Greg's shepherd's pie
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This recipe is our typical way of using up the rest of a roast leg of lamb. The quantities are sufficient for 4 or 5 people. The original probably came from Georgina Horley's “Good food on a budget”, but we have been modifying it for some time. This version dates from 28 May 2023.

The percentages below relate to the real weight of the meat.


For about 5 servings.

quantity       ingredient       step
100 g       onion, minced or finely chopped       1
50 ml       oil or bacon fat, for frying       1
8 g       garlic, crushed       1
300 g       cooked lamb meat       2
50 g       dried toast       2
1 g       thyme (dried)       3
1 g       rosemary (dried)       3
0.6 g       tarragon (dried)       3
8 g       salt       3
      freshly ground pepper       3
450 ml (150%)       gravy/liquid (see discussion)       3
600 g (200%)       mashed potatoes (see discussion)       4
      butter flakes (optional)       4


  1. Gently fry onion in oil or bacon fat, add garlic, fry another 30 seconds.
  2. Mince meat, fried onion and bread.
  3. Put mixture in a baking dish, add thyme, tarragon, rosemary, salt and pepper, and gravy, mix well.
  4. Make mashed potatoes according to directions, but don't add salt. Spread over meat mix. Optionally, sprinkle with some butter flakes or brush over egg yolk with water.
  5. Bake in 210° (or warmer?) oven with top heat for up to 30 minutes, until browned.


I've had a surprising amount of difficulty with the quantities for this dish. I describe some of the problems in my diary entry for 17 June 2022.

Apart from the quantities, I need to consider the area of the baking dish. I've gone as low as 0.7 g. Since then I've decided that there should be about 1.5 g of meat per cm² of dish, so for the 300 g in the recipe I would need a dish of about 425 cm². I use oval dishes, so it's useful to remember that the area is l × w × π ÷ 4. This requires quite a high dish, at least 8 cm. This example, from 28 May 2023, shows a too-low dish that no longer has space for the mash:
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The quantity of gravy appears critical. I've decided, finally, on the quantity above. The mince should be barely covered. But this gives quite a sloppy result:
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Maybe a little less gravy would be better after all.

I've also had wildly different quantities of mashed potato in the past, between 50% and 200% of the weight of the meat. And now I've decided that they're all too small. On 28 May 2023 I went as high as 400%. But the real issue is the depth of the pie, not the relationship.

I'm still playing with the baking temperature. I've decided on the grill. The important thing is to brown the surface before the gravy boils over.

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