Friday, 17 October 2014

Cooking with keema: Keema shepherd's pie with sweet potato mash

This week I've been set a challenge by Simply Beef and Lamb to cook a meal using minced lamb, in particular using a basic lamb keema recipe for a family meal.

So after receiving a gorgeous parcel of goodies including  vegetables, spices and four packs of minced lamb, I thought I'd give it a go. 

One of our staple meals in the colder months is Cottage Pie using beef, but this time I decided to try something a little different and made a Shepherd's pie using a basic lamb keema recipe, with a sweet potato mash topping. The keema recipe is aromatic and slightly spicy and gives a nice twist to a standard shepherd's pie.

Lamb Keema recipe

Serves 4
Preparation time 20 minutes
Cooking time approx 40 minutes

450g lamb mince
2tsp sunflower oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or crushed
2.5cm piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1-2 green chillies, deseeded (if preferred) and finely chopped
2tsp groung cumin
3tsp garam masala or medium curry powder
4 medium tomatoes, chopped 
1-2 tsp sugar
2 tbsp tomato puree
salt and pepper 
4oz fresh or frozen peas
Handful of fresh coriander, chopped (optional)

Heat the oil in a large frying pan and cook the onion gently over a low heat until soft and lightly golden, then add the garlic and continue to fry for one minute.
Add the ginger, chillies, cumin and garam masala or curry powder.
Cook over a moderate heat for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the lamb mince and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes, then add the tomatoes, sugar, tomato puree and bring to the boil.

Season and reduce the heat, cook uncovered for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a little water if it looks too dry.

10 minutes before the end of cooking, add the peas.

Delicious as it is with with plain basmati rice, naan bread and some relishes (mango chutney for me).
OR, you could use this recipe in to add to a shepherd's pie like I did!

Serves 4 hungry people
Ingredients: basic lamb keema recipe
150ml good hot lamb or veg stock
650g of sweet potatoes (or 4 medium-sized sweet potatoes)

Heat the oven to gas mark 6/180°c.
Put the keema in a large pan, add the stock (to make more of a gravy) and heat for 3-4 minutes until hot.
Peel, chop and boil the sweet potatoes to make a mash. 
Put the keema in your preferred baking dish and spoon the mash over the top.  For a crispy topping add a few small pieces of butter over the top of the mash.
Cook in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes until the pie is piping hot.
Serve with seasonal veg. Enjoy!

We loved this, and with just a few tweaks it turned a basic mid-week meal into something pretty special.   The basic keema recipe is very versatile, and could be used in a multiple of ways: spooned over hot pasta, or added to a jacket potato - in fact, you can use the keema recipe for any meal that uses a minced beef mixture.

Add beans, lentils or other pulses (chick peas would be great!) to ring the changes. Next time I'm going to add diced carrots, but it would be very easy to hide other vegetables in the recipe if, like mine, your children are not big veg eaters.

To show you how easy this recipe is, take a look at the video featuring Stacey Solomon and Indian chef, Nisha Katona. Nisha also explains the difference between 'hot' and 'aromatic' spices and how to tailor them to your tastes (especially if you're cooking for children).