800g lamb mince
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 sticks celery
1 medium onion, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, finely diced
6 sprigs rosemary, leaves finely chopped
1 bay leaf
1 level tablespoon tomato puree
400ml chicken stock
½ tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
200ml red wine
1kg potatoes, peeled and diced
Ground black pepper
30ml double cream
Small bunch finely chopped chives
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Melt a knob of butter in a large, deep saucepan over a medium heat. Once melted, add the onion, garlic, celery, carrot, bay leaf and rosemary to the pan and stir regularly so the vegetables begin to soften. At this point, turn down the heat to low.
Meanwhile, heat a large frying pan over a high heat. Once the pan is very hot, add some of the mince, breaking it up as you add it, until the base is covered. Do not pile the mince into the pan, otherwise the pan will lose too much heat. As the meat is frying, break it up with a wooden spoon, and once evenly browned add to the softening vegetables, stirring regularly so the vegetables and meat do not catch to the pan. Tip any remaining fat away from the frying pan and continue to fry the mince in batches as described in the step above.
Once all the meat has been added to the vegetables, add the red wine, chicken stock, Worcestershire sauce and tomato puree. Adjust the heat so the pan is at a gentle simmer, and leave for 30- 45 minutes, stirring regularly.
At this point, put the potatoes in a pan of cold salted water and bring to the boil.
Gently heat the rest of the butter, milk and cream in a saucepan that will be used for the mashed potatoes. Once the potatoes are tender, drain off the water and leave to stand for 3-4 minutes so any excess water steams off. Mash the potatoes with your preferred implement (a hand-held masher, electric whisk or potato ricer) until smooth. Don’t over-work the potatoes, or they will take on a gloopy consistency. Gradually add the warm butter, milk and cream mixture to the potatoes, stirring with a wooden spoon until at a nice smooth consistency. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the finely chopped chives. Cover and keep warm.
Once the liquid with the mince has reduced and taken on a thicker consistency, season with salt and pepper. Spoon the mince mixture into a baking dish (the mince should stand a couple of centimeters deep in a suitably sized dish), and add the mashed potato on top. There are two methods to cover the pie: you can either add dollops of mashed potato on top of the mince and spread with a fork until evenly covered, or you can put the warm mashed potato in a piping bag (with or without a nozzle) and pipe over the mince until evenly covered. Once the pie is covered, cook it in the oven for 20 minutes - until it’s bubbling and the potato is golden brown. Leave to cool a little before serving!