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Heat the oil in a medium saucepan, add the onion and cook for around 5 mins until softened. Stir in the garlic, carrots, celery, pepper and cumin. Cook for a further two mins, then add the lamb. Brown the meat, tipping off any excess fat. Add the courgette and tomato purée, then fry for a few mins more. Pour in the stock, add the lentils and bring to a simmer. Cook for 40 mins, stirring from time to time.
Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Boil the potatoes for 10-15 mins until tender. Drain, then mash with the butter and milk.
Remove the lamb mixture from the heat and use a stick blender to purée. Stir as you purée, blending down the pieces of vegetables. Spoon into 8 largish individual ramekins. Top with the mash and grated cheese. The pie can now be chilled and frozen for up to a month.
Bake for 30 mins until the top is golden and the mince is bubbling up at the sides. (Cook from frozen at 160C/fan 140C/gas 3 for about 40 mins, then turn up to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4 for 20-30 mins or until golden on top and piping hot in the centre.) Leave to stand for at least 10 mins before serving. Check it has cooled down sufficiently in the centre before giving it to young children.