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Shepherd’s Pie and Meals on Wheels

What is a picture of Shepherd’s Pie doing on a post entitled “Meals on Wheels – I Love the Grub?”  Well, I’ve been volunteering at Meals on Wheels for the past six months and Shepherd’s Pie is often served on the MOW menu- food that is tasty, gives you an ‘all-in-one’ meal with veggies and meat, and, of course, is easy on the teeth.

When volunteering, we meet at the MOW headquarters in Glenelg, South Australia and pick up the hot meals, all packed in warming containers, double-counting our meals to make sure we haven’t forgotten anyone. Then we’re off to deliver around 15 meals to people (mostly elderly) who find it difficult to shop and cook for themselves. We normally don’t have enough time to stop and chat with our customers, however once in awhile we hear their stories that are sometimes moving and sometimes funny. My favourite story is the one told by a woman who was once stopped for routine breath-testing. When she blew into the ‘breathalyser,’ her false teeth flew out of her mouth onto the floor. (She tested negative, of course!)

The one thing that strikes me is how good the food smells as we make our deliveries. The aroma from the meals, packed in the back of our station wagon, travels forward towards the driver’s seat and makes me yearn to have a taste. However, my delivery partner must know what’s on my mind; as I give him a knowing look, he says, “Don’t even think about it!”

Preparing MOW- I wish my kitchen was this big!

Preparing MOW- I wish my kitchen were this big!

Delivering my Meals on Wheels

Delivering my Meals on Wheels

A Happy MOW client

A Happy MOW client

Meals on Wheels started in Britain during WW II, when meals were delivered to returning soldiers whose homes had been destroyed during the war. In South Australia, Doris Taylor founded MOW in 1953, the first MOW to be incorporated in Australia.

So, in honor of Meals on Wheels, here is my recipe for Shepherd’s Pie. To make the meat more flavorful, I use a combination of beef and lamb mince, but you could use all beef if you wish. I’ve added two egg yolks to the whipped potatoes to give them a more solid consistency.

4.8 from 4 reviews
Shepherd's Pie
Recipe type: Main Meal
In dedication to Meals on Wheels, this is a dish that will warm anyone's heart!
  • 500 g minced beef
  • 500 g minced lamb
  • ½ onion- diced
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tomatoes- diced
  • 190 ml (3/4 cup) beef stock
  • Splash of red wine
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt/pepper to taste
  • For the Potato Topping
  • 4 large potatoes, cooked
  • 190 ml (3/4 cup) milk
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • salt/pepper to taste
  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 C or 360 F.
  2. Brown the beef and lamb in olive oil; remove from pan and let drain on a paper towel.
  3. 'Sweat' the chopped onion and garlic in oil until translucent in color. Drain any excess fat and then add back the meat to the fry pan.
  4. Add the tomato paste to the pan, along with the diced tomatoes, beef stock, red wine, Worcestershire sauce and seasoning. Let simmer for at least 10 minutes.
  5. For the potato topping, peel the potatoes, slice roughly into cubes and cook in boiling salted-water until cooked through. Drain the water.
  6. Add the milk, butter, egg yolks and seasonings to the potatoes and then beat together all ingredients with an electric beater until smooth.
  7. Place the meat mixture in a large casserole dish or Dutch oven and then spread the potato mixture on top, using a spatula or knife edge.
  8. Place a cover on the casserole and bake in the oven for 20 - 30 minutes. Remove the cover during the last 5 minutes to brown the potato topping.
You can use all beef or all lamb mince with this recipe, instead of combining the two.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 6 - 8





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  • Lorraine
    May 29, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    Fran that’s wonderful that you’ve been volunteering with MOW! 😀 And what a delicious sounding dinner that is too 🙂 Love the picture of the delighted lady receiving her delivery 🙂
    Lorraine recently posted…A Night At The Sebel Pier One, SydneyMy Profile

    • Fran
      May 30, 2013 at 9:21 am

      Thanks Lorraine. I wish everyone was that happy when they tasted my recipes!

  • Glamorous Glutton
    May 30, 2013 at 2:10 am

    Love the picture of the happy MOW recipient. Shepherd’s Pie is such a great all round dish. GG

    • Fran
      May 30, 2013 at 9:22 am

      Yes, and so easy to make! Thanks for the comment.

  • Hester @ Alchemy in the Kitchen
    May 30, 2013 at 4:14 am

    MOW is so important, not just to deliver tasty nourishing food but also can be a bit of a lifeline of contact for housebound folk. Shepherds Pie ticks all the boxes. For me it’s a food hug!
    Hester @ Alchemy in the Kitchen recently posted…Chicken Wings – Go on! You know you want to!My Profile

    • Fran
      May 30, 2013 at 9:26 am

      Thanks, and here’s a hug for you, Hester ♥ !

  • [email protected]
    May 30, 2013 at 7:35 am

    What a great cause! And what a great recipe. I love Shepherd’s Pie, although it’s been awhile since I’ve had it. I gotta put lamb on the menu soon so I can have some! Thanks for this.
    [email protected] recently posted…The Bridal CocktailMy Profile

    • Fran
      May 30, 2013 at 9:29 am

      I know what you mean about the Shepherd’s Pie, John. If it were up to me, I’d just eat all of the creamy potato topping- that’s the best part (in my opinion).

  • [email protected]
    May 30, 2013 at 11:24 am

    That is so inspiring, how wonderful! I love how happy that cute little lady looks at her delivery 🙂 Priceless! And Shepherd’s pie….now that is divine comfort food!
    [email protected] recently posted…Kerala Style Seer Fish curry for Contest X-treme – a guest postMy Profile

  • Juliana
    May 30, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    Nice of you volunteering…great cause Fran!
    The shepherd pie looks great, a very comforting dish…hope you are having a lovely week 🙂
    Juliana recently posted…Oven Fried Panko Crusted ChickenMy Profile

  • Anneli (Delicieux)
    May 30, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    Ah, how lovely. Comfort food at it’s best ! Well done you for getting involved with MOW. Lovely photos by the way, especially of your happy meal recipient! x
    Anneli (Delicieux) recently posted…Beef Daube with Orange, Ginger & Star AniseMy Profile

    • Fran
      June 1, 2013 at 11:23 am

      Thanks for the comment- delivering the meals makes me happy too!

  • Gourmet Getaways
    May 31, 2013 at 8:18 am

    Oh what a lovely way to help the community 🙂
    When I was a child (pre school) I used to help my nan on her meals on wheels delivery. I used to love going with her, it was so much fun.
    I always make shepherds pie at home, it is a good way to get the children to eat their vegetables 🙂 I have never used egg in the mashed potato but I will have to give this a try 🙂
    Gourmet Getaways recently posted…Top Drop – Black Duck BreweryMy Profile

    • Fran
      May 31, 2013 at 8:34 am

      That must have been a great experience for you volunterring with your nan. The MOW customers especially like to see a younger person coming to the door as a volunteer.

  • Maureen | Orgasmic Chef
    June 1, 2013 at 12:57 am

    I did MOW for years when I lived in Victoria and the toughest thing for me was that darned soup. I could spill it over every kitchen table I visited. It wasn’t until months later that I found out everyone spilled because the jugs were crap.

    I love shepherd’s pie 🙂 Hubby not so much. I’ll have to come to visit.
    Maureen | Orgasmic Chef recently posted…Pineapple Glazed Chicken Wings RecipeMy Profile

    • Fran
      June 1, 2013 at 11:22 am

      Maureen, the soups that we deliver have a plastic lid on top, so they don’t spill. Sometimes MOW has a few desserts left over after the deliveries- I’m also first in line to grab a few- my favourite is their custard desserts!

  • Eva Taylor
    June 3, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    What a lovely and generous thing to do, we have that service here in Canada too. My husband adores shepherd’s pie, me not so much but your recipe sounds like I should give it another go!
    Eva Taylor recently posted…Curried Cauliflower “fried rice”My Profile

    • Fran
      June 4, 2013 at 5:15 pm

      Thanks, Eva. The thing that keeps me going back to eating Shepherd’s Pie is the creamy whipped potatoes!

  • Claire @ Simply Sweet Justice
    June 4, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    Awww, what a happy post! I’m so glad I found you through Maureen!

  • Nami | Just One Cookbook
    June 14, 2013 at 8:05 am

    Look at the happy client’s face! That makes all the volunteer work well worth it. Food makes people happy and it’s wonderful that you were being part of it. 🙂 Shepherd’s Pie looks delicious!
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