Chef’s easy shepherd’s pie recipe – has an unknown ingredient for extra flavour

A shepherd’s pie is essentially a casserole with a layer of cooked meat and vegetables, topped with mashed potatoes, and baked in the oven until the mashed potatoes are well browned.

When you dig in you get a spoonful of mashed potatoes, some crispy bits, meat, and vegetables all in one bite – it’s pure comfort food.

Chef Anthony Worrell Thompson has shared his shepherd’s pie recipe on BBC Food claiming that it’s easy and can be prepped in “less than 30 minutes”.

The description reads: “Make this easy shepherd’s pie recipe for a wintry evening – it’s comfort food at its best.

“This one has a secret ingredient for extra flavour. Don’t worry about making it look fancy, the peaks and ridges on the mash just add to the appeal.”

READ MORE: I made Mary Berry’s ‘delicious’ 15-minute pasta dish that was incredibly easy


For the filling

25g vegetable oil or beef dripping

One large onion, finely chopped

Two tablespoons olive oil

500g lamb mince

One tablespoon plain flour

Two bay leaves

Two fish time sprigs

One anchovy, finely chopped

400g tinned chopped tomatoes

450ml chicken, beef or lamb stock

Two tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Salt and ground black pepper

For the mash

700g potatoes, peeled and cut into halves or quarters

55ml milk

65g butter

One egg

Salt and black ground pepper

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1. In a large saucepan, heat the vegetable oil add the onion and cook for five minutes.

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

3. Stir the onions, then add the flour and stir. Add the bay leaves, thyme and the secret ingredient anchovy and stir. Add the chopped tomatoes, stock (keep a little aside, for putting into the mince pan to de-glaze the pan) and Worcestershire sauce.

4. Next, add the cooked mince and then pour the stock mixture into an 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 a boil, adding a pinch of salt and pepper and let it simmer for about 45 minutes while stirring regularly.

5. While the filling for the shepherd’s pie is simmering, preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6.

6. For the mash, boil the potatoes until tender. Drain, add the milk, butter and egg yolk, then mash until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

7. Finish off by pouring the meat into a 1.4-litre ovenproof dish and spread the mash on top, smooth over and mark with a spatula. Put the dish into the oven and cook until the surface is golden brown.

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