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Recipe for Shepherd's Pie with Garlic and Parsley Butter

By Darina Allen
I adore Shepherd's Pie. It is best made with leftover cooked roast lamb.

Nowadays, however, people rarely cook large enough joints of meat to have much left over so minced raw lamb is frequently used - nothing like as delicious.

Serves 6:

30g (1oz) butter

110g (4oz) chopped onion

30g (1 oz) flour

450ml (¾pint) stock and left over gravy

1 tsp tomato purée

1 dessertspoon mushroom ketchup

1 dessertspoon chopped parsley

1 tsp thyme leaves

Salt and freshly ground pepper

450g (1lb) minced cooked lamb

900g (2lb) mashed potatoes

Garlic and parsley butter

Melt the butter in a small saucepan, add the onion, cover with a round of greased paper and cook over a slow heat for five minutes. Add the flour and cook until brown. Add the stock and gravy, bring to the boil, skim if necessary. Add the tomato puree, mushroom ketchup, chopped parsley, thyme leaves, salt and pepper and simmer for five minutes.

Add the minced meat to the sauce and bring to the boil. Taste and correct seasoning.

Put in a pie dish or dishes. Cover with the mashed potatoes and score with a fork. Reheat in a moderate oven 180C/350F/regulo 4 for about 30 minutes approx., depending on size. Serve with Garlic and Parsley Butter, melting in the centre.

For Cottage Pie: Substitute minced cooked beef instead of lamb.

Garlic and Parsley Butter

100g (4oz) butter

2 tbsp finely-chopped parsley

squeeze of fresh lemon juice

5 cloves garlic, crushed

Cream the butter, stir in the parsley and a few drops of lemon juice at a time. Add the crushed garlic. Roll into butter pats or form into a roll and wrap in greaseproof paper or tin foil, screwing each end so that it looks like a cracker.

Refrigerate to harden.