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Golden Top Shepherds Pie

Everyone loves Shepherds Pie, so here’s my no-nonsense yet highly tasty version. You can use lamb mince, which is the traditional ingredient in Shepherds Pie, but my Mum always used Beef Mince so I do too. 

Serves 5-6

You will need:

1kg beef (or lamb mince)
1 red or white onion, diced
4 medium sized carrots, peeled and diced
2 tbsp thyme
salt and pepper
2 x beef OXO cubes

For the mash:

6 good sized potatoes (preferably Maris Piper or similar)
3 tbsp milk
1 nob of butter
salt and pepper

For the topping:

200g of mature cheddar
1 tbsp mixed herbs

First, get your potatoes into a large saucepan of boiling water, and turn up to the highest heat. Then, heat a large frying pan or wok and put a glug of olive oil in. Put your carrots in first, and cook them for around 7 minutes, seasoning with the salt and pepper. Add your onions, and cook for another 5 minutes or until everything is soft. Add a little of the thyme.

Add your mince, using a spatula or spoon to separate the mince up. Keep everything in the pan moving, ensuring everything cooks together. Season with the salt and pepper, the rest of the thyme before crumbling in one of your OXO cubes.

Once the mince has browned all over, boil the kettle. Crumble your second OXO cube into a mug, then add the boiling water. Mix thoroughly before pouring into the mince, carrots and onions. Let everything cook for another few minutes, before taking off the heat.

By this point, your potatoes will be cooked. Remove from the heat and drain the water out so they are dry. Put in a knob of butter, the milk and a little salt and pepper. Mash the potatoes but not too much, so they stay a bit lumpy which will be perfect for creating the crispiness on top.

Pour your mince, carrots and onions into a good sized ovenproof dish, then put your mash over the top. Make sure the mince mixture is covered completely, and pretty much to the edges of the dish.

Grate your cheddar cheese over the top, and season with a little salt and pepper and the mixed herbs. At the point, feel free to add a dash of melted marmite, Lea & Perrins or a spoonful or two of gravy over the top of the cheese. Or leave it as cheese, it’s entirely up to you.

Place the ovenproof dish into a preheated oven at approx 220 degrees fahrenheit. Cook for around fifteen minutes or until golden brown and bubbling all over.

Serve with broccoli, green beans or peas.

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