Sunday, 24 November 2013

Shepherds Cobbly pie!

I started off making a shepherds pie.  Then me being me got distracted and decided to make dumplings, then decided to make the mixture a bit looser and do a cobble type but not top. Anyway it was delicious and great comfort food for this time of year. 

1 large or 2 medium carrots, peeled and cubed smallish
1 onion, fairly finally chopped
2 stalks of celery, strings removed and chopped small

The above 3 things I used to blitz in a processor until very fine when I had my kids going through  a picky stage

450 g lamb mince ( 400 if that's what you get in a pack)
squirt of tomato sauce or tomato puree ( guess who lost tomato puree tube)
2 tablespoons flour
one chicken stock cube and 400 ml water to dissolve stock cube or stock melt into. 


175 g self rising flour 
75 g suet, or grated hard butter 
1 heaped tablespoon wholegrain mustard
50 grams grated cheese and more for the top if liked

Start with a tablespoon of oil in a pan,  I have an oven proof fry pan with deep sides I use but you can put the mix after pan cooking into an oven proof dish when moving to the oven, on a medium heat put in your chopped veg and cook on low for around 10 minutes. It should be softening, onions cooked through and just started  get some colour on it. 

Add the lamb and increase the heat browning the mince off so no remaining pink is visible.  Season with salt and pepper and add your tomato puree and stir through for a minute.  sprinkle over the flour and stir through until absorbed into the mix.  Gradually add your stock stirring the whole time so you get a thick saucy effect.  Bring to the boil then lower to a simmer and let it simmer for around 30 minutes, stirring occasionally and tasting at the end of the time to check for seasoning.  

Near the end of simmering turn the oven to gas mark 5 and grab a bowl.  measure in all your ingredients for the topping plus some seasoning.  Mix together well with warm water.  Add enough so the mixture is slightly to wet to roll into balls.  I pushed the on top of the meat mix in tablespoon dollops until it mostly covered the meat but not quite.  Grate over a little more cheese if liked and place in the oven for around 25 minutes. I served with some peas, cauliflower and red Kale as was what we had to hand and got good noises from the family so will be one I make again :o) 

I have long since stopped buying supermarket mince.  Unbelievably buying at the local butchers is a better deal.  My local farm shop even better.  When I cook the mince from these places less fat and water runs out meaning I get more meat to.  Also the flavour is stronger. So if you are using supermarket mince you might need to add a bit more seasoning or stock depending on your personal taste.