My daughter loves shepherd's pie, and will often request it when asked what she'd like on the meal plans. My father-in-law's also a fan, so it's a go-to recipe in this house. Simple too. Here's how I cook it. I usually use lamb mince, but if I've had a lamb roast and have leftovers I'll chop up the lamb meat. Delish. When lamb mince isn't available I'll use beef mince and call it cottage pie.
500g of lamb mince
1 onion, finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced
1 tin of tomatoes
1 tbsp of dried herbs
a teaspoon of worchestershire sauce
250g beef stock
3 - 5 large potatoes, cooked and mashed with butter and milk (and salt)
Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
First of all, gently fry the onion and carrot in a little olive oil, slowly, until it's really tender. Remove from pan and add mince and brown. Add vegies and stir. Then add stock, herbs, sauce, and diced tomotoes. Add a couple of bayleaves and salt and pepper to taste. Now, bring to the boil, then turn it down and simmer for 30 mins.
While this is simmering boil up the potatoes then mash them with a little butter and milk. You want a nice, firm mash for this. Add salt to taste.
Keep testing the mince. I add a little extra sauce and salt and pepper depending on whether it needs it or not. I'll sometimes add a little vegemite (!) or a splodge of tomato sauce if the flavour needs souping up.
Pour this into a pie dish, making sure you remove the bay leaves. Now, gently dollop the mash on top, you want a nice coverage of at least 2cm thick. I then use the tines of a fork to draw pretty patterns on the top to make a nice crispy, fluffy texture.
Bake in a moderate oven for around 30 minutes, or until the top is golden.
Serve with steamed greens and corn on the cob. Maybe with a piece of crusty bread to mop up any leftover sauce.