Shepherd's sag aloo
Shepherd's sag alooSubscribe to Sainsbury's magazine
John Whaite has taken the ultimate comfort food and given it a twist with warming Indian spices - mmm delicious!
- 50g unsalted butter
- 4 cloves
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- ½ cinnamon stick
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 4 black peppercorns
- 2 onions, very finely chopped
- 1 carrot, very finely chopped
- 40g ginger, finely grated
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tbsp tomato purée
- 1 litre fresh chicken stock
- 1 tbsp garam masala
- 2 x 250g pouches cooked Puy lentils
- 250g lamb mince
- 250g frozen garden peas, defrosted
For the sag aloo top
- 1kg Desiree or other red-skinned potatoes, skin on and cut into 2.5cm cubes
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil
- 50g unsalted butter
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp black mustard seeds
- 200g baby leaf spinach
Prepare to the end of step 3, cool, cover and chill for several hours or up to a day ahead. Add 10 minutes cooking time from chilled..
Heat a large frying pan or shallow casserole over a medium high heat and, once hot, add the butter, cloves, cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and peppercorns. Fry, stirring frequently, until the bay leaves start to crackle and there is a strong spice aroma – about 2 minutes. Add the onions and carrot and continue to fry, tossing the pan every so often, for 5 minutes, just until the vegetables are hot – there’s no need to cook them until they soften, provided you chopped them finely enough.
Mix in the ginger, garlic and tomato purée and fry for a further minute, just until the garlic smells strongly. Pour in the stock, bring to the boil and cook for 10-12 minutes, until the liquid has reduced by a third. Add the remaining ingredients and a pinch of salt, stir to mix well and put into a baking dish, removing the cinnamon stick and bay leaves.
Preheat the oven to 200°C, fan 180°C, gas 6. For the sag aloo top, put the potatoes into a large saucepan, cover them with cold water and add a generous pinch of salt. Bring to the boil, boil for 10 minutes, then drain. Put the oil and butter into the frying pan and set over a high heat. Once the butter melts, add the spices and fry until the mustard seeds pop. Add the potatoes and 200ml water. Cook until the water evaporates (3-4 minutes), stirring as they cook. Add the spinach, turn off the heat, and allow the spinach to wilt for a few minutes. Pile the sag aloo on top of the lamb filling.
Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the filling is bubbling. If the potatoes start to burn before the filling is ready, cover the dish with foil.
Recipes taken from Comfort by John Whaite (Kyle Books, £19.99).
‘Shepherd’s pie is the ultimate comfort food – but rather than give you the regular version we know and love, I’m making it with Indian spices.’