Ye Olde Kings Head in Santa Monica, Gordon Ramsay and his Shepherd’s Pie recipe

by hillaryshort

Ye Olde Kings Head

The most popular British restaurant in Los Angeles is ‘Ye Olde Kings Head’ in Santa Monica. Whenever I feel nostalgic for home, a quick visit to the restaurant for a chicken and mushroom pie with extra gravy on the side, makes me feel content and satisfied. The restaurant is divided into several rooms that are covered with British artwork and a history of photos containing photos of the famous people who have come through their doors over the years. I have lived in Los Angeles for 21 years and the restaurant has always been a part of my life.

Gordon Ramsay

Gordon Ramsay is popular on British and American television. I watch his british show ‘The F Word’ on You Tube. Not only does he create interesting dishes for the customers, made by non cooks, he also rears his own sheep, cows and pigs etc for eating. The show is informative because he goes to different regions where a certain food is farmed and shows himself catching the food and how to prepare it. I love the show. I also appreciate the fact that I can watch the whole season on You Tube because I don’t have BBC America.

shepherds pie

Bill MacDonald is my friend Louisa Spring’s husband. He is American and she is British. I cooked bangers and mash for them on Thursday. This set in a craving for British cuisine. I jokingly demanded that Bill make a Shepherds pie if he wanted to be certain of a place in his wife’s good books. He has never had Shepherds Pie, so I emailed him a Gordon Ramsay recipe. The end result he produced on Sunday night was delicious. One of the best Shepherds Pies I have ever tasted. New Zealand lamb is currently in season and abundant in Whole Foods. Here is Ramsay’s recipe, served with pan roasted carrots:

Serves 4


Shepherd’s pie
2 tbsp olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
500g minced lean lamb
1 large onion, finely grated
1 large carrot, finely grated
2 cloves garlic
1-2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp tomato puree
Handful of thyme sprigs, leaves picked
1 sprig of rosemary, needles chopped
250ml red wine
300ml chicken stock
1kg Desiree potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
50g butter
2 egg yolks
Parmesan, for grating
Olive oil
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

Pan-roasted carrots
2 sprigs of rosemary
Small handful of thyme sprigs
1 garlic clove
500g medium sized carrots, peeled and trimmed
2 tbsp olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Few knobs of butter

Method: How to make shepherd’s pie
1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C/gas 4 -and get prepped by watching Gordon prepare this shepherd’s pie.
2. Heat the oil in a large pan until hot. Season the mince and fry in the oil over moderate to high heat for 2-3 minutes. Stir the onions and carrot into the mince then grate the garlic in as well. Add the Worcestershire sauce, tomato puree and herbs and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour in the red wine and reduce until almost completely evaporated. Add the chicken stock, bring to the boil and simmer until the sauce has thickened
3. Meanwhile, cook the potatoes in boiling salted water until tender. Drain then return to the hot pan over low heat to dry out briefly. Pass them through a potato ricer then beat in the egg yolks, followed by about 2 tbsp grated Parmesan. Check for seasoning
4. Spoon the mince into the bottom of a large ovenproof dish. Using a large spoon, layer the mashed potato generously on top of the mince, starting from the outside and working your way into the middle. Grate some extra Parmesan over and season. Fluff up the mash potato with a fork to make rough peaks. Bake in the oven for approximately 20 minutes, until bubbling and golden brown
5. For the carrots bring a pan of water to the boil with the rosemary, thyme and garlic. Boil the carrots in the water for 3 minutes to soften slightly, then drain and pat dry. Heat the oil in a large non-stick sauté pan then add the carrots and some seasoning. Brown the carrots all over until just tender, adding the butter towards the end of cooking