Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Mutton Shepherds Pie

Shepherds Pie, really Andrew! 
Ok so most people can make a shepherds and have their own take on how it should go. I include myself in that as I’ve made it on many occasions but never with mutton.

I’ve blogged previously on the merits of mutton and I had an idea to make mutton shepherds pie. Is it worth hunting for the meat and then the inevitable slow cook when you could easily knock up the standard offering? In this case, most definitely it is

What you get, by using chunks of mutton as opposed to minced lamb is far deeper, richer lamb like flavour and those oh so tasty slow cooked strands of meat nestled underneath a pillow of mash. I’m sure I’ve used the term pillow before on this blog but I couldn't think of anything else

As per the norm this is relatively cheap to make, the mutton was only £3.49 and the rest is simple store cupboard fare or veg.

To find the mutton you may need to hunt around a bit and in all honesty I struggled until I found a halal butcher, they’ve got loads of the stuff.

The stuff I got, from Pak Foods in Shelton had bones in, this is good as it imparts flavour and the process I came up with involves removing the meat and shredding it so you can remove the bones at this point

I’ve included the mash as well, just in case you fancied a different approach, this includes the use of a potato ricer which is probably one of my fave kitchen gadgets and a raw egg!

For the Stew
500g Cubed mutton leg (search on line for your nearest halal butcher if you struggle to find it)
1 Onion finely chopped
2 Carrots sliced thinly
3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
2 Tsp of Tomato Puree
1 litre of Lamb stock, chicken will do
3 finely chopped anchovy fillets
2 Rosemary sprigs
1 Bay leaf
2 Handfulls of frozen peas
Small pinch of chilli flakes
40G plain flour, seasoned
Good glug of red wine, omit this if your halal purchase was not just for convenience

For the Mash (you probably have your own method so feel free)
5 or 6 Large potatoes (Rooster are my current fave)
1/3rd of a pack of butter
One beaten egg

You’ll also need flame proof casserole dish

Preheat the oven to 140 degrees

Dredge the mutton pieces through the flour so that each piece is nicely coated
Heat the pan with about a tablespoon of olive oil
Fry the meat in batches so that each piece is nicely browned remove from the pan
Add the onion, season with salt and pepper and fry until soft
Add the tomato puree and cook out for a minute
Next add the garlic and anchovies fry for 30 seconds
Add the Carrots and fry for a further minute
Add the wine boil rapidly and reduce
Stir in the flour so that it’s well combined
Add the stock, stirring as you go
Finally add the meat, chilli flakes and herbs,stir and bring to the boil, cover and place in the centre of the oven
Cook this for about 3 hours, stirring every 30 mins or so
Taste and then season if you need to

Remove the meat with a slotted spoon into a separate bowl
Using two forks start to shred the meat, this should be easy as by now it will be falling apart. At this stage remove the bones
Once shredded add the meat back to the pot along with the frozen peas, stir well and leave to cool

Meanwhile, peel cut and boil the spuds.
Cook them until you can push a fork in easily
Drain the spuds then mash, using a potato ricer here will give smooth mash
Add the butter and a generous helping of Salt and pepper, beat with a fork, add the raw egg and combine, don’t worry the heat of the potatoes will cook the egg
Taste and add more seasoning if you want.

Heat the oven to 200 degrees
On top of the cooled meat spoon the mash evenly then when covered lightly go over with a fork to create that ridge effect.
Dot all over with little pieces of butter
Place uncovered into the oven for 20-30 mins until browned on top and the meat is hot. Test this with knife of skewer into the middle, if it comes out hot its done.

That’s it; serve into bowls with chunky bread

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