Shepherd's pie

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 4 people

  • 360 gm (about 3) carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 3 celery stalks (450gm), trimmed, chopped coarsely
  • 1 large onion (200gm), coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 2 rosemary sprigs
  • 70 gm (¼ cup) tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 625 ml (2½ cups) beef stock
  • 1.5 kg lamb shoulder
  • 60 gm (½ cup) frozen peas
  • 150 gm baby spinach
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 800 gm potatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 40 gm butter
  • 125 ml (½ cup) hot milk
  • 60 gm (½ cup) coarsely grated cheddar
01   Combine carrots, celery, onion, garlic, herbs, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce and stock in a 5-litre (20-cup) slow-cooker. Add lamb, turn to coat and cook, covered, over high heat for 2 hours. Reduce heat to low and cook for 8 hours.
02   Remove lamb and shred meat (discard fat and bones). Discard herbs from cooker then return meat to cooker with peas and spinach. Blend cornflour with 1 tbsp water in a small cup, add to cooker, stir to combine and cook, uncovered, over high heat for 20 minutes or until thickened. Season to taste.
03   Meanwhile, boil, steam or microwave potatoes until tender, drain and mash with butter and hot milk until smooth, then season to taste.
04   Preheat grill. Transfer lamb mixture to a 2.5-litre (10-cup) ovenproof dish. Spoon mashed potato on top to cover, sprinkle with cheese and grill for 5 minutes or until top is lightly browned.

Note Recipes taken from The Australian Women's Weekly Slow Cooker 4 ($12.95) published by Bauer Media Group, available at selected newsagents and supermarkets. These recipes have been reproduced with minor GT style changes.

OVEN VERSION
Prep + cook time 4 hours

1 Preheat oven to 180°C.

2 Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large flameproof baking dish over high heat, add lamb and cook, turning, until browned all over. Remove lamb from dish.

3 Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in dish over low heat, add carrot, celery, onion and garlic, and cook, stirring, until onion softens. Add paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Return lamb to dish with herbs, sauce and stock, and bring to the boil.

4 Cover dish, transfer to oven and cook for 3 hours until lamb is very tender and almost falling off the bone.

5 Remove lamb from dish and, when cool enough to handle, shred meat coarsely, discarding fat and bones. Discard herbs from dish. Return lamb to dish with peas and spinach, and simmer, uncovered, until spinach wilts. Season to taste.

6 Meanwhile, boil, steam or microwave potatoes until tender, then drain and mash with butter and hot milk until smooth. Season to taste.

7 Preheat grill.

8 Transfer lamb to a 2.5-litre (10-cup) ovenproof dish. Spoon potato over lamb mixture and sprinkle with cheese. Grill for 5 minutes or until top is browned lightly.

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