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Add a special extra ingredient to Shepherd's Pie for the best tasting twist on this classic dish

I love Shepherd's Pie, of course many people say that, but I looooove Shepherd's Pie. You will not find someone more qualified to give Shepherd's Pie advice than me - okay my grandma really, but it's her recipe that trained me.

Since the UK is where Shepherd's Pie was first perfected, it's no surprise that this recipe comes from there too. It adds a little bit of culture that you've probably heard about and maybe have even tried before.

Here's what you need:



  • 1 pound ground beef or alternative
  • 14 ounces can of chopped tomatoes (fire roasted, if you can)
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 1 tablespoon Marmite
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • Salt & black pepper to taste
  • Butter or olive oil


  • 2pounds "floury" potatoes, like Russet
  • Milk
  • Butter
  • Freshly ground nutmeg
  • Salt & black pepper to taste
Food 52


  1. Peel the potatoes, chop in to about 1/2? to 1?-square pieces and cover with water in a large pot. Put on the stove to boil until soft, about 30 minutes
  2. Sweat the onions in the butter or oil, and after a few minutes, add the garlic. If you want to spice this up, now’s a good time to throw in some chopped chili, either fresh or dried. Once the onion and garlic are soft, add the ground beef and stir, breaking it up and browning it.
  3. Once the meat is nice and brown, add the chopped tomatoes and the Marmite (or stock). I use Marmite in any ground beef/tomato sauce, as it just gives it a deeper flavor, and even those who can’t abide the taste of Marmite (like The Husband) don’t notice it. Add the tomato paste and oregano and let simmer until the liquid in the pan gets a little thicker. You can add a little flour if this isn’t happening quickly enough for you. When it looks about done (15-25 minutes), add the salt and pepper to taste and set aside to cool.
  4. Hopefully by this time, your potatoes are nice and soft, and by that I mean that when you stick a knife in one of them, it crumbles to pieces. I usually get too impatient and then I get lumpy mash! Drain the potatoes and return to the pan. Add at least a half a stick of butter, if not more. Mash together; add milk to get a creamy consistency. Add nutmeg, salt and pepper.
  5. To assemble: get a nice casserole pan and pour in the mince-beef concoction. (For giving as a gift, use a few aluminum loaf pans or brownie pan that you can get at the grocery store.) Take a big spoon and throw as much potato over the top of the mince as possible; spread evenly over the top. Take the spoon and make sure that the potato topping has lots of ridges and bumps on it—that will make nice crispy edges. Cover with the grated cheese; use as much as you like. Pop it in a 375-degree (F) oven for 30-40 minutes til the cheese is melted and the potato topping is crispy at the edges.

That's right, the secret ingredient is Marmite!

[Source: Food52]

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