shepherd’s pie & bacon roses

like many of us, i, too, did a bit of panic buying when the lockdown situation sprung itself upon us. mince is so versatile and so tasty that leaving it to just lie in the freezer is almost a sin. this shepherd’s pie screams comfort food and taste! creamy & buttery mash topping, veg packed mince filling and smoky, fatty, streaky bacon roses, stringy cheese…Y U M!!!
moreish and easy, this is a perfect family meal, ready in no time at all with hardly any effort.

ingredients | serves 4 – 6
800g ground beef mince
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, sliced
3tbs olive oil
3tbs butter
2 carrots, peeled and cut into very small blocks or 1 1/2c frozen carrots
1c frozen peas
2 celery sticks, finely sliced
1/2c kernel corn
1tsp dried thyme
1tsp dried or fresh rosemary
2tsp dried or freshly chopped parsley
2tbs tomato paste
2tbs Worcestershire sauce
2tbs plain flour
1/4tsp chilli flakes (optional)
1c beef broth
3tbs brown sugar
1c grated cheddar
1c grated mozarella

for the potato & bacon topping:
4 large potatoes, cut into blocks
80g butter blocks
1/3c cream
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2tsp salt
1/2tsp white or black pepper
1/2c finely grated parmesan cheese (optional)
5 pieces streaky bacon, halved
fresh parsley, leaves only, for garnish

preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
heat olive oil & butter in a large oven proof skillet. sauté the onion & garlic until glossy. add the mince and brown. add the tomato paste & flour and stir until well combined. add the sugar, herbs, chilli, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, carrots & celery and stir to combine. cook for 2 minutes. pour the stock into the skillet, bring to a boil and turn down to a gentle simmer. cover and simmer for 5 minutes. remove the lid, add the peas and corn and simmer for a further 10 minutes until the sauce has thickened.
meanwhile make the topping:
boil the potatoes in a large pot of salted water until soft. drain through a colander and place back into the pot, onto the heat. dry the potato cubes for 2 minutes. remove from the heat. add the butter blocks & cream and mash until smooth.
add the salt, pepper & parmesan and stir to combine. set aside.
take the mince off the heat & smooth out the surface. cool for then minutes and then top with the grated cheeses.
spoon the mashed potato onto the surface and carefully smooth out to the sides.
using a fork, scrape patterns lengthways into the mashed potato. twist the bacon to resemble florets / roses and place this on top.
place the skillet into the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until nicely browned and the bacon is crisp.
garnish with the parsley leaves and enjoy.

from my kitchen to yours, with love x

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