While the cold draws in chef Steven Sanderson thinks there is nothing better than a shepherd’s pie and a glass of red wine by an open fire to give some winter comfort.

Here is his recipe for his ultimate shepherd’s pie. You can follow Chequers Burcot on Facebook and share with them your photos of your shepherd’s pie.

Serves 6-8.


Roast shoulder of lamb:
* ½ shoulder of lamb on the bone 1.5kg – 2kgs (ask your butcher for the blade section)
* 3 x garlic cloves s salt & pepper
* thyme
* rosemary

For the filling:
* 4 x carrots
* 4 x sticks celery
* 1 x onion
* 2 x garlic clove
* 1 tablespoon tomato purée
* half a bottle of red wine
* 75ml Worcestershire sauce
* remaining lamb stock from roasting


Roast shoulder of lamb:
Put all ingredients into a roasting tray with the lamb plus one pint of water. Cover with foil and roast for 4-5 hours at a low temperature of 140C. The lamb is done when it starts falling and peeling of the bone.

Take out of the oven and cool.

Pick all the meat off the bone and leave in a separate bowl. Pick to your desired size (Steve thinks the bigger the better!).

Pass the remaining juices in the baking tray through a sieve to be used as stock later.

Refrigerate both stock and meat. The fat in the stock should separate and leave a layer on the top that can be removed and kept for roasting potatoes or discarded.

Peel and chop the vegetables (celery, carrots, onions and garlic) and thyme.

Fry in oil in large pan until slightly coloured.

Add tablespoon of tomato purée and the lamb stock (without the fat).

Add Worcestershire sauce and red wine.

Leave on a high heat and reduce this by 1/3rd. This should take 20-30 minutes.

Once reduced, add the picked meat and bring to the simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Either put into individual portions or into one big dish.

Top with your choice of mash.

At The Chequers we use a swede and carrot mash and served it topped with parsnip crips.

  • Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone’s contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.