Simon Boyle’s Pulled Mutton Shepherd’s Pie

This nutritious alternative to a traditional shepherd’s pie uses lycopene-rich tomato purée, antioxidant-rich red wine and the allium vegetables, onions and garlic to add extra flavour to the meat filling.


2 tbsp olive oil

2kg shoulder of mutton

Freshly ground black pepper

2 onions, peeled and finely chopped

2 sprigs fresh thyme

4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

25g butter

40g tomato purée

40g flour

300ml red wine

3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 litre chicken stock

Freshly ground white pepper

750g buttery mashed potato

100g cheddar cheese, grated


1. Preheat the oven to 150C, 275F, Gas 1.

2. In a large frying pan, heat the oil until hot, add the mutton, season with black pepper and fry until well browned. Remove the meat from the pan and place in a roasting tray.

3. Add the onion to the frying pan along with the thyme and garlic and a knob of butter. Cook until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the tomato purée then sprinkle over the flour. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes to cook the flour.

4. Add the red wine, Worcestershire sauce and chicken stock, season to taste with white pepper, and then bring back to a simmer. Add all of this gravy to the roasting pan containing the mutton.

5. Cook in the preheated oven for at least 2 hours, or longer, until the meat is flaking from the bone. At this point, remove the meat from the liquid and cool until it can be handled. If the stock needs thickening further, put the roasting pan on the hob and continue cooking until reduced to the consistency you require.

6. Increase the oven temperature to 190C, 375F, Gas 5.

7. Flake the meat and add enough gravy to moisten it well. (Reserve the remaining gravy to warm later when ready to serve. Keep the bone and trimmings to make a pot of Scotch broth at a later date, if you like.)

8. Spoon the meat and gravy into a suitable pie dish. Spread out evenly and, if time allows, chill for an hour.

9. Using a piping bag or spoon, cover the meat with the mash. Sprinkle with the cheese and then bake in the oven for 25-35 minutes until golden brown. Serve straight away.