly the same way as shepherd's pie but is called a cottage pie. Whatever you want to call them, shepherds pie or cottage pie just has to be the ultimate in comfort food.
The best shepherd's pie is sometimes what I turn to when I have had a bad day, if I'm feeling down, cold, or, just for any reason at all and I need to indulge in some gorgeous comfort food, and you know, a Shepherd's Pie is so easy and satisfying to make, I just love the topping of fluffy, creamy mashed potato covering succulent hot mince, vegetables and gravy, it is so warming and simply oozes with flavour!
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Which type of shepherds pie would you prefer?
Ingredients For My Shepherd's Pie Recipe
1 tbsp sunflower oil and 1 tbsp butter
1 onion, chopped
2 Carrots, finely diced
2 sticks Celery, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
3 sprigs Thyme
2 tbsp Parsley, chopped
675g minced lamb
1 tbsp plain flour
2 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
About 1 pint water (and more if needed)
1 pinch salt and fresh ground black pepper
For The Shepherds Pie You Will Need A Mashed Potato Topping
- 900g Potatoes, cooked in their skins
- 60g Butter
- 150ml Milk
- Pinch Nutmeg, freshly grated
How To Make The Shepherd's Pie
Follow these instructions to make the perfect Shepherd's Pie
Take a large deep pan and heat half the fat in it.
Then you need to add the vegetables and fry gently, turning frequently until just tinged with brown at the corners.
Scoop the vegetables out onto a plate and set them aside for later.
For the next stage, I like to cook the lamb in two batches so that the meat is well and truly crisply cooked and properly browned first.
Raise the heat under the pan and add half the mince. Pat it down and leave it to fry without for several minutes until it has browned underneath, this will give the cooked mince a good rich brown colour, a lovely deep flavour. Now break up the mince and turn it over. Repeat the browning process, and then lift the mince out of the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Repeat with other half of the mince.
Drain off any excess fat from the pan, then return the mince and vegetables to it. Sprinkle the flour over the mince and vegetable mix and stir for about 30 seconds. Now add the herbs together with the water, tomato ketchup and Worcestershire sauce. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Bring the mixture to the boil, then turn the heat down very low, and leave it to simmer gently for about 50 minutes, checking the pan every now and then, adding a little more water if it needed. When it is cooked, the mixture should be lovely and moist, succulent and thick. If it seems a little bit watery just carry on cooking so that some of the liquid evaporates. Check the seasoning, then tip the mixture into a deep pie dish and leave to cool.
Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas 5. Scoop the potato flesh out of the skins, and mash with 45g butter and enough milk to give the mash a consistency which is fairly soft, but holds its shape. Spoon the mashed potato over the mince, then spread it down lightly in an even layer. I generally use a fork to make wavy lines (or some other interesting pattern) on the surface, then dot the mash with the remaining butter. Bake the Shepherds Pie for around 30 minutes until the mashed potato is crunchy on top and the juices from the meat are bubbling up around the edge.
Tie the bay leaf and thyme in a bundle for easy retrieval at the end of the cooking time.
Try These Simple Variations For The Topping For Your Shepherd's Pie Recipe - If you want to vary the taste of the shepherds pie simply try substituting the mash
I stumbled across different toppings for my Shepherd's Pie by accident. Having made the filling for the Shepherd's Pie I discovered that I didn't have enough potatoes to make the topping so I used mashed swede instead, and the result was yummy.
Encouraged by the success of the mashed swede, from time to time, I tried other toppings for my Shepherd's Pie. Perhaps you might like to try out some of them too.
- Mashed swede - probably my favourite alternative to mashed potato on top of the shepherds pie.
- Sweet potato mash
- Butternut squash mash
- Mashed pumpkin
- Mashed celeriac - If you have ever wondered what to do with this odd looking vegetable, it is quite pleasant when mashed and abked on top of the shepherds pie.
What To Serve With Your Shepherd's Pie
Sometimes it is more than enough to eat the shepherd's pie just it on its own, but, if you absolutely have to be generous and share it with other people, then, because we already have carrots in the shepherds pie itself, I like the contrast of a nice green vegetable served with it, something with a bit of bite, so steamed broccoli, curly kale, green beans or savoy cabbage work for me. Or you can also try serving Brussel sprouts, peas, spinach or cauliflower, they all make great accompaniments to your shepherd's pie.
Can You Have A Beef Shepherd's Pie?
A traditional Shepherd's Pie is made with minced lamb, minced beef is often substituted for the lamb but the dish is then known as Cottage Pie.
Indian Spiced Shepherds Pie Recipe
If you like shepherds pie and you like Indian spices then you have to try this recipe
I had to tell you about this recipe that I simply had to try out!
I came across a recipe for a healthy, low fat Indian Spiced Shepherds Pie and was really pleased with the result. The Shepherds Pie potato topping isn't mashed and the Indian spicing makes a really nice change when you don't want to make the classic Shepherds Pie.
I served the Shepherds Pie as they suggested with Indian Spiced Greens and was told that I can definitely make this again. I can see this variation on Shepherds Pie becoming quite a favourite in our household.
The Ready Made Shepherd's Pie Taste Test - Tesco Finest Classic Shepherds Pie
This is an acceptable enough shepherds pie, but, considering it is from their Finest range I'd expect slightly higher quality.
The lamb used in the shepherds pie is good; it has a nice rich quality, and unlike some of the cheaper shepherds pies, where you can't really tell what the meat is, you can tell that it is lamb. We wouldn't have realised that the gravy was red wine and rosemary though if we hadn't read it on the box.
The main thing that lets this shepherds pie down is the potato topping. It is very smooth, but has quite a synthetic quality to it. If I knew nothing about this shepherds pie, I'd be hard-pressed to believe it was fresh potato.
Our verdict for Tesco Finest Classic Shepherds Pie - 6/10
Don't Miss Out On The Ultimate Comfort Food!
Substitute the lamb mince for Quorn mince and add a vegetable stock cube along with the water when cooking....
Or try my vegetarian shepherds pie recipe below
My Vegetarian Shepherds Pie Recipe
This vegetarian shepherds pie should be enough for 4 generous servings
You may not think that it is possible to make a good shepherds pie without meat but even non-vegetarians will have to agree that this vegetarian shepherds pie tastes great and you will have them coming back for more!
Ingredients for the vegetarian shepherd's pie filling
Ingredients for the shepherd's pie topping
1 chopped onion
2 carrots, diced
about 1/2 head of celery, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
100g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried thyme
250g dried green lentils
50ml red wine (optional)
about 0.9 litres vegetable stock
1 1/2 tbsp tomato puree
1kg potatoes (I like to use King Edwards because they are good for mashing)
25g cheddar cheese, grated
Make The Filling For The Vegetarian Shepherds Pie
Gently heat the butter in a saucepan and, over a low heat, fry the onions, garlic, carrots, celery and garlic for about 10 to 15 minutes until they turn soft and golden. At this point, turn up the heat and add the mushrooms, and cook the mixture for another 5 minutes. Add the lentils and herbs to the mixture and stir well. Pour in the stock (and the wine if you are using it) - stir well and simmer gently for 40-50 mins until the lentils are soft. At this point season the lentil mix to taste and stir in the tomato puree and put the mixture to one side.
For The Vegetarian Shepherds Pie Topping
Boil the potatoes until they are nice and tender, drain them well, season with salt and pepper and mash together with the butter and milk.
Put the lentil mixture into an ovenproof dish, top with the mashed potato and scatter the cheese over the top.
Preheat the oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5 and bake in the centre of the oven until the top turns a nice golden brown.
Gordon Ramsay Makes Shepherds Pie - See Chef Ramsay make the classic British dish, Shepherds Pie.
See Gordon Ramsay in action making this classic dish, you can also get chef ramsays ingredients and instrucions to make Shepherds Pie.