So tonight I tried my hand at a Lamb Shepherds Pie, since my grandmother has been nagging me to try it I kind of had to, plus Dad loves potato, anything as an excuse really. And since Dad also loves shrooms, the sauce kinda had to be mushroom, which explains why it has 1/2 kg mushrooms in it. Shepherds Pie 1kg Lamb Mince (leaner the better) 1.5kg Floury Potatoes 3 stalks celery 1 large onion 2 large carrots (or 4 small ones) 1 can diced tomato 2 tbsp tomato paste 2 cloves garlic 1/2 cup red wine (was forced to use red goon as dad polished off the bottle before I got a chance to use it) 1 tbsp thyme 1 bay leaf 1.5tbsp plain flour 1/4 cup olive oil milk for mashing butter for mashing Mushroom + Red Wine Sauce 500g Mushrooms 1/2 cup red wine (see above) knob of butter (I used bugger all butter since Dad hates the stuff, and watched me like a hawk to make sure i couldn't sneak in some more) 1.5 cups beef stock salt and pepper to suit yourself flour 3 tbsp cold water Assemble Ingredients Click to view full size! Get chopping with celery, carrots and onion Click to view full size! Saute the onion, celery, carrots, garlic, thyme, 1/2 the oil and the bay leaf for about 7 minutes, then remove and place aside, also remove the bay leaf now. Brown the mince with the other 1/2 the oil (no photo sorry), 6 minutes later add in the flour, cook for a minute, add in the goon, cook 2-3 minutes. Add in the veggies, diced tomato and tomato paste, reduce, cover simmer, for about 35-40 minutes. Click to view full size! Get your spuds, clean them, cut into chunks, and boil in salted water for about 25 minutes or until they fall off the fork. Drain and mash the spuds Click to view full size! This is where I fucked up, as Dad volunteered his 50 + years of mashing spuds (also he wanted to make sure I didn't try sneaking in some butter) and he cocked it up royally. While your Dad is fubaring the spuds, slice your mushrooms into whatever shape you want, either sliced or quartered Click to view full size! Preheat your oven to 180c Now assemble your pie, grab a big baking dish, lay the meat on the bottom and the mash on the top, fluff the surface so you'll get tonnes of small burnt crunchy bits, which is what you want in a shepherds pie (grandma said so) Click to view full size! I'd have more photo's but I got kinda rushed at this point, I blame Dad for ruining the good vibe I had going. Anyway, chuck your pie into the oven at 180c for 30minutes and get started on the sauce. Deglaze the pan with the beef stock and red wine and chuck in your 500g of mushrooms, and saute the whole thing down slowly. Add in the butter about 5 mins out from serving and thicken the sauce with some flour mixed in cold water, also add salt + pepper to taste, so I was grinding for 2 minutes until the flavour was right. Trying to take a photo of steam rising off the surface is impossible with a p&s camera, so I gave up and this is all that came out. Click to view full size! Serve it up Click to view full size! Spoon it out: Click to view full size! Eat It: Self explanatory, was pretty nice, kinda wish i'd done the spuds myself as it would have been much better texture wise, the sauce makes up for the fuckup with the spuds, very nice flavour in the sauce. Click to view full size! Notes: This will probably serve 8, so either have 7 friends come over or fridge the leftovers for tomorrow's dinner, it'll reheat a treat. If you care about $$$ per serve, it came out to about $3.40 per serve spread over 8 serves, obviously it would have been more if I hadn't used goon and dad hadn't drunk the bottle before i'd a chance to use it. If you use frozen mince (say you bought some at a bargain) watch out when defrosting it as you'll want to get rid of all the water you can or the meat will become a swamp and the flavour will be swamped along with it You can try beef mince as well, say 4 star mince would be fine, I dunno about the thyme in that dish but it can't be all that wrong. Anyway, other than the time taken, (i used the breaks to get ahead of the washing up), it's a fun recipe to make, it's not like it requires tonnes of skill, the only drag was washing, peeling and prepping the veggies, that took about 30 minutes by itself. From start to finish it was 2 hours 15 minutes.