Sunday, 5 February 2017

Hearty Shepherd's Pie (including Instant Pot Pressure Cooker method)

There are few things more comforting for lamb lovers, than a decent Shepherd's pie!

After cooking an enormous (for us!) leg of lamb, I really wanted to make the most of the leftovers in a tasty dish everyone would love, including using up the lamb stock I had made from the bones too (although a decent lamb stock cube will do a good job too).

Shepherd's pie is such a classic way of using up roast leftovers, and really did ours justice. We like to cook our lamb leg roasts pink, and after braising in the sauce the meat leftovers came out really tender cooked this way, so I'd highly recommend it. I usually make Shepherd's pie from raw minced lamb, as there aren't generally enough leftovers after a roast for a decent-sized pie, but it's definitely worth making extra for this!

Serves six to eight. Calorie wise, this is not one for eating on a dieting day, and the amount of calories in the lamb used will be quite variable from one joint to another - you'd be looking at a minimum of 7-800 calories per portion (for an eighth) as an estimate. Best enjoyed as an indulgent treat when you haven't got to worry about what you're eating!

  • 700-800g leftover roast lamb, excess fat removed and diced into small cubes (or use fresh leg, shoulder or mince if you haven't got leftovers)
  • 2 medium onions (or 1 large)
  • 4 medium carrots
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Oil
  • 4 anchovy fillets, chopped up (from a jar in oil, optional, but really boosts the flavour and doesn't add a fishy taste!)
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree (double concentrate)
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (check ingredients if cooking gluten free)
  • 200ml red wine
  • 450ml lamb stock (either home made or from a cube)
  • Couple of sprigs of fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp dried)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Cornflour (a half tbsp or so, plus extra to thicken the gravy on the side)

For the mash
  • 1.3kg floury potatoes (similar sizes if baking - see method - about 8)
  • 130g full fat milk
  • 130g butter (plus extra to dot on top if you like)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


For the filling
If you want to bake your potatoes (rather than boil) for beautifully flavoured buttery mash (see below), you may want to pop them in the oven first.

1. Dice the vegetables (the quickest way to do this is by cutting into large chunks, then pulsing in a food processor: Thermomix 2 seconds / Speed 5, repeat if necessary), and crush the garlic cloves. Tie the thyme sprigs together.

2. Heat up a splash of oil in a large pan (Instant Pot, set to saute) and brown the meat in batches, remove and set aside.

3. Add the onions to the pan (with a splash more oil if needed) and cook until translucent, then add the carrots and celery and continue to cook until some of the veg are just starting to turn golden.

4. Add the crushed garlic, anchovies, tomato puree and Worcestershire sauce and cook down for a minute or two. Add the red wine and continue to cook until it has reduced slightly, then add the meat back to the pan with the stock and some freshly ground black pepper and the thyme sprigs.

5. If using a pressure cooker, cook on high for 12 minutes, then natural pressure release (for around 15 minutes). Otherwise simmer gently for around 40-45 minutes, covered.

6. Drain off the majority of the juices (around 200-250ml), leaving some in the bottom, and set aside to make gravy to go with the Shepherd's pie. It will make THE tastiest gravy ever! Remove the thyme stalks. Mix 1/2 tbsp cornflour with a little cold water into a thin paste, and stir into the meat mixture over a low heat until thickened and glossy. You may need to repeat to get the desired texture for your meat sauce. Put the meat sauce into the bottom of a large oven-proof dish (I use a deep Pyrex dish approximately 7 inches by 9 inches wide). Keep warm if you want the pie to take less time in the oven once your potatoes are ready to go on top!

For the potatoes
Essentially this is just mashed potatoes and you can make them however you prefer - my preference is to oven bake them, and then put them through a potato ricer, for maximum flavour and minimum fuss. If you prefer, you can peel, cube and boil them before mashing by hand with the milk and butter.

If you're not in any rush, you can just bake the potatoes as you would normally before starting the filling (stab first, then bake for an hour to an hour and a half, depending on size), or you can microwave them first instead of pressure cooking.

7. Wash the potatoes, stab all over with a fork, and put into the Instant pot with 300ml water. Set to manual for 12 minutes, and meanwhile pre-heat the oven to gas 7.

8. Once finished, do a quick pressure release, remove carefully (tongs work best and put them straight onto the oven shelf and cook for around 15-20 minutes (be warned, if there's a big one in there, it could take 30 minutes so keep them similar sizes!), or until they are completely tender inside and the skins have hardened up a little bit.

9. Then, halve them and either push through a potato ricer (no need to skin as the skins will stay in the ricer, just pick them out), or scoop out the middles and mash by hand. Mix in the butter and milk (heat up first if you like), and season to taste.

Finishing and cooking the pie
10. Dollop small-ish spoonfuls over the filling, then spread out with a fork to look rustic. If you want to be decadent, you could dot a little more butter on the top!

11. Bake at gas mark 6 until golden on top and bubbling around the edges. If you put it into the oven while the sauce and potatoes are still hot, it will take around 25 minutes; if cooler 35-45 minutes (obviously if you've cooked and chilled this to re-heat on another day / occasion, it will take considerably longer to heat through depending on your oven - it would be better to start at a slightly lower temperature, so could be up to 1 to 1 1/2 hours. If you have a thermometer / temperature probe, you're aiming for 74C internally).

12. Take out of the oven and rest for a few minutes while you make the gravy and steam some green vegetables to serve on the side.Thicken up the gravy by heating the reserved juices until simmering, then making a thin paste with a tbsp or two of cornflour and some cold water, and adding a little at a time and cooking out until the gravy is thickened to your liking. Enjoy!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Recipes

If you liked this recipe, you may also like these...