Laziest Shepherd’s Pie EVER

It’s not really a Shepherd’s Pie – no mashed potato!

But for something quick and easy when you are pushed for time, or really can’t be bothered – it is tasty, even if a little sloppy. You could cook it in individual ramekins if you are worried about the “plating experience”. It serves four with some yummy bread to mop up the sauces.

Ingredients:

500g beef mince (you could use lamb or chicken, but I preferred the beef for this);

A handful of finely chopped veg (something that will soften quickly);

1 jar (500g or thereabouts) of a tomato based sauce such as a bolognese or similar (gluten free of course);

1 jar (500g or thereabouts) of cheese sauce – the type for pasta bakes is best (again, read the label and choose the gluten free one);

Two big handfuls of grated cheese of your preference.

Method (really easy here!)

Brown the mince & chopped veg. Stir in the bolognese sauce. Place into a casserole dish of about 1.5 litre capacity (I like my cast iron for this – then it is truly a one pot dish – you can brown the mince, assemble the dish and put it under the griller all in one). Cover gently (you don’t want them to mix in) with the cheese sauce, then sprinkle the grated cheese over.

Grill until the cheese is golden, or as I prefer it, golden with some browner bits. This should take 5-10 minutes, depending on your grill. Even if you use individual ramekins, the mixture should still be warm, you are just heating up the cheese sauce and melting the cheese, so it should take a similar time – just monitor it to make sure the cheese doesn’t burn.

Eat. See – how easy was that?

Shepherd’s Pie

Everyone has a favourite recipe for this dish, mine is very basic but very tasty (sadly, there are never leftovers to take to work for lunch).  This serves four (if you are extremely hungry, add some additional vegetables on the side).

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You will need a large baking dish, and to preheat a fan forced oven to 180 celcius.

Meat mixture:

1 tablespoon olive oil;

500g minced beef (I also added a few slices of finely chopped leftover roast beef I had in the freezer);

1 large onion, finely chopped;

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped;

1/4 cup celery tops;

1 large carrot, very finely diced (the pieces of carrot should be cut slightly smaller than a pea);

1 cup of frozen peas;

1 tablespoon soy sauce (gluten free of course);

1 tablespoon chia seeds;

1 teaspoon beef stock powder;

2 teaspoons gluten free cornflour;

1 cup of water.

Topping:

500g potatoes (I used the desiree red skinned variety) very finely diced – leave the skin on, the texture is great in the mash topping;

Pinch of salt;

50g butter

Enough milk to get a smooth consistency;

1/2 cup shredded cheese.

 

Fry the onion, garlic and celery in an large, heavy based pan (I use cast iron here)  in the oil until soft, then add the mince, breaking up the lumps to small pieces.  Add the carrot and peas and fry two minutes further.  Add the chia seeds and soy sauce and cook another two minutes.  Sprinkle over the stock powder and cornflour and stir through, slowly add the water.  Cook another two minutes, then turn off the heat and let the mixture sit in the hot pan while you prepare the potato.

Put the potato, salt, and enough water to cover in a microwave safe container with a lid, and cook until soft (it should be 10-15 minutes but will depend on your microwave and the density of the potatoes.  When they are soft enough to mash, drain, then mash with the butter and enough milk to get a consistency soft enough to spoon onto the pie and smooth over.

Put the meat mixture in the pie, spoon the potato over and smooth to the edges, scatter the grated cheese over and bake for 15 minutes.