This morning I was writing up one of the entries for the guide book I’ve been hired to write, and found myself writing the content for this amazing Middle Eastern restaurant in Bristol.
Reading through their menu had me craving the spices of Morocco, and as there was a bag of lamb mince in the fridge, this pimped shepherds pie was inevitable :)
I wanted to add an aubergine to the meaty part, but it seems they are few and far between in rural Cornwall in October. Whilst that’s a shame, there was enough good stuff going on that it certainly wasn’t missed.
I was however lucky enough to find some fresh turmeric root on my recent travels (another item that is nigh on impossible to find down here) but if you can’t get your hands on any fresh feel free to substitute a teaspoon of dried in its place.
Take your time whilst browning the meat and sweating the onions if you can, and you’ll be rewarded by a depth of flavour that will blow you away. If you’re using Quorn instead of lamb mince, there’s no need to brown it first.
- 6-8 potatoes peeled and chopped plus milk & butter for mashing.
- 1 tablespoon of your favourite cooking oil
- 500 g lamb mince or use Quorn for a veggie version
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 2 onions chopped
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 3 x 2" pieces of fresh turmeric or 1 teaspoon dried, peeled & grated
- 1 tin tomatoes
- 1 tin chickpeas drained
Bring the potatoes to the boil and cook for around 20 minutes before mashing with milk & butter.
Break the mince up into small pieces whilst heating up the oil in a large frying pan. Sprinkle the meat into the hot pan and just let it sit for 3 or 4 minutes. Stir, then again let the meat sit without being disturbed. Do this once more and you should have some lovely darkened crispy bits of meat that are full of flavour.
Tip the meat out into a bowl and put to one side, spooning or draining off as much fat as you can.
Turn the heat down, spoon a little oil back into the pan and add the onions. Let them sweat for a few minutes.
Next add the garlic, turmeric and spices and again let cook for a few minutes.
Add the rest of the ingredients to the pan, including the mince and mix well.
Pile the spiced meant into a baking dish, top with the fluffy mashed potatoes and bake for 45-60 minutes in an oven preheated to 180c/350f/gas 4