It's coming to that time of year, when the weather is getting a little chilly and wet, that we start to crave a little comfort food. Shepherd's pie is great for a cold night and is very filling. I always make more than I need as it freezes so well.
I always feel cosy, warm and full after I have eaten a dish of this. Although, I can always make room for dessert!
This shepherd's pie topping has a very nice slightly spicy twist. If you fancy a change from the norm, give this a go.
-For the topping
900g/2lbs large parsnips, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 onions, slliced
large pinch ground cumin
1 tablespoon garam masala
1tablespoon freshly ground coriander seeds
salt and freshly ground black peppper
-For the filling
2 leeks, chopped (can use onions)
1 carrot diced
3 tablespoons dripping or butter
4 brown mushrooms, sliced
450g/1lb lamb or beef mince
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon tomato puree
250ml/9oz chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1 spring thyme
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauceMethod
- Boil the parsnips in salted water for about 15 to 20 minutes or until tender.
- Meanwhile, fry the leeks in the butter until soft and translucent. Add the spices and stir for 2 minutes.
- Drain the parsnips and mash them together with the butter, salt and pepper. Put to one side.
- Cook the chopped leeks and the diced carrot with the butter until they are soft and golden.
- Add the sliced mushrooms, cook for five more minutes and then stir in the mince. let the mince cook and brown for five minutes, breaking it up as needed.
- Add the flour and the tomato puree and continue to cook, stirring frequently, for three to four minutes.
- Add the hot stock, the bay leaf and the thyme, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and leave to simmer slowly for 25 to 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 190C/375F/gas mark 5.
- Season the filling with salt, Worcestershire sauce and plenty of black pepper.
- Put the mixture in a large baking dish and dollop the mashed parsnip on top. Bake for about 25 minutes until the top is golden brown.
This recipe can be found on Nigel Slater's A Taste of My Life.