This is a spiced up version of an Irish lamb mince Shepherd’s Pie that will warm you up and tingle your tatstebuds.
The addition of spiced fried onions to the mash and curry leaves and spices to the mince mixture adds a touch of India that is a great twist to a winter comfort food staple.
I also added a layer of raw baby spinach that kept its texture and is a great way to make sure your green quotient box is ticked, especially with a nice green salad on the side as well. In fact, with leek, carrots, ginger and garlic, onions, potato, spinach and tomato the nutrition value of this dish cannot be denied!!
This quantity serves 2 so use a small-medium size casserole dish
- 500g lamb mince
- 1 onion diced
- 1 carrot diced
- 1/2 cup diced leek
- 3 cloves garlic and equal amount ginger and 1 red chilli ground to paste
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1/4 teaspoon chilli powder (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup of tomato passata
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 Handfuls of curry leaves
- 2 cups of baby spinach leaves
- 1 onion sliced
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 small piece of cinnamon bark or quill
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 potatoes
- 1 egg beaten for brushing top of mash
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- Extra curry leaves and coriander for garnish
1. Prepare vegetables for mince mixture. Chop leeks, onions and carrots. Make ginger, garlic and chilli paste.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in heavy based pot, add cumin seeds to flavour the oil, then add leek, onions and carrot and sweat gently until softened. Add ginger, chilli and garlic paste and mix through.
3. Add turmeric, cummin and chilli powders to mixture and mix through, then add mince, and stir to break up mince and brown it before adding tomato passata, 1 handful of curry leaves and stock. Bring to a boil then simmer for 20 minutes or so until mince is cooked and sauce is reduced.
4. While mince is cooking, peel and cut up potatoes into pieces. Place in a pot of boiling water with salt and 1/2 teaspoon turmeric. Boil potatoes until tender, strain and then mash them with a dollop of butter and 1 tablespoon of milk, taste to see if additional salt required and set aside.
5. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
6. Slice (not dice) additional onion. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in small pan, add cinammon stick, 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds, other handful of curry leaves, then add onions and fry gently until onions are brown and starting to caramelise.
7. Add half the browned onion mixture the mash and mix through, reserve the other half.
8. Place the mince mixture in a casserole dish, top with spinach leaves, mash.
9. Using a fork, score the top of the mash, then brush with the egg. I add a red chilli to the top for decoration.
10. place in hot oven for 20 minutes until top starts crisping, then sprinkle rest of onions on top and put back into the oven for a further 10 minutes.
11. Garnish with curry leaves and coriander. Serve with a crisp green salad.