Another delicious recipe from our resident Dad Chef, Neill Thomas, and this time it’s a real winter warmer – Easy Shepherd’s Pie. And what better month for it, as the gloomy, foggy British weather descends? Fluffy mashed potato layered on top of lamb, carrots, tomatoes and onions and with a crusty melted cheese topping – it’s a nourishing, stick-to-your-ribs meal that warms from the inside. Perfect!
Says Neill, “This is a really easy dish to prepare and perfect for cold winter nights. It is super tasty, is a complete meal in one, having meat, a starch (potato) and veg and, more importantly, gets a solid thumbs up from my son.
As a tip for fussy eaters who don’t like “bits” in their food, chop the onion and carrot in a food processor until very fine before gently frying in the butter.
This Easy Shepherd’s Pie recipe is also versatile, as any leftovers can be used the following day or frozen. I like to add cheese on top to make the hardened crust extra special. My son likes to add lashings of tomato ketchup, which completely masks the taste of the cheese but I am not complaining as I always get a clean plate, even though he moans that I give him too much pie!
What I love most about this dish though is if you do all the prep ahead of time, you can just stick it in the oven when ready and let it cook away while you clean up the kitchen, supervise the kids’ homework or just take a breather for 30 minutes.
This recipe makes enough for up to 6 medium servings or 4 servings with lots of leftovers!”
- 400g lamb mince
- 4 medium onions,
- 4 carrots
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tin (400g) chopped tomatoes
- 90g tomato puree
- 4oz cheddar cheese
- 6 medium potatoes for mashing
- Coconut oil or butter
- Splash of milk or cream (optional)
- Preheat oven to 200C (175C fan)/400F/Gas Mark 6.
- Peel the potatoes, cut into quarters and place in a saucepan of salted water. Turn the heat up to high and bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and allow to simmer until the potatoes are soft enough for mashing.
- While the potatoes are cooking, dice the onions, carrots and garlic.
- Heat a knob of coconut oil or butter in a medium pan.
- Add the diced vegetables to the pan and stir until they begin to soften.
- Add the mince and continue stirring until cooked through.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the tin of tomatoes and tomato puree and simmer for a further 20 minutes.
- Once cooked through, pour the mince mixture into an earthenware or oven-proof dish.
- Take the potatoes off the heat, drain and mash with butter or oil, or a mix of milk and butter. Mash until smooth.
- Gently spoon the mashed potato on top of the mince and spread using a palette knife.
- Fluff up the mashed potato by crisscrossing it with a fork.
- Grate the cheese on top and put into the oven for 30-40 minutes or until the potato has a nice, hard cheesy crust.
Our resident Dad Chef, Neill Thomas trained as a chef before entering the world of employment law and now has his own firm of solicitors in London. Law work aside, Neill still enjoys everything food and cooking related and loves cooking up new recipes for his 10 year-old son who he says, regularly rates his efforts from 0 to 10. “I’ve only been given a 10 once!”. Read more about Neill on our About page.