Tuesday, 19 February 2013


Yes ok,it's made with beef but i don't like calling it cottage pie.
I think that sounds rubbish.
the reason i am writing this is coz i just ate my second installment of shepherds pie and it was the best one i have ever eaten.
Here's how you do it!
2 large onions
6 cloves of garlic
4 large chillis
500 grams of lean beef mince (has to be lean otherwise you get that janky smell)
a load of mushrooms
squeeze of tomato puree
big bag of spinach.
2 beef oxo cubes
loads of salt
loads of pepper
good shake of Worcestershire sauce.
heaped tee spoon of capers (finely chopped)
Good shake of hot sauce (Valentina)
Tin of baked beans.
few generous shakes of paprika
a good few generous shakes of dried oregano
MAshed potato

This makes a fat slab of shepherds pie so grab ya biggest cooking pot.
I used a big wok!
Loads of olive oil.
Chop them onions.
Don't worry about too fine.
Just as quick as ya can.
get em frying.
With the wok,ya can't really have it on a high heat(unless ya stir constantly.But we aint chinese cooking here ya hear me!If ya have a posh big saucepan then you'll be using that!) coz you'll burn the stuff.Medium heat is fine.
Whilst the onions are cooking prep and chop the garlic ya fastest way.
chuck that in.
then chuck in the mushrooms.
keep em pretty chunky.
Throw some salt on to help the mushrooms release their water.
Maybe turn the heat up and givem a blast to get em on their way.
only when the mushrooms and onions have given up their water and are frying do ya add the beef.
Chuck it in and blast it on high.
Don't let it stick though.
Crumble the 2 oxos in.
Blast away.
Add the spinach,handfulls at a time,stirring in.
this will wilt and give a nice green colour to ya mix.
make a hole in the bottom of the pan and fry off the tom puree then mix that in.
add more salt,pepper,oregano,paprika,hot sauce and worcester sauce then add like a pint of boiling water from the kettle.
This will turn everything into a watery mess but don't worry.
Add the tin of baked beans and then simmer the stuff away for as long as you can be bothered.
Basically the time it takes to boil away that water will be the time it takes for all those flavours to develop.
You could turn it up full and constantly attend to it or put it on simmer,chill out with a cup of tea and give it a stir every so often.
As your sauce reduces it will start to coat your ingredients.
The desired consistancy should be all yummy and thick like that of spag bol.
Almost there people.
So now you pour the sauce into like a baking dish thing.
I bought my mash ready made coz i was feeling lazy.I used 2 packs.
So i heated the mash in the microwave as it said on the instructions then spooned it on to the sauce.
Having tasted the sauce i deemed it necessary to add further fresh chopped chillis to he top of the mash.
Cover the mash in loads of chedder cheese.
I even found an old bit of Shropshire blue in the back of the fridge and that added another taste dimension to the crust!
Chuck it in the oven at about 200 for half hour.
Actually i don't know if it was 200 coz my oven aint got numbers on it.
It's all cooked anyway,just make sure it doesn't burn.
you want all that cheese all golden brown and glorious.
I had it ready for when the Mrs got in!
She was well pleased!
I loved this shepherds pie.
And yes,i know the addition of the baked beans sounds a bit naf (a former labourers tip.Thank you Andy) but it really does make a difference.

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