Recently, I’ve made a new friend called Lucy. The story of how we met is pretty straight forward, at one Zumba class before it started, she came up to me and we just started chatting away. Fast forward to one girly Soyo date together and now I’m teaching her how to cook. Pretty cool, right? Since she is pretty new to the good ol’ culinary world, I decided to teach her how to make shepherd’s pie. This is a dish that I love because a) it’s incredibly easy to make, and b) it’s great comfort food for those cold wintery nights. It’s also really cheap to make if you’re a poor student and have to feed your flat when it’s ‘your turn’ to do the cooking. My mum used to make this when I was a child (and still does occasionally) so it serves me well for a trip down memory lane! Pun intended.
1 small onion (optional)
Splash cooking oil
1/2 can tomato paste or decent-sized squirt of tomato sauce
2 cups frozen mixed veggies
4-5 large potatoes
Grated cheese to top
Salt and pepper to taste
Fill half a saucepan with boiling water and a sprinkle of salt and bring to the boil. Chop potatoes into half, then halves into thirds to ensure they cook quickly. Put potatoes into water and leave to cook.
Heat oil in a large frypan and preheat the oven to 180 degrees on Bake. When hot, add mince and onion and cook until mince is browned on all sides. Add in tomato paste or sauce to pan (plus a small amount of water to prevent mince from drying out) and stir round until evenly mixed. Put in frozen vegetables and give another stir. Leave to simmer for five minutes, then pour mince into a oven-proof dish. Flatten with spatula to ensure it is evenly spread round the whole dish.
Drain potatoes in the sink and mash. Add a few bits of cubed butter or margarine and a splash of milk to make potatoes fluffy. Whip with a fork until there are no visible lumps, then evenly spread potatoes on top of mince with a knife. Sprinkle top with grated cheese, then place in oven for a further five minutes until the cheese is melted on top.
And yum yummy yum. Shepherd’s pie in your tum!