Top chefs on how to make an epic Shepherd’s pie with surprising secret ingredients

Virgin Radio

15 Nov 2021, 15:29

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Meat and mash. What better combination of comfort food is there? You might already be making a mean dish, but there are a few secret ways to pimp up a Shepherd's or cottage pie. And here's how...

Irini Tzortzoglou, Master Chef winner and author of Under The Olive Tree, told The Sun: “The biggest mistake is cooking the mince all in one go and watching the flavour seep out into a pool of liquid.”

The chef advised to brown the mince to seal in the flavour and if you're cooking with lamb, cook the “batches in very hot oil.” 

Zoe Simons, Waitrose Innovation Chef at Waitrose, shared: “There is nothing worse than running out of potato half way through topping your pie, so use a piping bag to load it on top.”

If you're adding peas “wait until you're about to put the mixture into the dish, this will keep the colour nice and vibrant" and by using a mixture of dripping and butter it will give a “really great flavour".

Adding “roasted bone marrow into your sauce” will help to give it “richness and depth" Zoe insisted.

Credit: Getty

Irini continued: “I use onion which I grate as my mother always did because I want its flavour without the texture.”

She said about fuss-free spuds: “Once they have been roasted in the oven push them through a sieve leaving you with the skins in the sieve and the fluffy mash in a sauce pan underneath.”

Irini recommends using tomato paste not tinned tomatoes for a “Greek sunshine feel" and a “stick of cinnamon and a couple of bay leaves add a lot of aroma to the mince and nutmeg to the mash".

Iceland’s Head Chef, David Lennox suggested: “Mint sauce is a must in a shepherd’s pie for that classic lamb and mint combo, add to the filling while cooking.

“Plus, an easy way to thicken mince and gravy is to mix a little flour and oil together and add that into the simmering mince for a quick, easy and fuss free gravy.”

Anyone else now starving?