What makes our version of this classic pie stand out is that it's actually a cross between a shepherd's pie and a cottage pie, since we use both beef and lamb to make it. We think this gives the pie a little more complexity, and elevates a very humble dish into something a bit more special.
For a totally inauthentic but completely delicious twist on it, scatter a generous handful of grated mature Cheddar over the top of the pie just before baking.
2tbs olive oil
300g lean beef mince, preferably from the rib
300g lean lamb mince
3 shallots, peeled
150g button mushrooms
1 large carrot, peeled
3 sprigs of thyme, leaves picked
1tbs tomato purée
150ml red wine
200g canned chopped tomatoes
1tbs plain flour
3tbs Worcestershire sauce
350ml veal stock (or beef or chicken stock)
3 sprigs of oregano, leaves picked and chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
800g floury potatoes, such as King Edward or Maris Piper
100g unsalted butter
2-3tbs double cream
Heat a frying pan with 1tbs of the oil until smoking hot, add the meat and cook for about five minutes, stirring frequently until the meat has browned. Pour off the excess liquid, put the meat in a dish and set aside until the rest of the ingredients are ready.
Finely chop the shallots, mushrooms and carrot and tip into the pan with another 1tbs of oil. Gently sweat the vegetables with the thyme for about eight minutes until tender but not coloured.
Return the meat to the pan, add the tomato purée and cook for about five minutes, before adding the red wine and chopped tomatoes. Cook for a further 10 minutes, then add the flour and mix.
Add the Worcestershire sauce and stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes until the meat is tender and the sauce has thickened. Add the chopped oregano, season with salt and pepper and add more Worcestershire sauce if required, then spoon into an ovenproof dish (or four individual little dishes). Set aside.
Peel and cut the potatoes into evenly sized pieces. Cook in a pan of boiling salted water for about 20 minutes until tender. Drain and return to the pan over a gentle heat to remove any excess moisture. Using a masher or a potato ricer, thoroughly mash the potatoes, then mix them with the butter and cream and season to taste. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Top the mince with the mashed potato (you can pipe this if you have the time), place the dish on a baking sheet and put it into the oven. Cook for about 30 minutes until the potatoes are a nice golden colour and the filling is piping hot.
Recipe taken from The Ivy Now. Photography by Jenny Zarins