Shepherd’s Pie

A simple easy recipe that delivers amazing comfort food. Note that the traditional British recipe calls for lamb, but we have also had great success using ground beef or turkey (I suppose this substitution would make it “cottage” pie and not “shepherd’s” pie, but do what you and your family enjoy!). I find this recipe great during colder months. It is warm, hearty, and filling. For best results, use fresh ingredients from your garden. There is nothing like a fresh potato directly from the ground (natural sugars actually start to convert to starches relatively quickly, so home grown potatoes are much sweeter than those you will find in the store). This recipe will make enough to feed at least 6 people. Preparation time is approximately 30 minutes. Cook time is approximately 20 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 2.5 lbs. potatoes (peeled and quartered)
  • 6 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 lbs. ground lamb (can substitute meat)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large grated carrot
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 cloves grated garlic
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1.5 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 sprig fresh chopped rosemary
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup chicken stock (try beef stock if substituting beef)
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Instructions:

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large pan until hot (make sure you are using regular olive oil and not extra virgin olive oil, the latter of which will burn).
  • Season the ground lamb/beef/turkey (don’t be shy with seasoning and prepare to your taste pallet) and fry in the oil over medium to high heat for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Stir the onions and carrot into the mix and then grate in the garlic.
  • Add in the Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, and herbs. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, making sure to stir constantly (we don’t want to it to scorch).
  • Pour in your red wine (any red will do) and reduce the mix until most of the liquid is evaporated.
  • Add in your chicken stock (keep in mind that you can use beef stock if you switched the meat to ground beef) and bring to the boil. Simmer the mixture until your sauce has thickened. Season with salt and pepper to your liking. Simultaneously, you should be boiling your potatoes in water (cook until they are soft and tender; try testing them by sticking a fork in).
  • Drain your potatoes and then return them to their original hot pot; we are trying to let some of the water briefly evaporate from them, but do not let them burn.
  • Now, mash your potatoes very smoothly. We typically use a plain mixer, but for the smoothest mix you could try using a potato ricer (here). Once you have them smooth, beat in the egg yolks, heavy whipping cream, butter, and approximately 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese. Make sure to be tasting your potato mix for seasoning (don’t be shy with seasoning!).
  • Evenly spread your meat mixture into the bottom of an oven safe dish.
  • Layer the mashed potato mixture on top of the meat mixture in your dish. For added flair, place the potato mix in a cake piping bag (for extra gusto, use a star tip; this is how the peaks are achieve pictured above).
  • Top with the remaining parmesan cheese and seasonings.
  • Bake for approximately 20 minutes. The dish should be bubbling and the top a delicious golden brown.
  • If desired, switch the oven to broil for a few minutes to add extra depth to the peaks.
  • You can also garnish with a little parsley, but this is only if you want to give the illusion that you are a master chef!
  • Enjoy!

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