Using up the remainder of my leg of lamb I finely chopped the meat instead of mincing it. Adding spices really perks up this most comforting dish.

If you want to stop the mash sinking into the meat and juices then allow to cool in the fridge before adding the potato. However, since the alcohol will have virtually evaporated and we haven’t added stock this won’t really be necessary but it is a tip for traditional shepherd’s pie.

Serves 2, amply.

200g potatoes, peeled and quartered

1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into large chunks

1 carrot, peeled and sliced

1 tablespoon rapeseed oil

1 plum tomato, diced

1 small red onion, finely diced

1 tablespoon tomato purée

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground allspice

1 teaspoon ground coriander

Pinch turmeric

Pinch ground nutmeg

10g pine nuts

½” piece cinnamon stick

Small glass beer

250g boneless lamb leg or shoulder, finely chopped

Small bunch parsley, chopped

Butter
Pinch sea salt

Heat the oil in an ovenproof casserole dish over medium heat. Add the onions and a pinch of salt then cook for 5 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and tomato purée, stir and cook for one minute.

Add all of the spices; stir and cook for one minute.

Pour in the beer.

Now add the lamb and cook for 10 minutes or until the meat is brown and cooked through.

Turn off the heat and add the pine nuts and parsley. Stir gently.

Allow to cool.

Meanwhile, boil the potatoes, sweet potato and carrot in salted water until tender. When done mash them with a little butter.

Spoon the mashed potatoes over the cooled lamb and dot with butter.

Place in a hot oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until the top has started to brown.

Sweet and Spicy Shepherd's Pie