If you're looking for a dish that mixes show-stopper with comfort food, this is just ideal.
The key to the recipe is using shoulder of lamb, slow-braised on the bone — ‘for serious depth and heft’, say Fortnum & Mason’s chefs — while serving it up with mash makes this an ideal late-winter/early-spring classic.
‘Pick the meat while still warm,’ the chefs suggest. ‘It makes the job easier. And baking the potatoes first will give you a drier, fluffier mash than the boiled equivalent.’
Ingredients for overnight shoulder-of-lamb shepherd’s pie
- 1 shoulder of lamb on the bone
- 2 carrots, cut into 1cm dice
- 1 celery stalk, cut into 1cm dice
- 8 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- A sprig of rosemary, leaves finely chopped
- Leaves from 4 sprigs of thyme
- 2-3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, to taste
- 3 tablespoons tomato ketchup
- 500ml chicken stock
- A handful of frozen peas
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
For the duchesse potato topping
- 6 large baking potatoes (about 2kg)
- 200ml double cream
- 120g unsalted butter
- 6 egg yolks
Season the lamb shoulder well and put it on a wire rack in a roasting tray. Cover the tray loosely with foil, place in the oven at 120oC/Gas Mark ½ and slow-roast for about 8 hours – at Fortnum’s they normally put it in at the end of a shift so it is ready for the next morning. Pick the meat out, removing all fat and skin – it is a lot easier to do this while it is still warm. Shred it into decent-sized pieces.
Heat a spoonful of lamb fat from the roasting tray in a large pan, add the carrots, celery and onion and cook gently until soft. Stir in the garlic and herbs and cook for a couple of minutes longer. Add the Worcestershire sauce, tomato ketchup and the lamb and mix well. Pour in the sock and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until it has reduced but the mixture is still moist. Check the seasoning.
To make the topping, wrap the potatoes in foil and bake at 200oC/Gas Mark 6 for about an hour, until tender. Leave until cool enough to handle, then cut them in half, scoop out the flesh and push it through a potato ricer or a sieve into a bowl. Bring the double cream and butter to the boil in a pan and beat them into the potato. Season well, then mix in the egg yolks. Put the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle.
Put the lamb mixture into a large pie dish, pressing it right down. Scatter the frozen peas over, then pipe the duchesse mix on top, covering the filling completely. Place in an oven heated to 180oC/Gas Mark 4 for about 20 minutes, until piping hot and golden brown.
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