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Shepherd’s Pie, Cottage’s Pie, you name it. But I will stand with my fellow Australians to call this dish the “Shepherd’s Pie”.

The idea is very  simple, beef ragu topped with potatoes served in ramekins. Made for dinner a few nights ago, I was humbled by its not-so-secret ingredients: fresh and lean beef mince cooked with crushed garlic, sweet onions, perfectly diced juicy carrots, and crunchy celeries (match made in heaven). I added peas and mushroom to include more veggies; not to forget a tin of crushed tomatoes to add depths. After a few minutes on the stove, I could say that I was a happy kid. The flavour danced gracefully. It was like watching Swan Lake performed with my kitchen as the settings. Shame that it didn’t make it to the headlines.



Oh, don’t forget the creamy mashed potatoes on top. It was huge that it could have blanketed Collosseum. Butter melted as I crushed and whisked these hot little fellows. I slowly added milk to make it special as an 18th birthday party. And I could still taste chunks of unmashed ones as they woke me from paradise and reminded me that they were afterall simple humble “mashed”.



Portioned in ramekins, I need to control myself and only devour one at a time. Not an easy task with scrumptious meal as the offer.


Mini Shepherd's Pie
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: British
Serves: 4
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 celery, diced
  • 150 g button mushrooms, finely sliced
  • 500 g beef mince
  • 1 tin /410 g crushed tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoon mixed herbs
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • salt and pepper to taste
Mashed potatoes
  • 1 kg potatoes
  • 5 tablespoon butter at room temperature
  • ½ cup milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 egg for brushing
  1. Stir fry garlic and onion until fragrant
  2. Add carrot, stir fry until softer
  3. Add celery, stir fry for 1 minute, then add mushrooms
  4. Add beef mince and season with mixed herbs, salt and pepper for 5-7 minutes (until cooked)
  5. Add crushed tomatoes and tomato paste and simmer for 3 minutes. If it becomes too dry add a splash of water.
  6. Simmer for another minute or so and adjust taste accordingly.
Mashed potatoes:
  1. Peel and dice potatoes to 3cm chunks.
  2. Transfer to saucepan, add water and boil with lid ajar for around 20minutes (until soft).
  3. Remove from heat, and drain water.
  4. While it's still hot, stir in butter and pour in milk in batches.
  5. Season with salt and pepper (to taste).
To assemble:
  1. Pre heat oven at 200C.
  2. Fill half of the ramekin with ragu and top with mashed potatoes.
  3. Brush the top with egg and bake until golden.

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