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Lamb & Vegetable Shepherd's Pie

This is my go-to dish as the weather starts to cool down. Something that everyone enjoys, including my fussy three year old. Loaded with delicious, organic lamb and vegetables, every mouthful is packed with flavour and is so nourishing.  The best part is, once it’s in the oven, there’s not other prep work required. Just pop it in the middle of the table once it’s lovely and golden and dig in! The perfect autumnal meal. ~ Lana @wild_apple_acres

Ingredients


For the filling:
3 tablespoons olive oil
1kg Cherry Tree Organics lamb mince
1 large brown onion, diced
2 large carrots (250g), peeled and diced
1 small bunch silverbeet (250g), stems finely diced, leaves roughly chopped
1 medium zucchini (250g), diced*
3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 sprigs thyme, leaves removed and finely chopped
1 sprig rosemary, leaves removed and finely chopped
1 cup (250ml) good quality vegetable or chicken stock
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon cornflour
salt and pepper, to taste

For the mash:
550g Dutch Cream potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks

650g sweet potato, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 tablespoon salt
60g butter
180ml full cream milk
extra salt and pepper, to taste

For the topping:

30g butter, melted
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, finely grated

Method

For the filling:
1. Heat a large (3L capacity), oven-proof sauté pan over a medium flame. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the lamb mince and cook until golden (about 10 minutes). Season with a good pinch of salt. Remove the lamb (and the juices) from the pan and place into a large bowl or tray. Set aside. 

2. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan. Toss in the onion, add a pinch of salt and fry for 3-4 minutes, stirring often, until the onion is slightly translucent. Toss in the carrot and silverbeet stems and sauté for a further 5-7 minutes, stirring often. Add the silverbeet leaves and the zucchini and allow it all to cook for a further 10 minutes, until the vegetables are tender (but still hold their shape) and the silverbeet is wilted. It should be slightly caramelised, this will add lovely sweetness to your finished dish. If it sticks a bit while cooking, add a splash or two of water to the pan.  

3. Make a small space in the pan by pushing the vegetables to one side. Add the garlic, thyme and rosemary to the cleared space and fry until aromatic (30 seconds-1 minute). 

4. Add the lamb mince (and all those delicious juices) back into the pan and give it all a really good mix. 

5. Stir through the stock and the apple cider vinegar. Cook on a medium heat for a further 15-20 minutes.

6. Place the cornflour in a small bowl and add 2 tablespoons of cold water. Mix into a paste and then pour this into the pan. Give it another good stir and cook until the juices in the pan have thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

7. Set aside the mixture to cool while you make the mash.

For the mash:

1. Place the dutch cream potatoes in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, add 1 tablespoon of salt and stir. After 5 minutes, add the sweet potato to the same pot. Cook for a further 10 minutes, or until very tender (potatoes should be easily pierced with a fork).

2. Drain the potatoes and place them back into the pot. Allow them to steam dry for a few minutes. Toss in the butter and milk and add a sprinkling of salt and cracked black pepper. Mash until very smooth. 

To assemble:

1. Preheat oven to 200˚C (180˚C fan-forced).

2. Using a large spoon, dollop the potato mash onto the mixture in the oven-proof sauté pan (if you don’t have an oven-proof sauté pan, just transfer the mixture into a 3L capacity oven-proof dish and then top with the mash). Gently spread the mash so that it completely covers the pie filling. Smooth over gently with the back of a spoon. Don’t worry if it’s not perfectly smooth, a few bumps and ridges here and there is a good thing (ridges=nicely browned, crispy bits!)

3. Drizzle over the melted butter as evenly as possible, and sprinkle the parmesan over the top.

4. Place in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, until lovely and golden and bubbling around the edges.

5. Let stand for 10-15 minutes before serving. 

*If zucchini is not in season, substitute with mushrooms instead.

 

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