Jamie Oliver’s perfect mash potato will ‘elevate’ your shepherd’s pie

Jamie Oliver details mashed potato recipe for shepherd’s pie

Iconic British chef Jamie Oliver has shared an easy way to ensure the mashed potato on your shepherd’s pie always comes out crispy and fluffy – using just one additional ingredient.

Shepherd’s pie is a classic comfort food that uses succulent lamb mince and veg topped with a fluffy layer of mashed potato.

The recipe reportedly originated as a way to use leftovers to avoid any waste, but cooks have made leaps and bounds to level up the dish over the years.

“The original point of this recipe is to use up leftover roast dinner,” confirmed Oliver, before proceeding to demonstrate how to produce a crispy topping.

The cook spoke of his “delectable mash potato trick that will elevate your shepherd’s pie” in a YouTube clip for Channel 4, where he explained that it all boils down to the ingredients you combine with your spuds.

Typically, recipes call for a good amount of salt and pepper, before topping off the mash with a few generous nobs of butter.

To switch up these classic recipes and ensure extra crispiness, Jamie foregoes milk and replaces it with cheddar instead.

For a simple approach to the recipe, BBC Good Food has compiled a method that takes a mere 15 minutes to prepare and 20 additional minutes to bake. Here it is.


One tbsp sunflower oil

One large onion chopped

Two to three medium carrots, chopped

500 grams pack of lamb mince

Two tbsp tomato purée

Large splash of Worcestershire sauce

500ml beef stock

900grams potatoes, cut into chunks

85grams butter

Three tbsp milk


Step one:

Heat the sunflower oil in a medium saucepan, then add the onion and carrot and sautée for a few minutes until soft.

Step two:

Once the ingredients have softened, turn up the heat and crumble in the lamb mince, while making sure to remove any excess fat.

Step three:

Add the tomato puree and a generous splash of Worcestershire sauce, then fry for a few minutes.

Step four:

Pour in the beef stock and bring to a simmer, then cover and cook for 40 minutes. Uncover halfway.

Step five:

Preheat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas, while you prepare the mash. Boil the potatoes until tender before cutting into chunks. Drain, then mash with butter. Add cheddar to the mix for an extra crispy top.

Step 6:

Put the mince into an ovenproof dish, top with the mash, and ruffle with a fork. If you would like to freeze the dish at this point, allow enough time for it to chill first.

Step 7:

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the mash starts to colour and the mince bubbles through at the edges. Then let it sit for five minutes before serving.

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