Saturday, 29 May 2010

Spring Lamb Shepherd's Pie

Spring Lamb Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherds pie is a British classic.. I simply love it! I love to cook it all year around, and because I cook seasonally the dish is always changing. In Spring I love to use all of my favourite spring vegetables in this recipe and it’s a real treat on a cool Spring evening.

Ingredients:

1kg Shoulder of British Spring Lamb (de-boned)
1kg of Jersey Royals or New Potatoes
Small Bunch of Spring Onions (8 - 10) 
1 x 400g can of plum tomatoes, chopped
2 sticks of celery
4 Asparagus Spears
6 small new season carrots
250ml Lamb stock
Worcestershire Sauce
Glass of Rose Wine
Hard Sheep’s Cheese (I used Spenwood)
Rapeseed or Olive Oil
Maldon Salt
Black pepper
Knob of butter
1 Tbsp Flour

From the Garden:

Small bunch of Rosemary
Small bunch of Mint
Small bunch of Parsley
Small bunch of Garlic Chives

Take your lamb and remove any fat or sinew (although there shouldn’t be much on a British Spring Lamb!), then cut the meat into pieces that will fit into a blender. Pulse the blender until roughly chopped. Place the mince in a bowl, then add the flour and season well, mix until the lamb seems to absorb the flour.

In a large frying pan add a large glug of the Rapeseed Oil fry the mince on a high heat until brown. Whilst your Lamb is browning, chop your vegetables. Finely dice the Celery, slice the new season Carrots into thin rounds and chop the Spring Onions on the diagonal. Add to the pan and gently fry for 5 or so minutes. Once fried add your meat back to the pan and stir in. Turn the heat right up and then add your wine, allowing the alcohol to burn off. Now add your tinned tomatoes, chop and add your Rosemary and a good glug or Worcestershire Sauce, pour in the Lamb stock and stir well. With a lid on this will require 45 minutes or so simmering on the stove.

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Meanwhile, take a saucepan and ¾ fill with water and season generously with Salt. Once boiling add the Jersey Royals and cook until tender. Once cooked drain and allow to steam for a minute or so allowing the potatoes to dry out a little. Once this has happened using a fork, lightly crush the new potatoes and a good glug of Olive Oil a knob of Butter, the mint and stir (trying not to break the potatoes up to much!!). Check the seasoning and set aside until your Lamb is ready.

Warm the oven to 200 degrees.

Now the Lamb should be quite tender and cooked, test the seasoning and correct accordingly. The sauce or gravy should be quite thick, if it isn’t heat it a little longer with the lid off to reduce a little.

You are about to assemble the dish but before you do first chop the Asparagus into 2-3 cm sections and add the Asparagus along with the Garlic Chives and Parsley to the Lamb.

Add the meat mix to a suitable oven proof dish so that the gravy reaches to at least half way up the edge of the dish and then gently (using a fork) place the half crushed minty new potatoes on top making sure that you cover the meat and gravy entirely. Crumble your Sheep’s cheese over the top and then finish the potatoes with a crack of Black Pepper and some more Rapeseed Oil.

Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until bubbling and the potatoes have crispy edges and serve with some caramelised radishes and a dressed Pea Shoot salad.. Might ands well finish the bottle of Rose you opened earlier as well!!
This pure British Classic brought up to date and made with the finest ingredients of Spring.

Delicate, delicious and down right tasty, try it!!

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