‘Sharing Recipe‘ – ‘My Favourite’ Shepherds Pie (Serves 4)
If you have grown up in the British Isles there is no doubt that you have eaten numerous variations of this traditional dish. This is my all time favourite Shepherds Pie recipe, and it is a great dish to share with friends. There are, admittedly, quite a few ingredients in this recipe, it’s definitely not designed with a student budget in mind, hence it’s good to share as you can also share the cost! The addition of the cheese and leeks, slightly caramelised on top of the mashed potato takes the dish to a higher level!…Serve simply with peas.
You could, of course, make up this pie in 4 small containers for individual use, freezing those which you don’t eat straightaway.
450g minced lamb
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
75g swede, peeled and chopped
75g carrot, peeled and chopped
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
1 tablespoon plain flour (gluten free if required)
275ml lamb stock
1 tablespoon tomato purée
Salt and black pepper
For the topping:
50g mature Cheddar, grated
2 medium leeks, cleaned and cut into 1cm slices
900g floury potatoes (such as Maris Piper or King Edward)
Salt and black pepper
(You will need a buttered baking dish approx. 19cm square x 5cm deep)
- Gently heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Add the onions, fry for 5 minutes until slightly browned. Add the chopped carrot and swede and cook for a further 5 minutes. Remove all the vegetables to a plate.
- Now turn up the heat, and brown the meat, stirring to break it up.
- Add a good seasoning of salt and pepper, return the vegetables to the pan along with the cinnamon, thyme and parsley. Next stir in the flour and gradually add the lamb stock, stirring to incorporate. Finally stir in the tomato purée.
- Cover the pan with a lid and turn the heat to low, cook gently for about 30 minutes .
- While the meat is cooking, make the topping. Peel the potatoes and cut into even sized chunks, steam until they are completely tender.
- Drain the cooked potatoes and mash with the butter and some seasoning (you can use an electric hand whisk, on a low setting, to do this)
- When the meat is ready, spoon into a baking dish, level it out, then top, evenly, with the mashed potato. Sprinkle over the leek slices and finally with the cheese.
- Bake in a preheated oven, 200’c, for about 25 minutes, until the top is crusty and golden.
‘Sharing Recipe’ – Spatchcock Chicken (Serves 4-6)
Cooking and eating together is a great way to reunite with old friends and make new friends. Now, with your student ‘bubbles’, there is the perfect excuse to enjoy a party in the kitchen! This recipe is super easy, you could serve it with my Homemade Oven Chips or Perfect Roast Potatoes and a salad or vegetables of your choice.
Spatchcock Chicken is a great way to roast a chicken – it enables the chicken to cook quicker and is a lot easier to carve. The rosemary, garlic and chilli oil in this recipe, is a particular favourite of mine, it is a tasty and very simple way of seasoning the chicken. If you get your chicken from your butcher, ask him to spatchcock it for you, alternatively it is very easy to do yourself…
Watch my video of ‘How to Spatchcock a Chicken’ on my Instagram Page!
How to Spatchcock a Chicken:
On the backside of the chicken use a pair of strong kitchen scissors to cut along either side of the back bone to remove it, then flip it over and press down very firmly on the breast bones, it will give a satisfying crack as it flattens! Some people like to insert skewers to help keep the chicken flat during cooking but in my experience they make no difference, so I prefer not to use them as they make it more difficult to carve the bird.
1 x 1.8 – 2.25kg chicken
1 teaspoon of sea salt flakes
For the marinade:
1 tablespoon freshly chopped rosemary (about 3 sprigs)
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (about 20 grinds of a pepper grinder)
½ teaspoon chilli flakes
Juice of half a lemon
4 tablespoons olive oil
- Firstly make the marinade by combining all the ingredients together.
- Cover the chicken all over with the marinade – I use a brush to do this.
- Place it breast side up, flattened out, in a roasting tin. Sprinkle over with the sea salt flakes.
- Place in a preheated oven 180’c for 45-50 minutes, depending on the size of your chicken.
- Serve with Homemade Oven Chips or Roast Potatoes and a salad or vegetables of your choice.