25th January 2018

Eating with the seasons – British Lamb

In every issue of ‘News from Farmers & Fletchers in the City’ we like to support the work of British farmers, fishermen and food producers who work hard throughout the year to produce our food by featuring a popular dish, available on our menu, using seasonal British ingredients.  In our last issue we featured British beef, this time it’s the turn of British lamb.

Our choice of dish has humble beginnings, but has risen to stardom in recent decades; it is now a favourite at Farmers & Fletchers in the City and can also be found on the menu at some of the finest restaurants – Shepherd’s Pie – not to be confused with Cottage Pie, which is made with minced beef.

The dish is thought to date back to the late 1700’s and early 1800’s, which was around the time when potatoes as an edible crop for the poor were introduced into this country.

Housewives, who were seeking ways to eke out left over roasted meat, came up with a recipe for what we now call Shepherd’s Pie by combining minced lamb cooked in gravy with onions and topped with mashed potatoes. The term ‘Shepherd’s Pie’ probably originated in the North of England and Scotland, where, at the time, there were large numbers of sheep farmers.

During the cold winter months and after the excess of rich food over Christmas and the New Year period, our customers are looking for perfectly cooked comfort food and our Head Chef, David Summerell, has no hesitation in suggesting Shepherd’s Pie as it fits the bill perfectly.

Shepherd’s Pie was the obviously choice for the Worshipful Company of Woolmen when they returned for a late lunch after the Lord Mayor’s Show. According to their Clerk, Duncan Crole: “It was a very cold and wet day and more than 25 Woolmen walked in the parade from the City to Westminster.  When we returned to Farmers & Fletchers in the City a warming bowl of delicious Shepherd’s Pie was just what we needed.”

According to Head Chef, David Summerell: “For less formal events Shepherd’s Pie has become a very popular choice as it’s an easy to eat, simple bowl food that’s a tasty classic. There is something so comforting about a good Shepherd’s Pie.

“We use only the finest quality British minced lamb. We’ve found the best potatoes to use for the topping are floury or fluffy varieties such as Maris Pipers or King Edward, although Desiree produces a more velvety mash. The rich onion gravy is the final ingredient that makes this such a special dish, which is all down to the quality of our stock.”

In addition to the classic recipe there are lots of tasty twists that can be added, the most popular is to top the mashed potatoes with strong, grated English cheddar or the addition of various vegetables, herbs or spices to the mince.

Whatever your choice, David and his team at Farmers & Fletchers in the City will be happy to provide your guests with the perfect Shepherd’s Pie tailored to your personal taste.

For any further information about the choice of dishes we are able to offer, or create tailored to your personal taste, please give Sarah McLarty a call on 020 7600 2064, mobile 07772 823451 or contact her by email sarah@farmersfletcherscity.london.

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