I’ve been asked to make a shepherd’s pie for a social occasion. What’s chef’s best recipe?

Amanda Pointon, Keswick

Shepherd's pie is one of our 'Great British' dishes, sometimes made badly, but a great dish nevertheless, writes JUSTIN WOODS. Use 500g of lean, lamb mince and place in a large casserole pan over a high heat, cook for about 15 minutes, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Peel 2 medium onions and 2 carrots, finely chopped and add to the mince. Drain a 400g tin of cannellini beans and add to the mince. Cook for a further 10 minutes. Add 2 sprigs of chopped fresh rosemary. Stir in 1 heaped tbsp of plain flour, then add 600ml chicken stock. Bring back to the boil, cover, then simmer for about 40 minutes over a low heat. Peel 1kg good quality mashing potatoes and cook in boiling, salted water till just cooked. Drain well, then mash adding about 50ml milk and 50g butter. When the mince is cooked, season with salt and pepper and a little Worcestershire sauce to taste. Transfer the mince to an oven proof dish, top with the mash and use a fork to scruff it up a bit. Bake for about 45 minutes or until golden brown at 180C.