Delightful Shepherds Pie

A beautiful pie with an explosion of flavours & the desire for MORE! Topped with a Kilmeaden Cheese Mash, what could be better!? Dedicated to folk who love their comfort food!

Method

1. First of all, we prep our vegetables, so start peeling the potatoes, carrots, onions and we're going to finely dice the carrots and onions, and then halve and then quarter the potatoes.

2. You'll need two pots for the moment, one for the potatoes and one for the carrots & snowpeas!

3.Set your timer to about 22 minutes and your hob to about 6 or 7, no need to boil the vegetables, once they start to boil, reduce the heat and allow them to cook for the remainder of the time, testing the potato by inserting a fork into the potato. If it's soft, remove the pot from the hob and strain the potatoes and leave aside for the moment. Repeat the same step for the carrots & snowpeas (petit pois)!

4. Now, in a large pot melt some lard and gently sautee the onions before adding the minced meat and stir around until the meat is completely browned.

5. Next step, add the carrots and snowpeas and blend in with the mince and you can now pre-heat your oven to 180oC

6. Add the tomato sauce, olive oil, bisto mix (bisto powder with 60mls water) and stir that through with the browned mince, sauteed onions, cooked carrots & snowpeas!

7. Add your herbs and spices and mix through and then remove the meat sauce from the heat and allow it to settle for just a moment or two while we cream the potatoes.

8. Add milk and butter and the grated cheese to your cooked potatoes and some salt & black pepper to season and mash and cream it until it is smooth. If you want a really smooth mash, add extra equal quantities of milk and butter. You could if you wish, use a mini processor to achieve a higher smoother consistency but I prefer to use my own strength and a stainless steel masher!

9. Taking an oven proof dish or pyrex dish, spoon in the meat sauce and smooth it into the edges.

10. Now layer on the cheesy potato mash and using the back of a spoon, smooth that into the edges and then take a fork and run it along the potato making a wavy pattern (rather effective when it is toasted in the oven!)

11. Bake in a pre-heated oven for 25 minutes until the potato is golden and starting to turn a nice crispy toasted colour.

12. Switch off the oven and switch on the grill to maximum heat and allow the potato to grill for about 3-4 minutes, keep an eye on it now, you don't want it to burn, the colour you're aiming for is a nice rustic toasted colour!

13. Switch off the grill now and carefully remove your pie from the oven area and allow to stand for a few minutes.

14. While it is cooling, garnish your Shepherds Pie with finely chopped fresh parsley, (dried parsley is fine too!)shakes of paprika, black pepper and chives

15. Shepherds Pie can be served with oven ready chips!


** Original Recipe by L. Shannon - The Candlebridge Bakery & Soup Kitchen, Ireland .. 10th January 2012 **

Hints 'n' Tips

** Star Tips **

When slicing the carrots, you have an option to dice them finely or slice the finely. You could of course use fresh garlic cloves if you wish and sautee them with the onion.

You can also substitute the tomato puree or tomato sauce with some Homemade Pasta Sauce

Candlebridge Homemade Pasta Sauce

1 Tin of Strained Tomatoes
1 Tablespoon castor sugar
Salt, Black Pepper
50mls Olive Oil
Parsley
Oregano

In a mini processor, add all the ingredients and blend together until smooth. Transfer into a glass bowl and leave to chill and set. Depending on personal taste, you can always add more tomatoes (if they're tinned, strain them first!)

Make sure you use "Cold Water" when mixing the bisto as it does not react well to boiling hot water!

For a very smooth potato topping, use a mini processor and blend the cooked potato with milk, butter, salt, pepper, grated cheese and you could if you wish pipe it on top of the meat dish or do as I do, dollop it on and then with the back of the spoon smooth it into the edges of your dish .. then take a fork and run it along making ripples!

Be creative and enjoy!

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