Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd’s Pie

Cheap and cheerful food doesn’t need to be boring as this stunning Shepherd's pie demonstrates. I made this last week and I really think humble food like this wonderful Shepherd's pie is up there with the best if you get the right ingredients and treat it with love and care. For my Shepherd'd pie I used Welsh lamb mince and I also made a pastry topping using suet, potatoes are great but try this and you might never go back

This incidentally, is a protected geographical product, in the same way Parma ham must be from Parma. Ever wondered what that little blue and yellow symbol on the food produce you buy stands for? A new campaign is underway to help consumers recognise the PGI food label which is a mark of quality found on foods with a guaranteed regional origin.

Protected Geographical Indication – or PGI - is a European status which is only awarded to food produce with a specific regional origin as well as authenticity and traceability. PGI products in the UK include Welsh Lamb, Cornish Pasties, Cumberland Sausages and Whitstable Oysters.

The UK-wide campaign is backed by the European Union and aims to make people think about the origin of the produce they buy.

“The origin of food has a significant part to play in its quality and it is important that consumers ask themselves where the food they are buying comes from,” said Laura Dodds of Meat Promotion Wales which is leading the PGI campaign in the UK after being awarded PGI status for both Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef.

PGI is a mark that food producers hold in considerably high esteem and it protects regional food products with a quality, reputation or defined characteristic specific to that area. PGI also prevents other food producers from giving their produce the same name when they can’t guarantee its origin and may very well be unauthentic.

Laura continued: “PGI is a relatively new quality mark to the UK so this campaign aims to help consumers recognise the status and what it means. Consumers are already becoming more selective about the food they buy and both restaurants and retailers are increasingly labelling their food with distinguishing characteristics that will not only inform their customers but appeal to them. This trend will continue so consumers who care about food origin can be assured of a product’s PGI status by looking out for the blue and yellow PGI label on the packaging of their product or clearly displayed at butchers and local markets.”

For more information on PGI and on Welsh Lamb, including recipes, Welsh Lamb Club restaurants in your area and the heritage of Welsh Lamb farming, visit

What you need

500g Minced lamb
1 Onion, diced
1 Carrot, diced
1 stick celery, diced
2 tbsp Flour
250ml Lamb stock
125g Plain flour
100g Suet
1 egg mixed with 1 tbsp milk

 How to do it

1)    Fry the onion, carrot and celery with a little oil in a large pan for a few minutes. Add the minced lamb and brown, stir in the flour and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the stock gradually and simmer the whole lot for an hour, adding a little more liquid if it is to dry.

2)    Make the pastry. In a large bowl mix together the flour and suet. Make a well in the centre, add the egg / milk mixture (reserving a little for eggwash) and mix together to form a dough. Pop in the fridge to rest for ½ an hour.

3)    Preheat your oven to gas 5 / 180. Place the filling in a pie dish, roll out your pastry and pop it on top, crimping the edges. Brush with eggwash and bake for 40 minutes until golden brown.

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