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A very versatile lamb recipe

This is a great recipe for mince and dumplings and it is one of our household favourites. The reason it is versatile is because you can create several different meals simply by substituting a few ingredients. If you use lamb mince and substitute the dumplings for mashed potato the recipe becomes Shepherd’s Pie, or substitute the lamb for beef mince and top with mashed potato to create Cottage Pie. Brilliant! The recipe is very easy to make, and as it takes less than an hour to cook you could even make it during the week. You can make a low-fat version by using lean mince, or even Quorn mince. I usually freeze half of the mince for another day – the amounts below will serve 4 people.


800g lamb or beef mince

1 large brown onion, chopped

1 tin chopped tomatoes

2 large carrots, diced

5-6 cup mushrooms

1 tbsp Mixed herbs

1 tbsp Olive oil

2 tbsp Bouillon (or use one vegetable stock cube)

A dash of Henderson’s relish (or tobacco)

Ground black pepper (season to taste)

For the dumplings:

100g Self-raising flour

50g suet (vegetable suet is much healthier if you want a low-fat option)

Pinch of salt

1 tbsp mixed herbs (optional)

Cold water – enough to make a firm batter


  1. Heat a pan of water. Dice the carrots and then add to the pan – the carrots should be parboiled (i.e. not quite fully cooked). If you are making mashed potato, you should also be cooking the potatoes at this point (make sure they are completely cooked before mashing later).
  2. Whilst the carrots are cooking, chop the onion. Heat a large pan (or stock pot if you have one) and add the oil and then the onions.
  3. When the onions have cooked a little, add the meat to the pan. You should move it around the pan so it doesn’t stick and make sure that all the meat is browned before adding the tin of chopped tomatoes. Stir well.
  4. Add the mixed herbs, vegetable stock cube and Henderson’s relish/tobacco and stir well. Season with black pepper (I don’t usually add salt because there is a lot in the stock cube, but add some if you feel it needs it!).
  5. Chop the mushrooms into small chunks and add to the pan. Check the carrots – if they are almost cooked, drain and add to the pan. Stir well and leave to simmer for around 5 minutes.
  6. Heat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas mark 6. If you are making mashed potato, now is the time to finish preparing it!
  7. If you are making dumplings, mix all of the dry ingredients in a bowl. Slowly add cold water and mix with a knife until a firm dough is formed. It is always better to add a little water at a time because you can’t take it out if you add too much.
  8. Place the meat in an oven proof dish.The dumpling mixture makes 6 to 8 dumplings so divide and place on top of the meat, or cover with mashed potato. Bake in the oven for 20-25 until the golden brown. Serve with green vegetables and enjoy!

Lamb Mince and Dumplings – yummy!

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