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Posts Tagged ‘Lamb mince’

Shepherds Pie

Everyone needs a good recipe for Shepherd’s pie; and here is ours.

Wine Suggestion: We usually fall for a red wine with a Shepherd’s pie and tonight it was a Château Farcies du Pech Pécharmant from our last travels in France.

Shepherd’s Pie – serves 4

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stick, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 500g lamb mince
  • 1 heaped tbsp plain flour
  • 400ml chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 bouquet garni (use whatever herbs you have but a good mix is thyme, parsley and a bay leaf tied together with string)
  • 700g floury potatoes, peeled weight, cut into chunks
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp full-fat milk

Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a large casserole and fry the onion, celery and carrots for 5 minutes or until softened but not coloured. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, then scoop the vegetables out of the pot and set aside.

Heat the remaining tbsp of oil in the same pot and add the lamb mince. Break it up with a wooden spoon and stir until it is browned and no pink bits remain. Stir in the flour, then add the stock, tomato purée, Worcestershire sauce, and bouquet garni, and season to taste. Return the vegetables and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered for 90 minutes. The liquid should have almost completely evaporated. You can remove and discard the bouquet garni at this point.

Meanwhile, boil the potatoes in a large pan of salted water for 20-25 minutes or until completely tender. Drain well and return to the hot pan to dry out before adding the butter and milk and mashing well. Season and cover to keep warm while the meat cooks.

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

Put the lamb into a ovenproof dish around 20 x 20cm. Top with the potato and fork it over. Cook in the top of the oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown and bubbling.

(Original recipe from Family Kitchen Cookbook by Caroline Bretherton, DK, 2013.)

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Moussaka

A rich, show-stopper version of a favourite dish. We remain torn between the richness of this version by Neil Perry and the fresh elegance of this Moussaka by Tamasin Day-Lewis. We love both.

Wine Suggestion: As this is a rich dish we looked for a similarly rich, but not too heavy wine and liked the Insoglio del Cinghiale, a Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot blend from Bolgheri. It was nice and lifted with dark fruit, blackberries, plums and hints of spice. The key was the medium weight with a youthful freshness, fine rounded tannins and a smooth finish. We suspect a nice earthy and voluptuous red Burgundy would also do very or a top quality Chianti.

Moussaka – serves 4 (generously)

  • 2 large aubergines, cut into 5 mm slices
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus a bit extra for brushing the slices of aubergine
  • 2 small onions, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 500g lamb mince
  • 90g tomato purée
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • a large handful of flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
  • 40g grated Parmesan cheese

FOR THE BÉCHAMEL SAUCE

  • 50g butter
  • 50g flour
  • 500ml warmed milk
  • 80g finely grated parmesan

Salt the aubergine slices on both sides and leave aside for an hour. Rinse the slices under running water and pat dry with kitchen paper. Brush lightly with olive oil and cook in a non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat for a few minutes on each side or until golden. Set the aubergine slices aside and wipe out the pan with some kitchen paper.

Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in the frying pan and cook the onions over a low heat for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook until the onions have softened. Add the lamb, then turn up the heat and stir-fry until browned. Season with salt, then add the tomato purée and cook for a couple of minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, the cinnamon stick and the sugar. Bring to the boil, then reduced the heat, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove the lid and simmer for a few more minutes to thicken slightly if needed. Remove the cinnamon stick and fold through the chopped parsley.

To make the béchamel, melt the butter in a saucepan, add the flour and stir over a low heat for a few minutes or until the mixture is bubbling.Gradually pour in the warm milk, stirring continuously, and cook until the sauce starts to boil and thicken. Stir in the Parmesan and season with salt and freshly grated white pepper if you have it.

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF.

Layer the lamb and fried aubergine slices two or three times in a large ovenproof dish, starting and finishing with a layer of aubergine if you can manage it. Spread the béchamel over the top and sprinkle with the Parmesan.

Bake for 25-35 minutes or until hot through and golden brown on top. Leave to settle for 5 to 10 minutes before serving with a green salad.

(Original recipe from Neil Perry’s Good Cooking, Murdoch Books, 2016.)

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