Shepherd's pie is one of those classic dish that everyone just love to eat, and for some reason I was craving for it so why not attempt in making one myself? I gave mine a little twist, by adding one of Melbourne's current seasonal vegetable, the pumpkin! I totally underestimate the time of making this dish, although scheming through the menu it seems easy enough but who knew it took me like close to 2 hours to make it, probably cause I had some distraction from my dinner guests at the time xD but overall, I shall say the dish is a success! Oh one of the comment I've got was that the dish had abit of an Asian taste? although there was nothing Asian in it, so that was interesting feedback, why not you guys try it out and let me know what you think? :)
450g Brushed Potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 Medium Parsnip, peeled
500g Beef Mince
1 Small Brown Onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp Fresh Chopped Thyme
1 Medium Carrot, peeled and cut into small dice
1½ cups Butternut Pumpkin, peeled and cut into small dice
2 tbsp Tomato Paste
1½ cups Beef Stock
Melted Butter, for brushing
1. Preheat oven to 190˚C. Place the chopped potatoes and parsnip in a large saucepan and fill with enough water to cover. Add salt and bring to the boil. Cook until both are tender and good for mashing. Strain the potatoes and parsnip and mash. Add in warm milk and butter(approx) and whisk till mash has a creamy consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
2. Meanwhile, heat some oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat and cook the beef until browned and just cooked through, breaking up any large chunks. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Strain the beef from the pan and reserve on the side. Return the pan to the heat.
3. Add the onion and cook for 1 minute, then add the garlic to the pan and cook for 3 minutes or until translucent. Add the carrots and cook for 1 minute, then add the pumpkin to the pan and cook for 4 minutes stirring occasionally. Add the tomato paste and stir to coat the vegetables, cook for 2-3 minutes being careful not to scorch the tomato paste.
4. Add the beef back to the pan and stir well to mix, then add the beef stock, stir well and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and cook covered, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
5. Pour the mixture into 4 small individual baking dishes or ramekins and prepare the mash. You could either pipe the mash with a decorative pattern or spoon the mash over the filling and using a fork make cross hatch marks or swirls. Brush the top of each cottage pie with melted butter and place on a baking tray and into the oven.
6. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and the filling is heated through. Remove from the oven and allow the pies to sit at room temperature for 5 minutes before serving.
So in conclusion, thumbs up from my guinea pigs! ;) you know who you are hahaha, yumz~