Shepherd’s Pie

Grand slam home run. Seconds all around. This Shepherd’s Pie is going on my winter rotation and I’ll gamble that it will find it’s way onto yours, as well.

This may be the original one pot meal with savory meat, peas, carrots and corn topped with creamy, rich mashed potatoes. It’s so simple yet presents as something that you’ve been cooking all day. The perfect way to end a chilly day–even a weekday.

I saved a step by using leftover mashed potatoes (to which I added an egg yolk, see recipe below). You may want to time your Shepherd’s Pie accordingly although the one criticism that I did get from my family (yes, they are all critics which is fine, they help me help you;)) is that the potato to meat ratio was off. In other words, they wanted more meat and less potatoes. That fault was due to the fact that I have no idea how many potatoes topped my dish, I just smoothed on whatever I had left in the fridge. If you follow the recipe, your ratio will work out just fine.

Another point to note is that I did use ground lamb as indicated by this recipe, which is traditional for Shepherd’s Pie. I had never used ground lamb before and my kids absolutely loved it. I plan on exploring other ground lamb recipes but if you’re reluctant you can certainly substitute ground beef.

And finally, don’t rule out serving this Shepherd’s Pie to guests as a cozy dinner in the heart of winter. With a beautiful salad and a big red wine, I guarantee you’ll hit it out of the park. If you happen to have appropriately sized individual serving dishes, all the better. Enjoy!

Shepherd's Pie--ground meat

Shepherd’s Pie–ground meat

 

Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd's Pie--slice

Shepherd’s Pie–slice

Shepherd's Pie
Serves 6
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For the potatoes
  1. 1 1/2 lbs russet potatoes
  2. 1/4 c half-and-half
  3. 2 oz unsalted butter
  4. 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  5. 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  6. 1 egg yolk
For the meat filling
  1. 2 Tbls canola oil
  2. 1 c chopped onion
  3. 2 carrots, peeled and diced small
  4. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  5. 1 1/2 lbs ground lamb
  6. 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  7. 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  8. 2 Tbls all-purpose flour
  9. 2 tsp tomato paste
  10. 1 c chicken broth
  11. 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  12. 2 tsp freshly chopped rosemary leaves
  13. 1 tsp freshly chopped thyme leaves
  14. 1/2 c fresh or frozen corn kernels
  15. 1/2 c fresh or frozen English peas
Instructions
  1. Peel the potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch dice. Place in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Set over high heat, cover and bring to a boil.
  2. Once boiling, uncover, decrease the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until tender and easily crushed with tongs, approximately 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Place the half-and-half and butter into a microwave-safe container and heat in the microwave until warmed through, about 35 seconds.
  4. Drain the potatoes in a colander and then return to the saucepan. Mash the potatoes and then add the half and half, butter, salt and pepper and continue to mash until smooth. Stir in the yolk until well combined.
  5. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  6. While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the filling.
  7. Place the canola oil into a 12-inch saute pan and set over medium high heat.
  8. Once the oil shimmers, add the onion and carrots and saute just until they begin to take on color, approximately 3 to 4 minutes.
  9. Add the garlic and stir to combine.
  10. Add the lamb, salt and pepper and cook until browned and cooked through, approximately 3 minutes. Drain off any excess fat.
  11. Sprinkle the meat with the flour and toss to coat, continuing to cook for another minute.
  12. Add the tomato paste, chicken broth, Worcestershire, rosemary, thyme, and stir to combine.
  13. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer slowly 10 to 12 minutes or until the sauce is thickened slightly.
  14. Add the corn and peas to the lamb mixture and spread evenly into round pie dish.
  15. Top with the mashed potatoes, starting around the edges to create a seal to prevent the mixture from bubbling up and smooth with a rubber spatula.
  16. Place on a parchment lined half sheet pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 25 minutes or just until the potatoes begin to brown. If after 25 minutes the potatoes still are not lightly browned, place under the broiler for 2-4 minutes.
  17. Remove to a cooling rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.
Adapted from Food Network: Alton Brown
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