This variation on the classic shepherd’s pie has a layered topping of potato and cream instead of mash. You can prepare up to the end of step 5 and freeze for up to 2 months
900g (2lb) raw minced lamb
2 onions, chopped
2 large carrots, finely diced
45g (11/2oz) plain flour
300ml (10fl oz) red wine
300ml (10fl oz) beef stock
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp tomato purée
dash of gravy browning (optional)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the topping
900g (2lb) old King Edward potatoes or other floury potatoes, cut into 3mm (1/8in) slices
150ml (5fl oz) double cream
75g (21/2oz) mature Cheddar cheese, grated
Mary says: 'Liquid gravy browning in bottles can be rather hard to track down in the shops these days, but it’s well worth the hunt. Not only does it make a sauce or gravy an appetizing rich brown, it saves you time, too, as you don’t have to brown the onions for so long. We use it the whole time.'
Preheat the oven to 160˚C (140˚C fan/325˚F/Gas 3). Meanwhile, put the lamb, onions, and carrots into a deep frying pan or casserole and fry over a high heat, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until the meat is brown. Drain away any fat.
Stir in the flour and, over a high heat, add the wine, stock, Worcestershire sauce, and tomato purée (add the gravy browning, too, if you want the sauce to be a rich dark colour). Stir until blended, then bring to the boil. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, cover with a lid, and transfer to the oven for 1–11⁄2 hours or until the mince is tender.
Check the seasoning, then tip the meat into the ovenproof dish(es) and set aside to cool. Increase the oven temperature to 220˚C (200˚C fan/425˚F/Gas 7).
Put the potatoes in a pan of boiling salted water for 4–5 minutes to blanch them. Drain, refresh in cold water, and dry well with kitchen paper.
Arrange a layer of potato on top of the cold mince, then pour over half the cream and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Arrange the remaining potatoes on top, pour over the remaining cream, and sprinkle over the cheese.
Bake for 30 minutes or until golden and bubbling.
Recipe take from Cook Up A Feast by Mary Berry and Lucy Young, DK £20, available from all good bookshops and from www.dk.com