Wednesday 15 January 2014

Lamb & potato bake

lamb and potato bake

Shepherd's pie will be on the list of many families' list of favourite dishes but one that necessitates the use of several dishes and steps. You need to peel the potatoes and dice them, fill a pan with boiling water, wait for the potatoes to cook, drain them and then finally mash them with butter and milk. All for just the topping! So this is my cheat method for Shepherd's pie which I cook everything in my trusty Le Creuset cast iron shallow casserole dish. If you don't have something which can be used to fry in and then cooked in the oven you will need then you will need to use another oven-proof dish but at least I've cut out the mash stage!

This is a one-pot meal as I've added the vegetables into the dish. Mr JibberJabber and I both like leeks and in fact it's probably his favourite vegetable. However, the younger members of the family are not fans. My daughter can seek out anything remotely leek or onion in origin while Master will reject any green vegetable. My cunning plan therefore was to chop the leeks finely rather than just slicing them and the outcome was clean plates all round! This is particularly satisfying as leeks are in season at the moment and I bought a pack of four British trimmed leeks for £1. Another green vegetable which can be disguised in the same cunning way is the stalk of a broccoli (and saves it from the bin). To add some more extra goodness into this dish I leave the skins on the potatoes so make sure they are of the ready washed variety.

Equipment: A 12in (30cm) round casserole dish that can be used to fry in and oven-proof or 1 large frying pan and an oven-proof dish.

Serves 4


1tbsp (15ml) Oil
1 Leek, finely chopped
3 Carrots, finely chopped
9oz (250g) Lamb mince
½ pint (150ml) Lamb stock
2 tbsp (30ml) Tomato purée
1lb (450g) Potatoes, washed but unpeeled and sliced
3½ oz (100g) Strong/mature Cheddar, grated


1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/Gas mark 6.
2. Heat the oil and then lightly fry the leeks and carrots until they start to soften.
3. Add the lamb mince and continue to cook until the mince has browned. Drain off any excess fat.
4. Add the stock and tomato purée. Stir and bring to the boil.
5. Reduce the heat. If you need to transfer it to an oven-proof dish do so now. 
6. Layer the potato slices on top and try to fill any gaps.
7. Sprinkle over the cheese and cook in the oven for 20 minutes.

I am sending this recipe to three challenges this month. Firstly to the new Extra Veg event being hosted by Helen at Fuss Free Flavours and Michelle at Utterly Scrummy Food for Families.

Extra Veg Badge-003
For a similar reason I am also sending this to Family Foodies for this month's theme of Hidden Goodies and ways to get kids eating good stuff without them realising it! It is run by Vanesther at Bangers and Mash and Louisa at Eat Your Veg.

Lastly, this is going to Cheese, Please! at Fromage Homage. This month's theme is Comfort Food and Winter Warmers and without the cheese topping this dish is just plain wrong!
Fromage Homage


  1. This looks good and I'm sure my little ones would gobble it back (yes, with the vegetables chopped up veerrryy small ;)) I like the time-saving idea with the potatoes too, although whenever I try to layer potatoes they never seem to cook properly! Thanks for sharing this with Cheese, Please! this month :)

    1. I was a bit dubious if the potatoes would cook as well but they did. The kids seemed to prefer them as a topping to mash. I may never make mash again!

  2. This looks absolutely scrummy, and yes I'm sure it would go down a treat with all my family. Thanks so much for sharing with Family Foodies!

    1. Clean plates all round - I can't ask for any more!

  3. This looks great. I have bookmarked this to cook when I'm back in Blighty. Sadly, lamb is not so popular over here, so it is pretty expensive, but you have inspired me to play around with a beef version of this, so thank you

    1. When I making it I was thinking it would work well with beef mince too. think I would substitute the leeks for onions and add some peas in as well. I hope you enjoy your version when you get to cook it.

  4. It looks lovely. My mum used to layer potatoes like this and sometimes you got a hard one which then put me off so I think I'd find it hard to give up mashed potato.

    1. I think the trick is to make sure all the potatoes are sliced to the same thickness. Give it a try!


I appreciate your comments. If you have any tips, tricks or tweaks please pass them on!