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SHEPHERD’S PIE

A twist on the traditional shepherd’s pie, I’ve mashed sweet potatoes with white ones. Not only does this add a sweetness that goes so well with the lamb, the golden topping looks marvellously appetizing. Serve with a simple green salad to cut through the wonderful richness.
Serves 4 – 6

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely sliced
2 celery sticks, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
500g lean lamb mince
75ml dark Jamaican rum
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
400g can chopped tomatoes
1 vegetable stock cube
1 tablespoon dried mixed herbs
50g hard Devonshire goat’s cheese, grated
salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the sweet potato mash:
750g floury potatoes, cut into chunks
500g sweet potatoes, cut into chunks
2 tablespoons milk
25g butter

1. Heat the oil in a wide lidded deep pan and gently cook the onion, carrots, celery and garlic for 8-10 minutes until soft and translucent, but now brown. Add the lamb mince breaking it up with a wooden spoon, and cook for 5 minutes until brown.
2. Add the rum and bubble for a few minutes until nearly evaporated. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce, chopped tomatoes, vegetable stock cube and mixed herbs. Season with salt and black pepper and turn the heat down low. Cover tightly with a lid and simmer for 1 hour.
3. Meanwhile, put the potatoes and the sweet potatoes in a large pan of salted water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 20 minutes until tender. Drain thoroughly, return to the pan and mash until smooth. Then stir in the milk and butter until combined. Season generously. Set aside.
4. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 5/190oC/fan oven 170oC. Spoon the meat mixture into a 1.5 litre ovenproof dish and cover with the potato mash. If you are feeling fancy, why not pipe the mash on the top. Sprinkle with the cheese.
5. Cook in the oven for 30 minutes until golden and bubbling. Serve immediately.

To make ahead: Prepare as above to the end of step 4. Then cover and chill in the fridge for up to 2 days or freeze. Bring back to room temperature or defrost thoroughly before cooking as above.