Friday, January 23, 2009

Chunky shepherd's pie

Instead of the usual mince, this slow-cooked main is loaded with chunky pieces of lamb.

Preparation Time 30 minutes
Cooking Time 160 minutes

Ingredients (serves 8)
* 2 tbs olive oil
* 1 x 2kg lamb leg, excess fat trimmed, cut into 3cm pieces
* 4 large celery sticks, ends trimmed, coarsely chopped
* 4 large carrots, peeled, coarsely chopped
* 1 large brown onion, coarsely chopped
* 2 garlic cloves, crushed
* 40g (1/4 cup) plain flour
* 750ml (3 cups) beef stock
* 95g (1/3 cup) tomato paste
* 2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
* 2 dried bay leaves
* 1kg desiree potatoes, peeled, coarsely chopped
* 80ml (1/3 cup) milk
* 40g (1/2 cup) shredded parmesan
* 2 tbs dried (packaged) breadcrumbs

1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Heat half the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over high heat. Add one-third of the lamb and cook, turning, for 3-4 minutes or until browned. Transfer to a plate. Repeat, in 2 more batches, with the remaining lamb, reheating the pan between batches.
2. Heat the remaining oil in the pan over medium heat. Add the celery, carrot, onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until the onion is soft. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the lamb, beef stock, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil. Transfer to a 2.5L (10-cup) capacity ovenproof dish. Cover and bake for 1 1/2 hours. Uncover and bake for a further 30 minutes or until the sauce thickens slightly.
3. Meanwhile, cook the potato in a large saucepan of boiling water for 10 minutes or until tender. Drain and return to the pan. Use a potato masher to mash until smooth. Add the milk and stir until well combined. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Increase oven temperature to 200°C. Use a fork to spread the mash over the lamb mixture. Combine the parmesan and breadcrumbs in a small bowl. Sprinkle evenly over the mash. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden. Serve.

Notes & tips
* Freezer tip: Prepare the lamb mixture to the end of step 2. Bring to room temperature. Label, date and freeze for up to three months. Thaw overnight in the fridge. Continue from step 3.

Australian Good Taste0
Recipe by Michelle Southan


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