Recipe: My traditional shepherd’s pie

So we’re back in London after the eerie experience of a repatriation flight from Cape Town. Organised by the British government, it was like a military operation through two deserted airports (except for us), with everyone masked up and observing serious social distancing. It took 18 hours door-to-door – and what a relief to get home.

I was fortunate to get a supermarket delivery slot for the morning after we arrived, so our first batch of provisions were soon unpacked. And it was time to plan our menus for the weeks ahead. What fun – even lockdown has its benefits. And for you, too, as I’ll share with you along the way.

First up, one of my all-time favourites that I make frequently. It’s my take on a traditional shepherd’s pie.

I love the flavour and texture of the leeks and the crunch of the carrots. Perfect partners to the rich, flavoursome lamb mince.

This recipe makes four generous portions. We eat half and I freeze the rest – so it’s a two-in-one dinner for us.

Give it a try and let me know what you think. Oh, and may the sun shine in your heart today – I love the wooden spoon my sister Angie gave me (see pic below). It makes me smile and think of her while I’m busily cooking.

The ingredients

500g lamb mince

2 tbsps vegetable oil

1 large leek, chopped

2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped

100ml Worcester sauce

A good helping of ground pepper (about 1tbsp but check to suit your taste)

500ml vegetable stock

8 medium potatoes, peeled

The process

Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the lamb. Fry for about 10 mins on medium until browned.

Add the Worcester sauce and pepper.

Then add the leeks and carrots and fry for another 10 minutes until all the flavours are absorbed.

While you are doing this, add the potatoes to a pan of boiling water and boil for around 25 mins until soft enough to mash. Remove from the heat, add a good dollop of butter and mash until smooth. Set aside until the meat mixture is ready.

Pour in the vegetable stock and simmer on medium for about 15 mins until the mixture thickens slightly.

Transfer the mixture into an oven-proof dish.

Top with the mashed potato.

You can prepare your dish until this stage at any time and set aside. When you’re ready to eat, cover the pie with tin foil.

Heat the oven to 180C and cook for 20 mins. Then remove the foil and cook for another 20mins.

Serve with a green vegetable of your choice. I like peas or broccoli. Enjoy!

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