Shepherd's pie baked potato

Serves 4
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Indy Lifestyle Online

This is one of the dishes we serve at Selfridges in the baked potato section, which is currently going down a treat with customers. Other favourite baked spuds include those filled with Mottra caviar and coronation chicken. A nice floury potato such as a King Edward works well for this dish.

4 large baking potatoes
500g coarsely minced mutton or lamb
Vegetable oil for frying
1 large onion, peeled, halved and finely chopped
1 stick of celery, cut into rough cm dice
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1tsp chopped thyme leaves
1tbsp flour
tbsp tomato purée
1ltr hot beef stock
1tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 glasses of red wine

For the topping

60g butter
Milk to mix
A tablespoon of fresh white breadcrumbs mixed with the same amount of grated cheddar

Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Wrap the potatoes in foil and bake for about an hour or so until soft, then remove the foil and leave to cool.

Meanwhile, season the minced lamb. Heat some of the vegetable oil in a heavy-based frying pan until it is almost smoking and cook the meat in small quantities for a few minutes, turning it with a wooden spoon, then drain in a colander to remove any fat.

Meanwhile, in a thick-bottomed saucepan, heat some more vegetable oil and gently cook the onion, celery, garlic and thyme for 2-3 minutes, stirring every so often until they have softened. Add the meat, dust it with the flour, and add the tomato purée; continue stirring on a low heat for a few minutes.

Slowly add the red wine, Worcestershire sauce and the hot beef stock, bring to the boil and simmer for about 1 hour until the liquid has thickened and the meat is tender. Remove from the heat, check the seasoning and leave it to cool.

Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut the tops off about a third of the way down and scoop out all of the potato. Discard the tops or fry them for the kids as potato skins. Mash the potato with a potato ricer or hand masher then mix in the butter and milk and season to taste.

To assemble, place the skins on a baking tray and spoon the meat into the potatoes about two-thirds of the way up then spoon or pipe the mash on top.

Scatter with the breadcrumb mixture. Bake for 20-30 minutes until the topping is golden.