Wednesday 3 September 2014

Proper Shepherd's Pie

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Can you believe it's September already?

 Not that I'm complaining or anything. I'm a huge fan of autumn - the leaves falling from the trees, cinnamon being used in almost everything (can you tell cinnamon is my favourite spice?) and warm sweet and savoury pies being taken out of the oven. 
Speaking of savoury pies, a favourite here in England has always been the Shepherds' Pie.
Back in 2013, I shared with you my recipe for a Not So Traditional Shepherds' Pie which I made using minced chicken. Today we will bake the proper version using lamb. It's filling, tasty and a real winter warmer!

Savoury Pies, previously: Creamy Winter PieChicken Shepherds' PieAsparagus and Chicken Summer Pie

A Simple List of Ingredients:

1. Onions
2. Carrots
3. Vegetable Oil
4. Garlic
5. Salt and Black Pepper
6. Minced Lamb
7. Peeled Plum Tomatoes Tin
8. Water
9. Tomato Puree
10. Worcestershire Sauce
11. Red Chilli Powder
12. Frozen Peas
13. Mashed Potatoes 

Bismillah, let's begin!

First, to make the lamb filling. Take 2 Onions, 2 Carrots and 5 Garlic Cloves.

For me, the easiest way to chop an onion is this one. Slice the onion through the middle before peeling.

Peel off the skin but leave the roots as they are.

Slice lengthways through the onion but not all the way through. If the onion is quite big, you can also slice it through the middle.

Dice the onion. This way the root is still holding the onion together so it's much safer especially for those who are new to the kitchen.

So, peel and chop 2 Onions and 2 Carrots.

Heat up a few tablespoons of Vegetable Oil in a large pan on medium heat.

Toss in the onions and carrots.

Sprinkle in a little Salt and Pepper.

Stir and leave to soften on a medium heat for 6-7 minutes.

Once the onions have softened ....

... add in 5 Garlic Cloves, peeled and chopped.

Let the garlic cook for about 2 minutes.

Next, it's time for the lamb. Take 2 pounds (907g) of Minced Lamb.

Add it to the pan.

Break it up with your spoon and cook on a medium heat until the meat is brown.

Cook until all the liquid has dried out. When you push the mixture to the side of the pan, there should be no liquid left. If it's not drying out, turn the heat a little higher.

Next, grab a can of Peeled Plum Tomatoes. This is a normal sized can, around 400g.

Pour the tomatoes into a blender.

Rinse the can with water and pour that in too.

Blend until smooth.

Then, take Tomato Puree.

Squeeze about 1 tablespoon into the pan.

Stir in for 1 minute.

Now, pour in the blended tomato.

Stir the tomatoes in - look at that lovely colour!

Season with Salt and Pepper, to taste. I would add about 1 teaspoon of salt for this amount of lamb but it's always better to add less. You can taste and adjust at the end.

Then, take Worcestershire Sauce.

Shake in around 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire Sauce.

And, because I couldn't resist, add in a pinch of Red Chilli Powder.

Stir all the spices in and bring the mixture to the boil.

Then, cover and simmer on the lowest heat for 45 minutes. Check on it now and again - if you think it looks a little dry for your liking, splash in some water.

Whilst the lamb simmers, prepare the mashed potato using about 1/2 kilo Potatoes for this amount of lamb. I used this recipe!

After 45 minutes, add in a handful of Frozen Peas.

Cover and simmer again for 5-10 minutes or until the peas are cooked.

Once they're cooked, taste for seasoning and adjust, if needed.

Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 5 or 170 degrees fan or 190 degrees normal.
Spread the lamb mixture into a deep oven dish.

Spread the mashed potato over the lamb.

Fluff the mash up with a fork so that it'll crisp up in the oven.

Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown and crispy.

Serve up straight away while piping hot!

The perfect savoury pie to warm your day up!

Full Written Recipe:

Proper Shepherds’ Pie

Ingredients – serves approx 8 people

For the Lamb Filling
2 Onions, peeled and sliced
2 Carrots, peeled and sliced
5 Garlic Cloves, peeled and finely chopped
Few tablespoons of Vegetable Oil
Salt and Black Pepper, to taste
2 pounds (907g) Minced Lamb
1 can (400g) Peeled Plum Tomatoes
Water, as needed
1 tablespoon Tomato Puree
2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
½ teaspoon Red Chilli Powder (or to taste)
Handful of Frozen Peas
Mashed Potatoes, made using ½ kilo Potatoes


Heat the oil in a large pan. Add in the chopped onions and carrots along with a little salt and pepper. Soften on a medium heat for about 6-7 minutes.

Add in the chopped garlic, and stir for about 2 minutes.

Put in the minced lamb, and cook on a medium heat until browned and all the liquid has dried out. Break the mince up with your spoon, if needed.

Add in the tomato puree, and stir in for 1 minute.
Blend the plum tomatoes with a splash of water until smooth. Pour into the pan and stir in.

Season with salt, black pepper, red chilli powder and Worcestershire sauce. Stir well and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer on
the lowest heat for 45 minutes.

While the lamb simmers, prepare the mashed potatoes.

Uncover the lamb and add in the frozen peas. Stir through and cover to simmer on low again for 5-10 minutes or until the peas are cooked. Taste the mixture and adjust the seasoning, if needed.

Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 5 or 170 degrees fan or 190 degrees normal oven.

Spread the lamb mixture out into a deep oven dish and top with the mashed potato. Fluff up the mash with a fork so that it crisps up in the oven.

Bake the Shepherds’ Pie for 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown and crispy. I would advise placing the dish onto a larger tray to make it easier to put in the oven.

Serve straight away, and enjoy!

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