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Shepherd’s Pie with Smoky Potato and Parmesan Topping

By Dana Sims on July 10, 2020 in Food

Making Winter Wonderful. Picture: Dana Sims Instagram: @stone_and_twine

What’s not to love about a pie in winter, or any time of year? For this shepherd’s pie, I’ve gone with a classic potato top, but made it smoky with a parmesan crunch. The pie is full of easily accessible ingredients that will ensure it’s jam-packed with flavour but simple in technique. The richness of the filling develops as you add the ingredients and gently let it bubble away.
There are plenty of herbs, aromats and spices that pair well with lamb and the creamy potato topping to provide a luxurious finish.
A shepherd’s pie is a savoury meal from the archives and another way you can turn humble mince into a delicious dish.

Ingredients (serves 6)
1 tbsp olive oil
750gm lamb mince
½ head of cauliflower, cut into bite size pieces
250ml vegetable stock
½ tsp nutmeg
1 leek, finely chopped
½ large onion, finely diced
½ red capsicum, roasted for 20 mins with a drizzle of olive oil
100gm fresh or frozen peas
1 large celery stalk and leaves, finely chopped
2 sprigs rosemary, finely chopped
6 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
200gm passata
200ml red wine
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp plain flour
Sea salt and black pepper

Mashed potato topping
6 potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 tbsp butter
100ml pouring cream
2 tsp smoked paprika
1½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp black pepper
50gm finely grated parmesan

1. In a large, deep-based frypan, on medium heat, add the olive oil. When heated, add the onion, leek, garlic, celery and roasted capsicum. Sautee for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, and turn down the heat a little if it starts to brown too much. Add the rosemary and thyme and stir through.
2. Add the lamb mince and use a wooden spoon to break up the mince as it cooks. When browned, after approx. 5-7 minutes, add the nutmeg and cayenne pepper. Add the cauliflower and peas and combine.
3. Pour in the stock, passata, red wine and Worcestershire sauce and stir through. Turn up the heat a little to allow the liquid to start to evaporate and flavour the mince. When the liquid has reduced by half, approx. 7-10 mins, add the flour and quickly stir through. This will help thicken the sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4. Turn down the heat to a simmer and gently cook the pie filling for a further 10 minutes. In the meantime, make the mashed potato. Add the potato to a pot of salted water and bring to the boil. Cook until it is very tender, remove from the heat and drain. Mash well to remove all lumps, add in the butter, cream, smoked paprika, sea salt and black pepper. Use a fork to make the potato smooth and make sure the ingredients are well combined.
5. In a large pie dish, pour in the lamb filling, then generously spoon the mashed potato on top. Sprinkle the top with parmesan. Bake in a 180 degree oven for approx. 30 minutes or until golden brown, then remove from the oven and serve.

Dana Sims is a Sydney-based food and prop stylist who has grown up in the Eastern Suburbs and loves to create delicious food for entertaining and family. She is inspired by the fresh produce we have access to here in Sydney. For ideas, recipes and styling inspiration, check out her Instagram @stone_and_twine.