The Super Cheesy Shepherd’s Pie

Let me tell you. This is the cheesiest of all cheeses shepherd’s pie.

Buttery, spicy (or mild – up to you), warm and full of velvety, soft mashed potatoes, this comfort food is one of the most easiest and simplest meals you can make.

So give this a try and let me know how it turns out! Trust me when I say you won’t be disappointed. 

Ingredients:

3 tbsp olive oil 

1 large onion, chopped

3-5 cloves garlic, chopped 

1 tsp salt 

1tsp black pepper

1 tsp paprika 

1 tsp Chilli powder (optional)

1 tsp dried basil  

1 tsp mustard 

½ tsp oregano 

3 Oxo cubes (I use the vegetable ones but you may use any)

500g of lamb mince 

¾ tin of chopped tomatoes 

1kg potato, cut into chunks orbuy 3 packets of readymade mash potato

90g butter only required if making your own mash potato)

4tbsp milk only required if making your own mash potato)

150g-200g of your favourite cheese

Method:

  1. Heat 3tbp of olive oil in a medium saucepan and then soften 1 chopped onion and 3-5 cloves chopped of garlic until golden.
  2. Add 1 tsp of salt, black pepper, paprika, chilli powder (optional), dried basil and mix
  3. Add 500g of lamb meat and brown, tipping off any excess fat
  4. Add 1 tsp of mustard, ½ tsp of oregano and crumble in 3 Oxo cubes and mix
  5. Add 3/5 tin of chopped tomatoes and bring to simmer, then cover and cook for 30 minutes, uncovering halfway
  6. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 180C/ fan 160/C gas 4, then make the mash. Boil the 1kg of potato, cut into chunks, in salted water for 10-15 minutes until tender. Drain, then mash with 90kg of butter and 4 tbsp milk.(If you wish to skip this step then buy 3 packets of the readymade mash potato available in supermarkets)
  7. Taste the mince and season accordingly.
  8. Put the mince into an oven proof dish and add a layer of your favourite cheese on top. Top this with mash and ruffle with a fork. Add a final layer of cheese. This pie can now be chilled and frozen for up to a month.
  9. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the top is golden and the mince is bubbling through at the edges. (To bake from frozen, cook at 160C/fan or 140C/gas for 1hr -1hr 20 mins until piping hot in the centre)
  10. Leave to stand for 5 mins before serving

How to save a life

The world is now like a film, the kind of film where everyone is being affected in one way or another.

We the world are the main characters, and the villain is our newest nemesis the Coronavirus or COVID-19.

Unlike other enemies this one can’t be seen nor heard. It makes its presence felt by making one feel paranoid, anxious and unwell.

The truth is most of us having never experienced anything like this; don’t really know how to deal with it.

How do we fight?

The thing is we aren’t really fighting against this virus. We are fighting with ourselves. In our minds we are fighting between whether we should buy that last packet of toilet roll on the shelf when we already have 9 at home, or shall we risk taking a meal over for the elderly gentlemen down the road who lives alone.

Will you risk it?

I can talk about risk because I think about that everyday.

Every morning my husband and I wake up, get ready and go to work. He spends 12 hours a day seeing patients with or concerned about COVID-19 in a GP surgery.

I drive to the hospital and see patients on the wards who are also afraid and unwell.

We both then come home asking the other about their day and secretly assessing the other to see if they are coughing, looking tired or feeling unwell.

We like everyone else have a family who we care about, and them us. Yet we continue to risk our own health to help others. Why?

Well, have you ever saved a life? If you have been lucky enough to experience that, you will know that it isn’t a feeling that goes away quickly.

YOU can experience that feeling too.

Remember I said that this is like a film? We all know that the ending depends on what happens in the middle.

This depends on the main characters of the movie and guess what? It’s US who will write that ending as we are ALL the main characters.

We all have a role.

You see, you don’t have to be a Doctor or a Nurse to save a life. You just need to be human and care.

Care for yourself.

Care for your family.

Care for your neighbours.

Care for everyone. Simple

This is a disease that is affecting all age groups. However, it is the elderly and those with comorbidities such as diabetes, heart diseases and lung disease etc, who will suffer the most with moderate to severe symptoms.

Care for them and others by:

1. Using the best hygiene practices such as 20 second hand washing, using hand sanitisers and taking showers when you come back home.

2. Avoid visiting the elderly, pregnant women and those with chronic health conditions.

3. Postpone travel plans and try to stay at home. Only leave home if it is crucial.

4. DO NOT panic buy. Think about the elderly, children and the vulnerable in society. Don’t be selfish. There is plenty of food to go around, there is no shortage of morsels!

5. Take care of your mental health and limit social media. Organise home activities to occupy your time. It may be a great time to learn a new language!

6. Please think about others and text/call or drop off food, gifts, supplies to those who are unable to get out themselves. (As long as you are well!)

7. Do not believe everything you hear and see on social media and un-referenced sources. Stick to the Centres for diseases control (CDC), NHS guideline and .gov resources

8. Call 111 if you are feeling unwell and want to know what to do. Refrain from calling your GP. Believe me they have enough to deal with already and cannot help you regarding COVID-19.

9. We need to flatten the curve and slow down the spread of this contagious disease. We all need to now play a part in managing this situation. Only go to A&E/call 999 if you are seriously unwell and require urgent medical attention.

10. PLAN not panic

Now do you understand why we do what we do?

When people come together, great things happen. Lives are saved and memories made, the satisfaction you get from helping and doing good will stay with you forever.

How will you save a life?

About

Hello everyone and welcome to my little corner of the internet where I will be entertaining you with small snippets from my life!

I LOVE baking and thought why not finally use this to start blogging about all the delightful treats I bake or cook from a healthcare professionals take. 

I am a doctor by profession and come from a very scientific background so watch this space for all the weird and wonderful insights that comes with being part of the NHS and being a scientist. This doesn’t mean I am going to skip the butter and chocolate goodness in my receipes! Oh no! We’re having all of that. 

Of course no blog would be complete without the added travel posts. I am lucky to have an amazing partner in crime who likes to travel the world with me. He may make an appearance on my posts from time to time, just to throw in that perspective from a male point of view. Plus, it’s sometimes nice to know what the other ones thinking. We all need that advice. Don’t we.

Lifestyle, travel, baking, cooking and of course medicine. Inspiration, from me to you, to you to me. Welcome to my life.