Shepherd’s Pie – Leftovers From Christmas

Traditionally Shepherd’s Pie is made from Lamb; Cottage Pie from Beef and Country Pie is the Vegetarian version of this traditional meal made from leftovers from the Sunday roast dinner. It does surprise people when they learn this is not a dish traditionally made with mince raw meat but with roast meat leftovers minced (You can use a mincer if you have one… I do but this time i just chucked it in the food processor cos I was feeling properly lazy). The vegetables are also leftovers from the meal. Boiled vegetables being mashed and placed on top of the meat layer and sometimes leftover greens added to the meat which is thickly mixed with leftover gravy.

This is one of the ones I was able to make with the leftovers of our Christmas lamb leg joint. We had 700g of meat left and that I mixed with some of the leftover gravy (Gravy is made in a huge 6 litre slow cooker in our house otherwise there is mutiny.). I also had a few onions I had cooked off for the boxing day quiches left over so added those and some defrosted peas that had been unceremoniously dumped back in the fridge instead of the freezer.

As part of every roast we have mash potatoes is always an option as is mashed carrot and swede (rutabaga) or/and carrot and parsnip so of course this was mixed into what was left of the mash potato and I topped the mince layer with it. I also found a tiny less than a handful of grated cheese left in a packet and sparsely sprinkled it over the top because I could.

Cooking wise I put it the oven on Gas Mark 5 / 180 C / 350 F for around 30 minutes to heat up. It can of course go in the microwave if you prefer and just heat it up until its bubbly and hot in the middle. (I don’t have one so I can’t tell you exactly).

Now I was able to make 2 full sized pies out of the leftovers this time and it took Tanny and I four days to get through this one and the other is in the freezer for when we fancy it.

Sure this isn’t a “traditional” style of recipe but honestly cooking with leftovers in this way rarely is. It’s about looking at what you have and mixing it together to make something new. Shepherd’s Pie lends itself perfectly to that. Its a great way to make ingredients go further than you thought they might before.

Let me know if you try this out. I would love to hear from you.

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