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Three Level Shepherds Pie


  • 1 tablespoon (20ml) extra virgin olive oil

  • 500g lamb mince

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 1 carrot, finely chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 4 sprigs rosemary, leaves finely chopped

  • 2 tablespoons plain flour (optional)

  • 250ml (1/2 cup) chicken stock

  • 400g tinned chopped tomatoes

  • Caramelised onions

  • 1 tablespoon (20ml) extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon (20g) butter

  • 4 large red onions, peeled and cut into 1cm rings

  • ¼ cup (60ml) balsamic vinegar

  • 2tablespoons brown sugar

  • Vegetable mash

  • 1.5kg assorted vegetables (parsnips, sweet potato, cauliflower, celeriac – whatever is in season)

  • 2-3 cloves garlic, peeled

  • ¼ cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil


  • 1.

    Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add lamb mince, finely chopped onion, carrot, garlic and rosemary.  Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently to break up the mince, until the mince is cooked and the vegetables are tender.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  (If desired for a quicker, thick result, add flour and cook, stirring to incorporate, for a further 2 minutes.)  Stir through stock and tomatoes and when it comes to the boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 15 - 20 minutes or until the sauce is thick. 

  • For the caramelised onions::

  • 1.

    Heat oil and butter in a large frying pan over a low to medium heat. Add onions and cook stirring from time to time, for 10-15 minutes, or until onions have softened and are just beginning to colour.  Add the vinegar and sugar and cook for 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  • For  the vegetable mash: :

  • 1.

    Cut all vegetables roughly into 5cm pieces.  Bring a large saucepan or stockpot of salted water to the boil, add vegetables and garlic, reduce heat and cook for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are very tender.  Drain well, return cooked vegetables and garlic to saucepan and toss over low heat to evaporate any excess moisture.  Add  the olive oil and mash using a hand or stick blender. Don’t  worry if a few lumps remain.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  • To assemble::

  • 1.

    Preheat oven to 180°C.  Spoon cooked lamb mixture into a greased heavy 30cm x

  • 2.

    20cm baking dish and smooth the top.  Sprinkle with the caramelised onions and top with dollops of

  • 3.

    Vegetable mash.  Using a fork, gently smooth the mash out towards the edge of the dish leaving a

  • 4.

    Little of the onions lamb uncovered. Create rough peaks over the mash with the fork and drizzle with

  • 5.

    A little extra olive oil if you like.  Bake for 45 minutes or thoroughly hot and golden.

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