I had a solo date night on Friday.
Gary was away, my flatmates were all away, I’d had a stressful week, and all I wanted was to collapse on the sofa with a film. So after work, I picked up some fresh flowers, stocked up on necessary items (ie: chocolate buttons and Malbec) and headed home to change into my PJs and a chill out sesh.
Usually in this situation I’d be all over the simple cheese on toast. But I was actually (shockingly) in a bit of a cooking mood…
For weeks now I’ve had a craving for Shepherd’s Pie. Minced lamb in a rich gravy, topped with fluffy potatoes and served with fresh veggies. There’s just something about it that makes me feel all comfy and happy inside. It’s like a big hug on a plate!
So I’d already bought everything I needed in preparation for making a traditional pie… BUT THEN. I realised I had chorizo in the fridge to use up as well.
And somehow it just felt so right to mix it all in, add some extra herbs and spices and turn it into a melting-pot pie of Mediterranean/British goodness…
Spanish Shepherd’s Pie. You’re welcome.
250g pack of lamb mince
Half a chorizo sausage
1 can of crushed tomatoes
3 or 4 broccoli stems
1 sweet potato
1 garlic clove
1 glass of red wine
1 tsp of tomato ketchup
2 tbsp of HP brown sauce
1 tsp of smoked paprika
1 tsp of rosemary
1 tsp of honey
Salt + pepper
2 handfuls of grated mature cheddar cheese
1. Peel and finely chop the onion. Peel and crush the garlic cloves. Peel the carrots, slice them in half lengthwise, and then roughly chop into bite-size chunks. Chop the broccoli into small florets.
2. Run a sharp knife lightly down the outside of the chorizo sausage and peel the skin off. Then chop into rough chunks.
3. Heat some oil in a large pan and tip the onions and garlic in to fry gently for 2 minutes, until the onions are translucent.
4. Season the lamb mince with salt and pepper, and add to the onion and garlic mix. Fry on a high-ish heat for about 5 minutes, then add the chorizo and rosemary. Cook for a further 3-4 minutes, or until all the lamb is browned.
5. At this point, turn the oven on to about 180 degrees (celsius/fan heated). Add your carrots and broccoli to the pan and stir for a couple of minutes.
6. Pour in the glass of wine and cook for about 2 minutes before adding the can of crushed tomatoes, ketchup, brown sauce, honey, paprika, and seasoning. Stir hard, so that everything’s properly mixed in.
7. Tip the whole mix into a deep-pan oven-proof dish and pop it in the oven to cook slowly for 2 hours. This is going to give you a really thick and rich sauce.
8. While the sauce is in the oven, put a pan of water on to boil. Scrub your sweet potatoes. (if you wanna peel them, go right ahead, but I actually love leaving the skins on so you get that rustic look) and roughly chop them into equal bite-size pieces.
9. Boil the sweet potatoes until they’re soft when you stick a fork in them (about 10-15 minutes). Then drain, and mash with a knob of butter, a sprinkling of salt and pepper and one handful of the grated cheese. Put the mash to one side until the meat is done. (Don’t worry if it goes cold).
10. Once you take the mince out of the oven, spread the mash generously over the top, smooth with a fork and then sprinkle liberally with the leftover cheese.
11. Stick it in the oven for about 15 minutes until the cheese is golden and bubbly on the top.
12. Serve your Spanish Shepherd’s Pie with buttered leeks, lit candles, fresh flowers and lashings of red wine.
I’m lying at home editing this. I have flu (again) and all I want is a great old cuddly Shepherd’s Pie hug.
Let me know if any of you give this a shot! I’d love to know your thoughts :)
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