Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onion and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes until soft and lightly browned. Add the carrots and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the minced lamb, increase the heat to high, and cook for 3–4 minutes, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon as it browns.
Add the thyme leaves, Worcestershire sauce, tomato purée and gravy or stock and simmer for 20 minutes until the liquid has reduced and the mixture has thickened slightly. Season to taste, then spoon into a shallow 2.25-litre (4-pint) ovenproof dish.
Meanwhile, put the potatoes into a pan of cold salted water, bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes until tender. Drain well, pass through a potato ricer, or mash until smooth.
Pre-heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6. Melt the butter in another pan, add the spring onions and cook gently for 2 minutes until soft. Stir into the mashed potato with the milk and some seasoning.
Spoon the champ mash over the top of the lamb, spread out evenly and then rough up a little with a fork. Bake for 30–35 minutes until bubbling hot and golden brown.
- 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 225 g (8 oz) peeled carrots, finely diced
- 900 g (2 lb) lean minced lamb
- the leaves from 4 sprigs of thyme
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon tomato purée
- 300 ml (10 fl oz) lamb gravy or meat stock (beef or chicken)
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- For the Irish Champ Mash
- 1.25 kg (21⁄2 lb) peeled floury potatoes, such as Maris Piper, cut into chunks
- 50 g (2 oz) butter
- 2 bunches spring onions, trimmed and sliced
- 3–4 tablespoons milk