Arbutus Shepherd’s Pie

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This is a typical plat du jour dish which goes down very well at the restaurant during the spring and summer seasons. As we buy whole animals, we have lots of different lamb cuts around the kitchen. This shepherd’s pie is our way of gathering up what’s in the kitchen on a particular day. Instead of cooking with butter and olive oil, you could use lamb fat, as it has such a wonderful flavour. The great thing about a dish like this is that it can be made a couple of days in advance.

Ingredients

  • 50 g butter, plus more for dotting
  • Splash of olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped lemon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
  • 4 garlic cloves, pureed
  • 4 tomatoes, skinned, deseeded and diced
  • 2 handfuls of peas, blanched
  • 500 ml lamb stock (juices from the braised lamb)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 kg cooked lambbreast, shoulder and shanks (see the recipes on the subsequent pages), diced
  • Potato purée

Method

Melt the butter with the oil in a large heavy-based pot and cook the onion, carrots, thyme and rosemary until the vegetables take on a little colour, then add the garlic, tomatoes, peas and lamb stock. Bring to the boil, simmer and season. Cook until the vegetables are soft. When cooked, take off the heat and leave to go cold.

When cold, preheat the oven to 160°C/gas 3. Mix your roughly diced lamb meat into the cold vegetables and combine well. This is now ready to go into your pie dish or roasting pot. Top the meat and vegetables with potato purée, dot with butter and bake for about 45 minutes, or until hot and golden.