“I don’t have the time to cook!” “I love cooking but I hate washing up…” “I think takeout food tastes so much better.”
Sound familiar? I’m sure many of us are guilty of the above. Being a working professional in Singapore isn’t easy. You’re not home for more than 12 hours a day–and when you finally do get home–all you want to do is take a hot shower and sleep. I’ve been there. Which’s why today’s recipe is a delicious, super easy to prepare British favorite you can make a big batch of and store in the fridge. A cozy 20 minutes in the oven later, and it’s ready for consumption.
One of Gordon Ramsey’s favorite childhood dishes, it’s only fitting I adapt his Shepherd’s Pie recipe. Watch this one a half minute video to see how it’s done. To me, this is the ultimate comfort food which is also a balanced meal. You get your proteins, starch, and most importantly vegetables–all in one dish.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 0.68 kg of ground lamb (you can substitute beef, or use a mix of beef and lamb for different textures)
- 2 large organic carrots, diced
- 2 sticks of organic celery, diced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 sprig of fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1 sprig of thyme, chopped
- 3 kaffir lime leaves, deveined and chopped (optional, adding this will intensify the flavor)
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- Small can of tomato purée (you can choose to make this fresh in your food processor)
- 5 tbsp red wine (optional, but highly recommended)
- 1/4 cup of chicken stock
For the mash
- 0.68 kg of golden potatoes (roughly one small bag)
- 59 ml of heavy cream
- 3.5 tbsp butter
- 2 large egg yolks
- 50 g of Parmesan cheese (you can add more if you want, but save some to sprinkle over the top later)
- Mince/dice/chop the carrots, celery, garlic, onions, kaffir lime leaves.
- Boil your potatoes (Add salt to boiling water and throw your potatoes in for 15 minutes).
- Purée your tomatoes.
- Heat oil in a pot on medium heat.
- Sauté the garlic, onions, celery, and carrots until tender and fragrant (15-20 minutes).
- Add in the rosemary, thyme, and kaffir lime leaves.
- Add in the meat and keep stirring till it’s nice and brown, with a minced consistency. Don’t overcook at this point because everything will be going into the oven later.
- Pour in your Worcestershire sauce, tomato purée, red wine and sweat it down for a couple minutes. All this time, don’t stop stirring.
- Add chicken stock and cook for another 3 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Your potatoes should be cool enough to peel and mash by now. Mash them with the heavy cream, butter, egg yolks, and parmesan cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Preheat your oven to 204 degrees C.
- Scoop the meat mixture into a casserole/over-safe dish and spread the mash over the top.
- Generously sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top. (you can create peaks with a fork)
- Pop it in the oven for 18-20 minutes to brown the potatoes and set the pie.
- Serve immediately!
The recipe above should make three batches (medium-sized casserole dishes) worth. I cling wrapped the other two casserole dishes after they cooled to room temperature and left them in the fridge to hibernate. Now you’ve got a belly full of food, and extras for lunch the next couple of days! Wondering why I haven’t suggested you bake all three casseroles in the oven and heat it up in the microwave when you’re ready to eat? The crusty cheese layer covering the potatoes will get exceedingly hard and trust me, you don’t want that.
Writing this recipe has made me crave Shepherd’s Pie so I’ll probably be making this again soon. The secret ingredient that really elevates the flavor of this delicious Shepherd’s Pie are the kaffir lime leaves. I decided to take a risk and add them to this recipe because I had leftovers from making some kickass Belacan, and it was an experiment that worked. If you’ve got any ideas to add some pizzazz to this classic recipe, please let me know in the comments section below!