Shepherd’s Pie

Life’s kinda crazy right now. In the next two-ish months I’m going to be typing/formatting/editing/defending a thesis, I’ve got a few trips to conferences planned (no big deal…they’re just on the other side of the country), I have graduation (yay!), and then I get to move to a specific location that is yet to be determined. In addition to my life being crazy, the weather’s nuts too. In a two week period, my university cancelled a grand total of five days of classes due to snow and ice (which is really saying something); in that same two week period there were at least two days of 70*F weather. So…yeah. At least we’re keeping it interesting, right?

As weather-wise alone I have no clue what to expect day-to-day, I’m not limiting myself to “cold weather foods” or “spring foods” or anything like that; I’m cooking whatever the hell I want. I’m also trying to celebrate life whenever I can, because…well, why not? So last night I had a “l’chaim” party with some friends. In asking earlier in the week for suggestions, one friend said I should consider making a chicken pot pie. Wasn’t totally behind that, but I liked the casserole/one-pot idea. So, I made a shepherd’s pie instead. It was my first time making it. I read a few recipes beforehand (many of which seemed to think a classic UK dish should include kernel corn…), and they all seem to have the same ingredients. But this was fantastic if I do say so myself. And not too hard. I’d tell you how it reheats, except I had no leftovers…oops. =)

SHEPHERD’S PIE

INGREDIENTS:

  • Potatoes (2-3 pounds)
  • Half and half
  • Butter
  • One egg yolk
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh garlic, minced
  • Fresh thyme, chopped
  • Fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1.5-2lbs ground lamb
  • Worchestershire sauce
  • Carrots, finely diced
  • Peas (ok to buy frozen, but thaw before cooking)
  • Sweet onion, diced
  • Tomato paste
  • Beef stock (or chicken stock)
  • Flour

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Make mashed potatoes. To do that…
    1. (Option A) Peel the potatoes, and chop them into one-inch or so equal sized pieces. (Option B) Wash the potatoes, and chop them into one-inch or so equal sized pieces.
    2. Place the potatoes in a pot with salted water. Bring to a boil, and then simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft.
    3. Strain the potatoes and immediately return them to the pot. Add butter, half-and-half, salt and pepper. Whip/mash until they are as chunky/smooth as you like.
    4. At the very end, mix in one egg yolk.
  2. If your meat is naturally greasy (which mine was), season it with salt and pepper, and cook it for a few minutes in a skillet to get rid of some of the fat. You don’t have to cook it all the way through–you’re just trying to save your arteries. Place on a paper towel to sop off additional fat (like you would when cooking bacon).
    This is the end of the round one. It's ok that there are still some pink parts.
    This is the end of the round one. It’s ok that there are still some pink parts.

    The goal was just to avoid  digesting THIS.
    The goal was just to avoid digesting THIS.
  3. In a large sauce pan, start sauteing the carrots and onions.
    20140301_144019
  4. When the carrots and onions are soft, add the lamb, garlic, Worchestershire and herbs. Season again.
    20140301_144758
  5. Add the beef stock and some tomato paste. If you want more liquid, add water or more stock. If you want less liquid, add flour.
  6. When everything’s almost done cooking, add the peas.
    20140301_145319
  7. Preheat the oven to 400*F. In a baking-dish layer as follows: non-potato mixture. Mashed potatoes.
    20140301_15083720140301_151310
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the potatoes start to brown and the liquid underneath starts to bubble.
    20140301_183415

    Next time I might do this in ramekins for individual sized portions and added fanciness. But still...pretty good.
    Next time I might do this in ramekins for individual sized portions and added fanciness. But still…pretty good.
Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Shepherd’s Pie

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s