Shepherd's Pie

ingredients.

  • (1) onion, finely chopped
  • (2) garlic cloves, minced
  • (½) lb cremini mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
  • (2) lb potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • (¾) cup light cream
  • (1½) lb ground lamb or beef
  • (1) cup frozen peas & carrots
  • (8) tbsp unsalted butter — 1 stick
  • (1) tbsp tomato paste
  • (2) tsp dried thyme
  • (1) tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • (3) tbsp flour
  • (1) cup vegetable broth
  • salt & pepper
  • (¼) cup parmesan cheese, optional

directions.

NOTE: There are many steps where I recommend adding a pinch of salt and pepper, and while it may seem like overkill, trust me. It is really important to season every layer of the dish or it can easily become under seasoned! When I say a pinch, I don’t really know how much I use while cooking, I would just say it’s no more than ½ teaspoon of salt and 3-4 cracks of whole peppercorns. This is just me, you can adjust as you deem necessary, but I know for those who don’t cook often, exact measurements are desired, so I hope this helps…

OK on to the good stuff:

  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF
  2. Place a medium pot of salted water on the stove (about 3-4 quarts) with chopped potatoes over high heat and bring to a boil
  3. While water is coming to a boil, heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat with 2 tbsp of butter
  4. Add chopped onion and garlic to melted butter and sauté for 3 minutes, add a pinch of salt and pepper
  5. Add chopped mushrooms to onions and garlic mixture and sauté for another 3 minutes until vegetables are softened, add another pinch of salt and pepper
  6. Add ground lamb to softened vegetables, break up in the pan and cook until browned (about 7 minutes)
  7. At this point, your water is probably boiling, boil potatoes for about 10 more minutes until tender — you can check this by poking a fork through the potatoes, if it goes in without effort they are tender enough
  8. Once potatoes are tender, drain them and cover with a dishtowel to allow them to steam a little more (about 5 minutes)
  9. Back to the lamb, you can now drain the fat from the lamb once it is browned in the pan
  10. Add tomato paste, dried thyme, Worcestershire sauce and salt about pepper to lamb mixture
  11. Stir well and keep warm over low heat while you make the gravy and mash the potatoes
  12. Uncover potatoes and add to a large mixing bowl with 3 tbsp of butter, salt and pepper
  13. Begin to mash with a potato masher (if you don’t have a potato masher you can also use a hand mixer or a fork — but a fork won’t get you as smooth of a texture)
  14. Add light cream to potatoes and continue to mash until potatoes have reached a smooth consistency — taste for seasoning — then set aside until pie is ready to be assembled
  15. Heat a medium sauté pan over medium heat with 3 tbsp of butter
  16. Once butter has mostly melted, add the flour and whisk with butter
  17. Cook butter/flour for about a minute until a light brown color (you just made a roux!)
  18. Slowly add vegetable broth and whisk
  19. Season with salt and pepper and whisk once more until you’ve reached the consistency you like your gravy
  20. Pour gravy into lamb mixture and stir well to combine — CONGRATS you’re ready to start assembling : )
  21. In a baking pan (I used 9 x 13) add lamb mixture and spread evenly to create the first layer of the pie
  22. Next, add the mashed potatoes and spread them over the lamb in an even layer
  23. Run tip of fork over potatoes to create little crevices (this just makes it look pretty, you can skip this if you want)
  24. Add some parmesan cheese to the top of the potatoes if you’d like (again, optional)
  25. Bake pie in preheated over for about 30 minutes until potatoes have browned*
  26. Remove from oven and serve immediately — can also be stored in refrigerator and reheated for some yummy leftovers

*After baking for 30 minutes, I put the pie in the broiler for about 3 minutes to finish browning the potatoes

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Shepherd's Pie