sheperds pie is simple, filling & tasty if done right. It will take 3 days to make it properly though.
1 lamb shoulder, fat well trimmed, minced (bones fat & trimmings reserved.)
3 decent sized carrots
2 cloves garlic
frozen garden peas
tin of condensed oxtail soup
take lamb bones (roasted) & trimmings, onion peel, carrot peels & ends & garlic germ & skin - put in a pan, fill with water, salt, pepper & a bayleaf or bouquet garni (or both) bring to the boil & simmer for about 5 hours.
strain then reduce down to approx 1/2 a pint of stock. place in a jug & stick it in the fridge
large heavy bottomed pan, brown the minced lamb & season with salt & black pepper then sit in a strainer to remove excess fat.
add diced onion, diced carrot & diced garlic (when you cut the garlic in half remove the green germ from the middle to use in the stock (please don't use one of those garlic presses - they kill the garlic) gently fry until softened then add the mince back into the pan.
take the jug of stock out of the fridge & take the fat off the top (you can keep it to one side & use it for sundays roast potatoes if you wish!) keep adding the stock small quantities at a time to stop the mix from sticking until the carrot is cooked through. add the rest of the stock, peas & sweetcorn & the tin of soup then reduce to a good saucy consistency.
add the mint (shredded) once the mix is off the heat & season if needed.
now pour the mix into an oven proof dish & flatten off ready to put the mash on top.
make your mash. don't boil the spuds, poach them in barely simmering water. this loses the starch from the spuds & makes the mash far, far smoother & creamier.
drain the spuds once soft, season, add melted butter & gold top milk & mash until completely smooth.
arrange mash on top of meat mixture (piping with a fluted nozzle looks better & gives a better crispy top but you can just spoon it on roughen the surface with a fork.)
bake in a hot oven until crispy on top & piping hot underneath & serve with crusty bread & braised red cabbage
(braised red cabbage... fill a large oven tray with shredded red cabbage, add diced peeled apple, sultanas, a handful of castor sugar, white wine vinegar & diced butter. cover with foil & throw in the oven for about 45 minutes until tender & juicy. the butter, sugar & vinegar will give a rich glossy coating to the cabbage that makes it far nicer than that pickled muck you get in glass jars.)
I would love to see what you consider complex!
Here is my recipe for an ethical de-constructed Shepherd's Pie.
One lamb, left in field chewing grass.
I packet of Smash.
Twelve pack of Wheat Beer.
Prepare the Smash, whilst drinking two of the beers.
Sprinkle generously with the cheese.
Enjoy whilst drinking further two beers.
Observe the lamb frolicking in the pasture.
Contemplate the world, and those eight beers.
*If you don't have Smash it is possible to substitute this with anything edible.
*If you don't enjoy wheat beer, replace with other alcoholic beverage as desired.