1.5 lbs lean ground beef (I know, it should be lamb, but I used to have a lamb hater and got into the habit of using beef)
1 large onion, chopped small
4 large carrots, chopped small
meat tenderiser (optional, but recommended)
freshly ground pepper
herbs of your choice (oregano, thyme, basil are all good -- depends on my mood)
1.5-2 cups gravy (see note)
2-3 cups mashed potatoes (see note)
Sprinkle meat generously with meat tenderiser. In a large skillet, over medium heat, cook onions in a little oil until slightly softened. Add meat and cook until onions are soft and meat is browned. Season with pepper and herbs, to taste. Add a little salt, too, if you have not used tenderiser, but only a little.
Add gravy, and simmer for 5 minutes or so.
Meanwhile, cook carrots until just tender, by whatever method you like. Microwave is my preference: they do in about 4 or 5 minutes.
Spray a flat baking dish with cooking spray (if you can find garlic olive oil spray in your area, it's great for this). Pour in the meat mixture, spread carrots over it, and potatoes over all. Decorate top of potatoes with a fork in a crisscross pattern, dot with butter, sprinkle with paprika. Bake in 350F oven for about 30 minutes or until bubbly. If top has not browned sufficiently, turn on broiler for 5 minutes or so.
Notes: Gravy - I like to use a mushroom gravy, but any leftover gravy is fine. To do mushroom, sautee a handful of sliced mushrooms in butter. When just tender, add a tablespoon or so of butter -- to bring the amount of fat in the saucepan back up to 2 tablespoons -- let it melt and sizzle, then add 2 tablespoons flour, brown, and add 2 cups of bouillon or stock. Whisk to combine and work out any lumps, and then let thicken a little before adding to the meat. [You can use any of the readily available bouillon products, using a mix of veg and beef, in the usual proportion, i.e 1 cube/ sachet/ teaspoon per cup of liquid. If you can find it, the product I prefer is one called "Better than Bouillon", which is a paste and comes in an (I think) 8-oz jar, in several flavours, and there is a mushroom one, which is excellent. I use about 2/3 mushroom and 1/3 beef, and I also add a good teaspoon of Dijon mustard. The liquid can be plain water, or if you have cooking water from your carrots and potatoes, that gives more flavour. Do not add any salt when using a bouillon-type product, because they all have at least some.]
Potatoes: Again, leftovers are fine, or you can cook potatoes while the meat is doing, then mash them up with some butter or sour cream and pepper.
Mais, certainement! That lovely steak would be lonely without a glass (or 2) of wine. Sounds good. Bon appetit!
I have never had a shepherds pie but after reading this recipe I am going to have to try it.