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Shepard's Pie

To produce a first class Shepherd’s pie each stage of the recipe has to be completed carefully so the flavours mingle and develop while it is cooking.

Serves 4

For the filling

1 tbsp oil

1 onion, finely chopped

500 g lean minced beef

100g carrots, peeled and diced

2 tbsp cornflour

500 ml / ¾ pint water

1 bay leaf

1 tbsp dark soy sauce

1 tbsp tomato puree

2 tsp Dijon mustard

salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the mash topping

500g /1 lb potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

4 tbsp Oat Drink

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp chives, parsley or sage leaves, finely chopped

Gently heat 1 tbsp olive oil a large saucepan and add the finely chopped onion. Cook gently until it just begins to brown.

Add the mince to the pan and sear it until it is just turning brown. Add the diced carrots. Stir in the cornflour and cook for two minutes. Pour the water into saucepan with the mince and add the bay leaf, soy sauce, tomato sauce, Dijon mustard and season well. Give the mince a good stir, increase the heat and bring it to a simmer. Cover the saucepan with a lid and cook gently for 40 minutes.

Remove the lid from the pan and cook the meat sauce for another few minutes to allow some of the liquid to evaporate so that the filling for the pie is moist but not too sloppy.

Cook the potatoes in plenty of boiling, salted water for about twelve to fifteen minutes or until soft. Drain the potatoes and allow them to cool slightly before mashing them. Add enough Oat Drink to the potatoes to form a stiff paste and stir in a little olive oil.

Place the hot, cooked mince filling in an ovenproof dish and spread the mashed potato over the top. Place under hot grill to brown for about 10 minutes. Served the shepherd’s pie scattered with chopped, fresh herbs.

You can freeze this shepherd’s pie in a suitable container for up to 3 months. Thaw the dish thoroughly when you come to cooking and place in the oven at 200°C/325°F/gas 6 for 25mins.