Shepherd's Pie

Filling:

40 g butter

Splash of oil

2 large onions, finely chopped

2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 chilli, chopped

2-3 carrots, finely diced

2 teaspoons ground cumin

800g minced lamb

1 1/2 tablespoons plain flour

1/2 cup passata di pomodoro (strained crushed tomatoes) or tomato paste sauce

400 g can tomatoes

2 tablespoons chopped thyme or oregano

Worchestshire sauce

Salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Handful of chopped parsley

Hot mango chutney, optional

Parmesan cheese



Topping:

8 medium-sized potatoes (about 1.2 kg), boiled and mashed with butter and hot milk



Garnish: Thyme sprigs



  1. Preheat oven to 190 C. Heat butter and oil in large frying pan. Add onions, garlic and chilli and cook over medium heat about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden. Add carrots and cumin and cook another five minutes.

  2. Increase heat and add lamb. Break up with a wooden spoon and cook, stirring, until browned. Sprinkle with flour and cook, stirring, a couple of minutes. Add the two lots of tomatoes, thyme, worcestshire sauce, salt and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add parsley at the end. If necessary, add a little water to make more sauce.

  3. Spoon into large buttered casserole dish. Spread over some chutney if using, then pile mashed potatoes on top, spreading right to the edges and fluffing up with a fork. Sprinkle with a little parmesan and bake about 35-40 minutes until the top is flecked with crispy brown bits. (If not quite brown enough run dish under the grill.) Remove and garnish with thyme sprigs. Serves 6.