Shepherds Pie

Makes 8 ramekins (or one large pie).

50g / 2oz dripping
2 large onions, finely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
400g minced Welsh lamb
2 tbsp plain flour
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 tsp anchovy essence
1 tin chopped tomatoes
2 tsp Worcester sauce
420ml lamb stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the mash:
350g potatoes
35ml milk
45g butter
1 free-range egg yolk

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

In a large non-stick casserole dish heat the dripping. Add the onion and cook for five minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, heat a little olive oil and fry the mince, stirring, until browned all over. While the meat is frying, break up any lumps with the back of a spoon.

Stir the onions and add the flour (this helps to thicken the juices) and stir again. Mix well and add the bay leaves, thyme and the anchovy essence and stir.

To the onion mix add the chopped tomatoes, stock (keep a little aside, for de-glazing the mince pan) and Worcestershire sauce. Add the cooked mince and then pour the stock mixture into the empty mince pan, scraping off any bits of mince left in the pan. Pour the remaining stock into the pan containing the sauce mixture.

Bring the mixture to the boil, adding a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper and let it simmer for about 45 minutes.

For the mash, boil the potatoes, and then drain them in a sieve and place into a clean bowl. Add the milk, butter and egg yolk, and mash together. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Pour the meat into 8 ramekins (or one large dish if you prefer) and spread the mash on top, smooth over and mark with a spatula. Cook in the oven until the mash is bubbling and golden brown.

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