Shepherd’s pies

Shepherd’s pies

The Potato Cookbook

Over-catering seems to be my thing, so there will always be leftovers at my house. Left-over slow-cooked lamb shoulder means shepherd’s pies, topped with spring onion mashed potatoes, and always with Vegemite. These are also really good made with minced (ground) lamb. Although these can stand alone as a warming winter meal, you could serve a salad on the side.


Quantity Ingredient
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 celery stalks, sliced
2 large carrots, halved lengthways and sliced
500 grams left over lamb roast
or 500 grams see method for ingredients, minced lamb
2 tablespoons plain flour
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons vegemite
500ml chicken stock
1 tablespoon worchestershire sauce
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
155 grams fresh or frozen peas
sea salt
see method for ingredients

For the topping

Quantity Ingredient
6 medium floury potatoes, peeled and chopped into 2 cm pieces, about 1 kg
1/2 teaspoon salt, for the cooking water
60 grams unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
125ml full cream milk
6 spring onions, white and green parts finely sliced, root ends discarded
25 grams grated parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. You will need four 500 ml capacity ovenproof dishes for the pies.
  2. To make the filling, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and cook the onion, stirring occasionally, until soft and lightly golden, about 4 minutes. Add the celery and carrots and cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. If using left-over lamb, leave the heat at medium and add the lamb. If using minced lamb, increase the heat to medium–high and cook the lamb, breaking it up with a spoon, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle the flour over the lamb and stir over medium heat for 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and Vegemite until they are absorbed, about 2 minutes. Pour in the stock, worcestershire sauce, thyme, bay leaves and pepper and bring to the boil. Add the peas and stir. Reduce the heat to medium–low and simmer until the sauce has thickened, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Taste and add sea salt and more pepper if needed. Remove the bay leaves and divide the lamb filling between the 4 ovenproof dishes.
  4. Put the potatoes and salt in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil over medium–high heat and boil until very tender, about 12 minutes, testing with the point of a sharp knife. Drain the potatoes and return to the saucepan over low heat for 1 minute to ensure any excess water has evaporated. Mash well. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the butter, sea salt and pepper and beat until very smooth.
  5. Meanwhile, heat the milk and spring onions in a small saucepan over medium heat until the milk is steaming and starting to bubble. Remove from the heat and allow to infuse for 5 minutes before adding to the mashed potatoes. With a wooden spoon, beat until creamy. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.
  6. Spoon the mash onto the lamb filling in each dish with a light hand, keeping the top rough. Sprinkle the potato with parmesan and bake until the cheesy top is golden and the filling is bubbling, about 25–30 minutes.
  7. Stand for 5 minutes before serving, sprinkled with pepper.
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