• Ingredients

            1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
            450g lean minced lamb
            1 large onion, finely chopped
            3 carrots, finely chopped
            2 leeks, thinly sliced
            6 mushrooms, peeled and roughly chopped
            1 tbsp tomato purée
            1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
            500 ml lamb of beef stock (gluten free if preferred)
            100g split red lentils
            3 tbsp chopped parsley
            2 tbsp dried mint
            2 bay leaves
            parsley spring to garnish

            Potato topping
            500g sweet potato, peeled and chopped into chunks
            500g floury white potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunks
            75ml semi-skimmed milk
            A knob of butter
            Salt and pepper
          • Serves

          • Cooking Time

            Preparation: 45 minutes, Cooking: 20 minutes
          • Difficulty

          • Nutritional Info

            A filling and nutritious autumn/winter meal which is low fat and full of fibre for healthy digestion. High in lean protein, packed with healthy vegetables; vitamins and minerals; in particular beta-carotene, B vitamins, folate, potassium and zinc.
        • Shepherd's Pie Packed with Veg

          1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy saucepan. Add the lamb and cook over a high heat for c 5 minutes, stirring well with a wooden spoon to break up the meat. Add the onion, reduce the heat and cook for c 10 minutes whilst stirring, until the onion is browned and softened.

          2. Add the carrots, celery, leeks, dried mint and bay leaves. Stir well.

          3. Add the tomato purée, mushrooms, Worcestershire sauce, stock and lentils and season with salt and pepper to taste. Increase the heat and bring to the boil, still stirring frequently. Partially cover with a lid and leave to simmer for c 20 minute, stirring occasionally.

          4. Whilst the meat and mixture is cooking, preheat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade and prepare the potato topping. Place the sweet potato and potato chunks in a saucepan of water, bring to the boil then reduce heat and cook for 15-20 minutes until the potato is very soft.

          5. Drain the potatoes, return them to the pan and add the milk and knob of butter. Mash until very smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

          6. Remove the meat and mixture from the heat, add the chopped parsley, season again if required and transfer to an oven proof dish. Top with the mashed potato and bake for c 20 minutes until bubbling and the potato topping is partly browned.

          Serve with your favourite green vegetables.

          Note: This dish is a great way of hiding vegetables in a meal for reluctant children by chopping them very small. You can experiment with your favourites, eg swap the leeks for frozen peas or add a couple of handful of spinach.

          TOP TIP

          Make extra quantities and freeze the mixture for quick ready meals. I prefer to freeze without the potato and add that fresh as required. You can also grate cheddar cheese on top of the mash for added flavour.