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Shepherd's Pie (2 servings)

There are lots of ways of making a Shepherd's Pie. This version follows a 'meal on wheels' provided to Martin's daughter in June 2011.
Quantities can easily be doubled (or more) and the ingredients can be adjusted to suit individual tastes, or provide variety.

450 gm (1 lb) potatoes - peeled and diced
2 tbsp sunflower oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 large carrot, diced
300 gm (10 oz) minced lamb (preferably from your local butcher)
2 tbsp mild curry powder or paste
1 medium red chilli, or red pepper
150 gm (5 oz) muchrooms, sliced
250 ml (8 fl oz) hot lamb stock
1 tbsp tomato purée or ketchup
2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon cornflour
50 gm (2 oz) frozen peas, thawed
2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons milk
a knob of butter
25 gm (1 oz) mature Cheddar, grated
salt and pepper


1 Cook the potatoes in a large pan of boiling, salted water for 8-10 minutes until tender.

2 Heat 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil in a large frying pan and cook the onion, garlic, carrot, mushrooms, mince and chilli/pepper for 3-4 minutes until well browned. Stir in the curry paste, stock, tomato ketchup and soy sauce. Bring to the boil and simmer rapidly for 3-4 minutes. Mix the cornflour to a paste with a little water and stir into the pan with the peas and chopped tomatoes and bring back to the boil, stirring, until slightly thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
3 Drain the potatoes well and return to the pan. Mash well, then beat in the milk and butter until smooth and creamy. Season to taste.
4 Preheat the grill to medium. Spoon the mince mixture into a heatproof pie dish and spoon over the mashed potato. Using a fork, mark a criss-cross pattern on the top.

5 Sprinkle over the Cheddar and place under a medium grill for3 minutes until the cheese melts and the pie is speckled with brown. Spoon onto plates and serve.

[Based on a recipe from 'Meals in Minutes' - Ainsley Harriott]

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