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MIDDLE EASTERN SHEPHERD'S PIE WITH SPICED PARSNIP CRUST

Plenty
by Diana Henry

Don't be put off by the long ingredients list. This is very simple.
Serves 6


INGREDIENTS

    For The Meat
    • 5 tbsp olive oil
    • 1¾ Ib leftover cooked lamb, cut in small chunks
    • 2 onions, coarsely chopped
    • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
    • 2 carrots, diced
    • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
    • 2 tsp ground cumin
    • 2 tsp ground pumpkin pie spice
    • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
    • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
    • 1¼ cups chicken or lamb stock
    • grated zest and juice of 1 orange
    • 1/2 cup raisins, soaked in boiling water for 15 minutes and drained
    • 6 tbsp tomato paste
    • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted

    For The Parsnip Crust
    • 1 Ib floury potatoes, cut into even chunks
    • 2 Ib parsnips, chopped
    • 3 tbsp butter
    • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
    • 1/4 cup whipping cream
    • salt and pepper

    For The Spiced Onion Topping
    • 2 onions, very thinly sliced
    • 1 tbsp butter
    • 1½ tsp olive oil
    • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1 fresh red chile, seeded and thinly sliced
    • 1 tbsp dark brown sugar
    • good squeeze of lemon juice
    • small bunch cilantro or mint, coarsely chopped (optional)


DIRECTIONS

1. Heat the oil in a large skillet and brown the lamb. Transfer the lamb to a bowl. In the same pan cook the onions, celery, and carrots until golden. Add the garlic and spices and cook for 1 minute. Put the lamb back and add the flour. Stir for 1 minute, then add the stock, zest, juice, raisins, and tomato paste. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring. Add the pine nuts.

2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F. Boil the potatoes and the parsnips separately until soft. Drain the potatoes and keep them in the saucepan in which they were cooked. Put a cloth towel on top, then cover with a lid. Let these sit for a few minutes over a very low heat to dry out. Drain the parsnips and add to the potatoes. Heat the butter in a large saucepan with the spices. Add the potatoes, parsnips, and mash, adding the cream and seasoning.

3. Spoon the lamb into a pie dish, spread the mash on top, and put into the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden. Meanwhile, fry the onions for the topping in the butter and oil until golden. Increase the heat and allow some to become crisp. Add the cinnamon, chile, salt, pepper, and sugar. Cook until slightly caramelized. Squeeze on some lemon juice and mix in the herbs, if using. Pile the onions on the pie and serve.
 

 

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