Fragrant shepherd’s pie with apricots

Fragrant shepherd’s pie with apricots

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(14 ratings)

Prep: 3 hrs, 50 mins


Serves 8
Shepherd's pie lovers will love the new addition of spices and apricots in this make-ahead crowd pleaser

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal662
  • fat26g
  • saturates12g
  • carbs79g
  • sugars28g
  • fibre9g
  • protein34g
  • salt0.97g
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  • 1kg minced lamb
  • 2 onion, roughly chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • finger length piece fresh root ginger



    Mainly grown in Jamaica, Africa, India, China and Australia, ginger is the root of the plant. It…

  • 2 garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp cumin



    An aromatic spice native to eastern Mediteranean countries and Upper Egypt. This warm,…

  • 2 tbsp cinnamon



    A fragrant spice which comes from the inner bark of a tropical tree. When dried, it curls into…

  • ½ tsp hot chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 6 large tomato, roughly chopped



    A member of the nightshade family (along with aubergines, peppers and chillies), tomatoes are in…

  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tbsp honey



    Honey is made by bees from the nectar they collect from flowers. Viscous and fragrant, it's…

  • 550ml lamb or beef stock
  • 200g dried apricot, chopped
  • large bunch coriander, leaves only, roughly chopped
  • 2 red onion, roughly chopped

For the mash

  • 1¼kg sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
    Sweet potatoes

    Sweet potato

    sweet po-tate-toe

    Sweet potatoes have a creamy texture and a sweet-spicy flavour that makes them ideal for savoury…

  • 50g butter



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 1¼kg potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks



    The world's favourite root vegetable, the potato comes in innumerable varieties. A member of…

  • toasted cumin seeds, to serve


  1. Brown the lamb in batches in a large, deep frying pan (there’s no need to add oil). Once each batch is browned, transfer it to a sieve and pour off the excess fat from the pan before cooking the next batch. Set aside the browned mince and wipe out the pan with some kitchen paper. Whizz the onions, ginger, garlic and spices together in a food processor until finely chopped and a little pulpy (you can add a drop of water if you need to), then tip into the same pan with the oil. Cook over a medium heat for 5-6 mins until the onion is softened and the spices become fragrant.

  2. Return the meat to the pan along with the chopped tomatoes and purée, honey and the stock. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 1 hr, adding the apricots after 30 mins. The lamb and apricots should be tender, and the sauce thickened; if it’s a little wet still, simmer, uncovered, for another 10 mins. Remove from the heat, stir in the coriander leaves and season well.

  3. While the lamb is cooking, prepare the potato topping. Boil the potatoes in salted water for 15 mins until tender. Once cooked, drain well and mash with the butter, seasoning and enough milk to give you a creamy consistency.

  4. Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Tip the lamb mixture into a large ovenproof dish and pile the mash roughly over. (It helps if you start from the edges and work your way towards the middle.) If you’re making ahead, cool then freeze the pie at this point, uncovered. Once frozen, cover with cling film and use within 1 month, defrosting thoroughly before reheating.

  5. Bake for 40 mins from warm, or for 1 hr from cold, until the topping is beginning to brown and the filling is hot. If you like, scatter with some toasted cumin seeds to serve.

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Comments (17)

fairystoryteller's picture

Blimey - this is good! I made it exactly to the recipe, which is unusual for me, and it turned out really very well. I ignored the red onions in the ingredients list - no indication as to what to do with them and I think they have been mistakenly included. Lovely 'Moroccan Tagine' flavours. Big thumbs up from my lot.

womansworld's picture

Made this for the first time yesterday and it was delicious and certainly one I will make again.

Although got confused re the onions - pulped up the 2 onions with spices etc and made the dish as per recipe, and then noticed that there were also 2 red onions at the bottom of the ingredient list - although no mention of them in recipe. Do they get pulped with the others or what ? It was too late for that for me, so just chopped them and added them to the meat dish

mammasmith's picture

Really good, easy recipe. Cooked for informal meal when kids home for weekend with friends. Made slightly more spicy as I knew my lot would enjoy and it went down really well. Worth a go for something traditional with an up to date slant. Will make again.

amyloureilly's picture

Yum, made this without the apricots and it was lovely. I'd use a bit more stock next time and put loads more veg in with the mince.

thynk2much's picture

Lovvvved this - made it in 2 individual portions and then froze the remaining filling in 2-person-servings for easy prep in future. It was really delicious and the smell took over the whole house!

evelynjcooper's picture

I was rather disappointed with this recipe. It wasn't nearly as 'fragrant' as I was expecting, and I'm not sure it was worth the lengthy preparation time. I'm unlikely to repeat.

harriesh's picture

I can't deny that this was really tasty. However my husband who prefers savoury to sweet, found this too sweet with the apricots and honey. I made half the quantity of mash and that was more than plentiful.

lydiasimmons's picture

Totally in love with this recipe, made it loads over the winter. Perfect comfort food and easy to make extra for the next day. My husband wasn't so keen though, he couldn't get his head round the idea of apricots in shepherd's pie but I couldn't get enough of it. Need to keep experimenting, has been coming out a bit dry but that's my fault. Looking forward to making it again when the colder weather gets here

arthurse's picture

I enjoyed this recipe, however did think it a little sweet. The second time I made it I actually left out the apricots and halved the honey, as I found there was enough sweetness with the sweetpotato mash on top. A nice twist to the usual sheperd's pie though, loved the cumin and spices with the lamb! Served it with broccoli too!

caroleweston's picture

I want to try this Fragrant Minced lamb recipe but wonder if the cumin and cinnamon really are measured in tablespoons - it seems so much of each. It sounds great but I would not want to overdo the cinnamon in particular.

juddaman's picture

Is freezing the pie uncovered a good idea? Would this not cause freezer burn?

beth82's picture

Made this last night as a gentle introduction for sweet potato to my kids and husband and my "new food-phobic" husband ate not one but 3 helpings. What a compliment!!
Will definitely be making this again.

hermionesheldon's picture

Tasty - seemed to take ages to prepare and cook but I have made one for the freezer as I had so much food... Children liked it - but they were very hungry

maureenchalmers's picture

This was absolutely great weeknight dinner for family. My toddler grandson loved the potato topping and adults had second helpings. I served broccoli with it. delicious.

chedges's picture

yummy.I think I simmered it a bit long though as there wasn't really any gravy when it came out of the oven-so next time I will put it into the dish into the over a bit sooner-leaving more liquid than I did before. I thought it was going to taste very "warm spicey" but it didn't, it was delicious. Definitely needs some vegetables served on the side though

lulrick's picture

Very good! Will certainly make again.

lynmerry's picture

A lovely alternative to 'normal' shepherds pie -it will be a regular in our house!

Questions (1)

mjking40's picture

Does this recipe really need 2.5kg of potato in total or have the additional potatoes been listed in error?

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