05/01/2006

Shepherds' Pie

(serves about four people)

500g (1lb) minced meat such as lamb or turkey, or veggie mince, or cooked lentils
1-2 onions, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried cinnamon
1 cup water
1 tsp marmite (for Brits; vegemite for Australians; ignore this for Americans!)
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
1 tblsp brown sauce
1 medium can baked beans in tomato sauce
1 kg (2 lb) potatoes
milk for mashing

Method:
Peel the potatoes and chop into medium sized pieces, then boil until soft. Drain, then mash thoroughly, mixing in sufficient milk to make a smooth consistency.

While the potatoes are boiling, heat the mince in a pan with the onions, stirring until the mince is browned and the onions translucent. Add the rest of the ingredients, other than the baked beans, and stir gently until just boiling. Simmer until the liquid is reduced, then stir in the baked beans and put the mince mixture in a large ovenproof baking dish.

Top with the mashed potato, and run a fork over the top to smooth it down and leave a pattern. Place in a fairly hot oven and cook for at least half an hour or until the top of the potato is crispy. If you like it very brown, place under the grill (broiler) for a few minutes but watch it the whole time or it will burn.

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A warming meal for chilly winter evenings - this is a traditional British dish. Serve with peas and other vegetables, and lots of tomato ketchup! Technically, it should use lamb mince; the beef mince equivalent is really called Cottage Pie. But it can be made with chicken or turkey mince, or vegetarian mince such as the Linda McCartney variety, or lentils instead of any kind of mince. To make this for a vegan, use soya milk to mix the mashed potatoes.

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