It’s not every day that you roast a leg of lamb.


Maybe you already have one planned for Christmas Day, or maybe you’re still looking for just the right dish to serve at a family holiday during the winter break. Or maybe you don’t even like lamb, but would love a new spin on shepherd’s pie.


This recipe for a lamb shepherd’s pie topped with feta mashed potatoes comes from the folks behind Higgidy, a popular U.K.-based food company that specializes in pie. In the U.S., a shepherd’s pie is more like a casserole, and it’s a great way to use up any kind of leftover meat, from a pork tenderloin to beef pot roast or even a smoked turkey.


Cookbook author Camilla Stephens suggests a leg of lamb, cut into cubes, that you’ll sear with a little flour and then simmer with aromatics until the meat tenderizes. This recipe also calls for preserved lemons, which are lemons preserved in salt, but don’t let not having them stop you from making this dish. It’s easy to customize with whatever you’ve got in the fridge or pantry.


Lamb Shepherd’s Pie with Feta Mashed Potatoes


Lamb, olives and lemon are some of our favorite ingredients. Here we’ve crammed them into little Greek-inspired pies, with a delicious topping of cheesy, slightly salty feta mash.


— Camilla Stephens


1 to 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour


1 (1 1/4 pound) lamb leg, trimmed of excess fat and gristle and cut into cubes


3 tablespoons olive oil


1 large red onion, finely sliced


1 large leek, sliced


1 large garlic clove, finely chopped


3/4 cup white wine (replace with extra vegetable stock for children)


2 1/2 cups hot vegetable stock


1 (15-ounce) can of green beans, drained and rinsed


1/3 cup pitted black olives


2 preserved lemons, quartered


1/2 a small bunch of fresh oregano, leaves chopped


1/2 a small bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves chopped


Salt and freshly ground black pepper


For the feta mash:


1 1/2 pounds King Edward potatoes, peeled and chopped into large pieces


1 tablespoon butter


1 tablespoon milk


1 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


1 cup feta cheese, crumbled


Tip the flour into a large bowl and generously season with salt and pepper. Give it a good mix, then add the cubed lamb and toss to coat.


Heat half the oil in your casserole pan over medium-high heat and fry the lamb in batches until brown all over. Set aside. Add the remaining oil to the pan and soften the onion and leek for 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and continue to cook for 1 minute, then pour over the wine and allow to sizzle for a couple of minutes.


Return the lamb to the pan and pour over the stock. Bring to a boil, then cover with the lid and turn down the heat. Simmer gently for 1 1/2 hours or until the lamb is lovely and tender. Add the green beans, olives and preserved lemons and continue to cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes.


Stir in the oregano and parsley, then spoon into the six ovenproof dishes or one large dish.


Heat the oven to 400 degrees. For the feta mash, boil the potatoes in salted water until tender, drain well, then mash with the butter and milk. Add the parsley and 2/3 of the feta and give it a good stir.


Pile the mash onto your pies (or pie), top with the rest of the crumbled feta and bake for 20 minutes or until piping hot. Serves 6.


— From “The Higgidy Cookbook: 100 recipes for pies and more” by Camilla Stephens (Mitchell Beazley, $24.99)