Ravinder Bhogal's spicy shepherd's pie recipe

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This spicy shepherd's pie recipe is perfect if the temperature has taken a nosedive, warming you up with mashed potato, extra spices and chilli.

Spicy shepherd's pie topped with sprinkling of paprika
(Image credit: Brent Hofacker / Alamy Stock Photo)
Serves4
SkillMedium
Cooking Time1 hours
Cost RangeCheap

This spicy shepherd's pie is a great twist on the classic supper, and you can make it a hot as you'd like. 

We love a cosy potato topped pie on a cold winter evening, but this version is even more of a warming prospect. Unlike our classic shepherd's pie (opens in new tab), this version is spiced up with chilli, cinnamon, ginger and paprika, it takes things to the next level. Lamb is a meat that takes spices really well, and this combination gives this very traditionally British dish a lovely Eastern feel. Topped with a fabulously creamy mash, it's the ultimate comfort food on cold days.

Ingredients

  • A generous glug of olive oil
  • 1 onion, very finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 500g (1lb 2oz) minced lamb
  • 200ml (7fl oz) chopped tomatoes
  • 1tbsp tomato purée
  • 2.5cm/1in fresh root ginger
  • 2 green chillies (deseeded if you don't want it too spicy), chopped
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 100g (3½ oz) frozen peas

For the mash:

  • 750g (1½ lb) floury potatoes, such as King Edwards, peeled
  • 75g (3oz) unsalted butter
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 40ml (1½ fl oz) full-fat milk
  • 40ml (1½ fl oz) double cream
  • A light sprinkling of hot paprika

WEIGHT CONVERTER

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Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F, gas mark 6). Chop the potatoes for the mash into small cubes and simmer in a pan of salted water until tender (10-15 mins), then drain.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pan and sauté the onion, carrot and garlic until they are soft and golden brown. Add the cumin and cinnamon and fry for a few minutes until they're beautifully fragrant. Add the mince and brown it off, breaking up any lumps with a wooden spoon.
  3. Once the meat is well browned, pour in the tomatoes and tomato purée along with the ginger, chillies, vinegar and seasoning. Let the mixture bubble and cook for about 8 mins. Once the tomatoes have broken down, tumble in the peas, stir well, and then pour in 250ml boiling water. Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for 25 mins.
  4. Mash the potatoes, then beat in the butter and 2 egg yolks. Slowly pour in the milk and cream and mash again, ensuring you have a smooth, lump-free mash.
  5. Transfer the meat to a pie dish and smooth the mash on top. Cook in the oven for 20-30 mins until brown and crispy.

Top tips for making Ravinder Bhogal's spicy shepherd's pie

Can I use dried spices instead of fresh ones in this recipe?

This recipe uses fresh chillies and garlic. If you don't have fresh chillies, swap to dried ones instead. Use about ½ -1 tsp, according to taste. Ground ginger has a very different taste to fresh so it's not such a good swap. If you don't want to keep fresh root ginger, consider a tube of ginger paste, which keeps well in the fridge and is a much better substitute than dried powder.

How can I get my mashed potato topping smooth and lump-free?

The easiest way to get completely perfect lump-free mash is to invest in a potato ricer. It looks like a huge garlic press, and you can pick one up for as little as £10 from cookshops.

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