Being half Irish, I grew up eating plenty of potatoes. And this dish certainly satisfies my cravings for this wonderful vegetable. I remember watching my dad make this Shepherd’s Pie and being fascinated. It is one of the first dishes I learnt to cook. It was a staple meal in our household then and it’s a regular favourite with my family now. Simple but delicious, it can be put together in no time!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 brown onion, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 2 celery stalks, trimmed and finely chopped
- 500g minced (ground) beef
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon unrefined sugar
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons plain (all-purpose) flour
- 300ml beef stock
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste (concentrated puree)
- 4 large Russet potatoes, cut into large chunks
- 40g butter
- ½ cup milk
- Melted butter, for brushing
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add the onion, carrot and celery and cook, stirring regularly for 5 minutes, or until soft. Add the minced beef and stir to break up any lumps. Cook until the beef browns. Add the salt, sugar and pepper and mix well to combine. Add the flour and cook, stirring for 2 minutes, or until well combined. Add the beef stock, Worcestershire sauce and tomato paste and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 30 minutes, or until the sauce thickens.
- Meanwhile, put the potato in a large saucepan of salted cold water and bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 15 minutes, or until tender. Drain well then return the potato to the saucepan with the butter. Mash using a potato masher. Add the milk and salt and pepper to taste and mix well.
- Pre-heat oven to 200°C.
- Spoon the beef mixture into an ovenproof dish or frying pan. Top with the mashed potato, using a spoon to spread it over the beef mixture. Brush the top with the melted butter.
- Cook in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until the mashed potato is golden brown. Serve hot.