The Daily Telegraph - Saturday

A REALLY GOOD SHEPHERD’S PIE

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I use a trio of Asian flavours in my shepherd’s pie, which you might not think is a natural fit in a quintessen­tially British dish, but it works. Their characteri­stics can elevate even the most traditiona­l British dish into an umami-fest. The miso, soy and fish sauce round out flavours without overpoweri­ng. Shepherd’s pie calls for minced lamb, but this can be swapped with beef. If you’re using beef, look out for a mince with 20 per cent fat. Remember – fat is flavour! I don’t like making mashed potato, so I use shop-bought. I know many people don’t share my disdain for mashing, in which case make your own!

Serves four

INGREDIENT­S

1 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 leek, halved lengthways and chopped

1 celery stalk, chopped 3 large carrots, diced 2 garlic cloves, grated 2 tbsp thyme leaves or

1 tsp dried thyme

500g minced lamb or beef 1 tbsp plain flour

2 fresh or dried bay leaves 1½ tbsp miso

1 tbsp dark soy sauce 1 tbsp tomato purée

2 tsp fish sauce

200ml water

900g mashed potatoes (about 6 large potatoes, boiled and mashed)

3 tbsp whole milk

1 tbsp butter

100g strong cheddar, grated

METHOD

h Heat the oil in a large, shallow, flameproof casserole dish set over a medium heat. Fry the onion, leek, celery and carrots for 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until starting to soften. Add the garlic and thyme, then push the vegetables to the edge of the pan. Increase the heat, add the meat and fry for five minutes until brown, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as you go. Sprinkle over the flour and cook for a further minute. h Throw the bay leaves into the pan, then stir in the miso, soy sauce, tomato purée, fish sauce and water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Remove the dish from the heat and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. (You can cool completely and freeze the meat mixture at this point.) h Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/Gas 6. In a separate saucepan, heat the mashed potato with the milk and butter, stirring until smooth and warmed through. Top the cooled meat mixture with the mashed potato and rough up the surface with a fork. Scatter over the cheese and cook in the oven for 20 minutes, or until golden and bubbling. h Once assembled, this will sit happily in the refrigerat­or for two days before cooking, and the meat sauce will keep in the freezer for up to two months.

 ??  ?? THE SHORTCUT A savoury flavour bomb is achieved in minutes with the trio of umami-rich ingredient­s (miso, soy and fish sauce) – it will taste as though you’ve slow-cooked it for hours
THE SHORTCUT A savoury flavour bomb is achieved in minutes with the trio of umami-rich ingredient­s (miso, soy and fish sauce) – it will taste as though you’ve slow-cooked it for hours

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