Award-winning South African chef, Bruce Cole, recently joined the team at the Moorland Garden Hotel, in South Devon, as Head Chef this month, completing the top line up at the newly revamped hotel. Bruce will oversee a team of six in creating a traditional British menu with a modern twist at the elegant Wildflower Restaurant. One of those traditional recipes with a modern twist is his interpretation of the classic Shepherd’s Pie.
Bruce’s Real Shepherd’s Pie is a perfect spring dish.”I’m inspired by the fabulous produce and the people behind it,” says Bruce. “It’s the producers who put their heart and soul into creating the best produce and ingredients that excites me and also the providence of where it comes from and how it’s treated, whether that be vegetables grown in tunnels or fields to the free range chicken that roams in the field eating natural products.”
“I hope to bring my knowledge, experience and my passion for great food and using great ingredients to all the food lovers who are prepared to go through the journey with us. I want customers to come to experience something here that they wouldn’t experience anywhere else. I want to share my knowledge with my team in the kitchen, they already have a great passion for cooking but I want to teach them what they can do with different produce and ingredients.”
Why not try this delicious spring recipe at home?
Real Shepherd’s Pie
This is a dish that is close to my heart, it’s like eating my grandma’s food. It has reams of flavour and its yummy sticky wholesome home cooked food with loads of texture. This is without a doubt in my opinion the nicest lamb dish ever.
I have presented the dish as I would in the restaurant.
• Leftover Lamb leg roast or small leg of lamb
• 2 tablespoons of oil
• 2 carrots peeled and diced 2 cm cubes
• 1 onion roughly sliced
• 1 stick of celery roughly sliced
• 3 cloves of garlic smashed
• 1 bay leaf
• left over gravy
• 1 cup of red wine
• 1 tablespoon tomato paste
• 3 sprigs of thyme
• 1 sprig of rosemary
• Maldon salt and fresh ground black pepper
• 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
• 3 tablespoons redcurrant jelly
• 1 cup of grated Sharpham rustic cheese
• 1 cup of baby peas
• 4 cups of mash potato
• Heat the oven to 130 C
• If using an unroasted leg or shoulder, seal the meat in a heated pan then remove.
• On the hob heat up a deep casserole dish and sauté the carrots, onions, celery, garlic, & bay leaf until the onions are glossy.
• Add the tomato paste sauté further till it starts to darken a bit. Now add herbs and red wine and mix well.
• Place the leftover roast in the casserole dish.
• Cover the roast with water and put the lid on.
• Bring to a simmer and remove from the hob to the oven for an hour and a half or the meat falls apart.
• Remove from the oven, remove the lamb leg and strain the liquid into a pot. Keep the vegetables and discard the bay leaf. Now place the liquid on the hob and reduce till you have thin gravy.
• Place lamb into a bowl and with a fork pull the lamb apart into strips, add chopped parsley the strained vegetables, Peas and season to taste. Add the red current jelly into the gravy mix and mix in well. Place the lamb into a baking dish and cover with 1/3 of the gravy
• Arrange the mash potato over the lamb and bake for 25 minutes.
• Heat up your gravy, remove the lamb from the oven and serve with lashings of gravy and prepared and cooked vegetables.