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22.04.2019

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Shepherd’s pie, with its layer of meat chunks and veggies in gravy, and its layer of fluffy cheesy mashed potatoes, is a fantastic way to use up any roast lamb you might have from Easter Sunday.

This is the second installment of my “use up Easter leftovers” series. Here I’m sharing a great English recipe that will take care of any bits of roast lamb that your family or guests just couldn’t manage.

Shepherd’s pie is traditionally a dish that does exactly that. My grandma used to make it on Monday, following a lamb roast on Sunday. She could feed a family of eight (!) using just one leg of lamb, AND have enough for the pie the next day. Now that is frugal cooking. And it’s what we should be doing more of, now that we all know it’s time to cut down on our meat consumption.

Shepherd’s Pie. To use up those Easter lamb leftovers. www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: An overhead view of a shepherd’s pie in the top left corner of the image. Some of the pie has been removed, revealing the bottom layer of meat and vegetables in gravy. A serving spoon lies in the dish. In the bottom right corner of the image is a plate with a serving of pie on it.

Since Greek people often tend to cook a bit more than they can actually eat, I thought this would be a great suggestion for lamb that is cooked on the spit on Easter Sunday in Greece. With its juicy layer of meat, vegetables and gravy, and its delicious layer of cheesy mashed potato, it’s a meal that will please both kids and grown-ups alike.

I hope you try it, and if you do, I hope you tag me in any pics you share on Instagram!

If you missed the first post of the leftovers series, check out these pickled eggs and a few thoughts on food waste that I shared.

{Water footprint for sheep’s meat: 10,400 litres per kilo!}

Shepherd’s Pie. To use up those Easter lamb leftovers. www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: An overhead view of a shepherd’s pie with some parsley decorating the top. To the left of the dish are some yellow spring flowers. Everything is on a wooden surface consisting of slightly different coloured planks.

Ingredients

For the mashed potatoes
1 kg potatoes, peeled and cut into medium-sized pieces
salt for boiling the potatoes
120 ml (1/2 cup) milk
3 Tbs olive oil
80 gr Greek gruyere (I used the Amphilochia variety), coarsely grated
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper

For the meat and gravy
12 gr dried mushrooms, roughly chopped and soaked in 120 ml (1/2 cup) tap water for at least one hour (keep the water)
2 Tbs olive oil
130 gr carrot, diced
100 gr leeks, finely sliced
2 tsp garlic paste (or one clove, minced)
1 tsp thyme, dried
30 gr all-purpose flour
240 ml (1 cup) vegetable stock (or chicken stock), hot
1 Tbs white balsamic vinegar
200 gr roast lamb, cut into chunks
80 gr peas, frozen (no need to defrost)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper

For the pie
20 gr Greek gruyere, coarsely grated
Parsley, chopped, to garnish (optional)

Step 1

For the mashed potatoes
Put the potatoes in a saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Add a generous amount of salt and let the potatoes boil on medium/high, until soft and easily pierced with a knife (about 20’). Use the saucepan lid to hold the potatoes in while tipping the water out, leaving only a splash in the pan. Add the milk, olive oil and 80 grams of cheese, and mash until thick and fairly smooth (doesn’t need to be super smooth). Season with salt and pepper, stir and set aside.

Step 2

For the meat and gravy
Remove the mushroom pieces from their water (see ingredient list) and chop them finely. Pour the water through cheesecloth or a coffee filter to strain any tiny stones etc, then set aside.

Step 3

Preheat the oven to 180C fan assisted (200C conventional).

Step 4

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Turn heat to medium/low and add the carrots and leeks. Stirring frequently, cook until softened and slightly browned, for 9 minutes. Add the mushrooms, garlic paste and thyme and cook for another minute.

Step 5

Add the flour to the pan and stir for one minute, until you can’t see any white. Pour in the stock, the mushroom water and the balsamic vinegar. Continue stirring until the mixture thickens, about 2 minutes. Add the lamb chunks, the peas and the salt and pepper. Stir well.

Step 6

To assemble the pie
Spread the lamb mixture over the bottom of a small baking dish. Layer the mashed potatoes on top, sprinkle with the 20 grams of cheese and bake for 30-40 minutes or until the top is golden and the sides are bubbling slightly.

Step 7

Let the shepherd’s pie rest for 10 minutes then serve with a sprinkling of chopped parsley if desired. (Let’s be honest, the parsley is mostly there for styling purposes..!)

Tip:
The meat and gravy mixture can be made the previous day, as can the mashed potatoes. Refrigerate then assemble the pie before cooking.

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