Shepherd’s pie is a traditional British classic but with a bit of imagination you can give it a spicy twist. Simply spice up the lamb mince with some curry powder and make the topping with mashed sweet potatoes instead of potatoes. You could also try using turkey mince for a healthier, lower-fat option or Quorn mince for a vegetarian option. This dish is perfect for the whole family and well worth the wait.
- For the filling:
- 1tbsp olive oil
- 500g lean lamb mince
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- Thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 long green chillies, deseeded and finely choppped
- 1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
- 1tsp curry powder
- 1tsp garam masala
- 1tsp salt
- 500ml water
- For the topping:
- 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunks
- Knob of butter
- 1tsp spiced salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Coriander leaves, to garnish
Make the filling. Add a little olive oil to a large frying pan and brown the mince for around 5 mins. Drain and set aside.
Wipe the pan clean and add a little oil. Gently cook the onion, garlic, ginger and chillies until very soft, approx. 10 mins. Add the spices and salt and cook for a further 1 min.
Return the mince to the pan and stir through. Add the tomatoes and stir through. Add a 400ml water, bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook for approx. 45 mins until the sauce has reduced and thickened.
For the topping. Cook the sweet potato chunks in boiling water for around 10 mins, until very tender. Drain and return to the pan with a knob of butter, salt and pepper. Mash until smooth.
Spread the cooked filling out in a shallow baking dish, then spread the sweet potato mash over the top. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4 and bake the shepherd’s pie for around 20 mins, until piping hot and the topping has become dry and slightly crusty. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve with wilted spinach.
The spicy mince mixture can also be used to fill samosas, made with parcels of filo pastry.