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20090119

How to Make a Spectacular Shepherd's Pie

Here's another great idea using Colman's excellent sauce mixes.

Many experts will tell you that real Shepherd's Pie must be made with lamb. The theory seems to be that its name derives from the meat to which shepherds would have most access.

I am not convinced. Neither are the experts at Colman's who make a wide range of great sauce mixes for British style dinners.

In Britain many meals are made with "mince" which usually refers to minced beef (ground beef as we would call it in Canada). The back of a Colman's Shepherd's Pie sauce mix packet refers to "mince". My old mum made it with beef and that's the way I have always made it myself.

Start by browning half a kilo of meat in a frying pan to seal in the natural meat juices. Set the meat aside and brown some chopped onion. Mix the browned meat and onions together in the pan, add 250ml of cold water and the contents of a Colman's Shepherd's Pie sauce mix packet and bring the mix to a boil. If you wish, you can add some chopped, cooked carrots and peas to the mix at this stage.

Transfer the meat, veggies and sauce to an oven dish and spoon mashed potatoes thickly over the top. Smooth the potatoes down then lightly furrow the crust with a fork. Now put the dish into an oven - uncovered - at 400 degrees F and bake until the pie's crust turns golden. Sprinkle some grated cheese on top after cooking for a little extra pizazz.

Do you have to use Colman's sauce mix?
No of course not. If you prefer not to use Colman's Shepherd's Pie sauce mix, thereby saving yourself a lousy couple of bucks, your pie will be flavourless, your family will leave the table, rush to the telephone and order a pizza. Blighty's Tuck Store will go out of business and I'll be forced to take a job delivering pizzas. When I bring your family's pizza to your door, through the cruel, cold wind and snow you will see the terrible mistake you have made, but it will be too late ...

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