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Winter Warmer Shepherds Pie

What's the big idea?

If it's the middle of winter and you're off to watch your local team play, or going down the pub with a few mates to watch a game on the big screen, by the time you get home you're going to be frozen. So before you set off, spend 10 minutes popping a few bits in the slow cooker (and something warming in your hip flask!). Then, when you get back with the boys, there'll be something warm and tasty ready for you while you discuss that dodgy offside decision in more detail!

Timing is important - you don't want to come back to a carbonated mass or a potfull of raw mince. So the following instructions are based on you getting back from a 3 o'clock kick-off by somewhere around 6pm. The recipe makes four medium-sized portions.

Shopping List

Here's the list of what you need:

  • 500g mince - lamb is traditional, but beef or even Quorn work just as well
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 x 400g tin baked beans
  • Approx 150-250g sliced mushrooms or carrots, or frozen peas
  • 2 stalks of celery, sliced
  • 1 stock cube
  • 4-5 large potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • Salt, black pepper
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1oz butter

What To Do

  • Between 1-2pm: Place the mince, onion, bay leaf, tomatoes, baked beans, mushrooms/carrots/peas and celery in a slow cooker
  • Crush the stock cube, and sprinkle on top. Stir well to mix, put on the lid and turn the cooker on to "high"
  • Place the potatoes in a suitable saucepan. Add cold water to cover the potatoes, and set aside until later
Go out and enjoy the match!
  • When you get back, check the mince in the slow cooker - it should be cooked by now, in which case turn the heat down to "low"
  • Season with salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce to taste
  • Place the saucepan of potatoes on your hob and bring to the boil while you sort out everyone's drinks
  • Once the potatoes are cooked, drain, add a good knob of butter, and mash thoroughly
  • Serve the mince onto each plate, and top with mashed potato

It may not be haute cuisine, but it just hits the mark perfectly on a cold winter's day!

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