Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Shepards Pie Gratin - My Back to School Special

I can hardly believe that yet another summer is over and the kids are back to school already. I feel cheated out of a sun shining heatwave this year, but we usually get a final blast of sun when the kids go back; so basically I was looking forward to the schools reopening.

Growing up Shepard pie was a weekly staple in our house, indeed probably in every house in Ireland. I don't think that has changed since I was going to school. In fact I make Shepard pie regularly now that my little girl has started to eat the same dinners as ourselves
I blogged my favourite recipe for Shepard pie a couple of years back and this is still my 'Go-to' recipe for Shepard's pie and the same recipe I used to make the gratin.
 Here's the link to that blog post, but the recipe is almost identical below, except for the potatoes part.  My Childhood Shepards Pie.

As I make this recipe regularly, I just wanted to give an old classic a new little twist. I decided to slice the pototoes thinly and use the meat sauce filling in the form of a gratin for a change. It might be just something different to give the kids when they come home some evening from one of their first days back at school next week.

Serves 4


  • ·         1 lb lamb mince
  • ·         1 onion, diced
  • ·         10 mushrooms, sliced
  • ·         3 carrots, parboiled
  • ·         6 large potatoes, sliced very thinly
  • ·         200ml of beef stock cube
  • ·         5 splashes of Worchester sauce
  • ·         1 tbsp of tomato puree
  • ·         1 tbsp of tomato ketchup
  • ·         20g of real Irish butter
  • ·         Salt and white pepper


  1. Put a pan of potatoes in cold salted water and boil for 4 - 5 minutes, then drain and cool.
  2. Put the peeled, diced carrots in another pan and boil for 5 minutes, then drain and set aside.
  3.  In a frying pan, fry off the mince then add the diced onion and fry for 3 minutes
  4. Add the tomato puree, ketchup and most of the stock into the pan and simmer.
  5. Add the mushrooms and carrots and allow to simmer for 10 minutes, adding more stock if necessary
  6. Add frozen peas to the mince mixture and let them thaw for a minute or so.
  7. Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
  8. Grease a baking dish, and line with a layer of sliced potatoes.
  9. Then cover with some of the meat sauce and add another layer of sliced potatoes. Season the potato layers as you go. Layer up with the rest of the meat sauce and cover with a final layer of potatoes.
  10.  Season and grate some butter over the potatoes. 
  11. At this point I would top with grated cheese, but both my husband and daughter have a huge dislike for cheese so I left it out of this recipe.
  12. Finally, bake in the oven for 25 minutes; until the top is golden and crisp.

The only way in my opinion is to serve this with baked beans and brown sauce. It's one of the most comforting meals I know. 

Tip: Use steak mince or turkey mince in place of lamb mince if preferred. Also I love potato skins so I left my skins on (the most nutritious part of the potato don't you know!!!)

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