Monday, July 1, 2013

Shepherd's Pie

I have loved Shepherd's Pie since I was a teenager. I had my first taste of this comfort food while I was visiting my best childhood friend in London.  Yes, I was lucky enough to taste the real deal! My  friend moved overseas the year before and for my thirteenth birthday my parents sent me to visit her, all by myself.  It was a marvelous, memory filled trip, one my teenagers are really tired of hearing about. ;)

Anyway, it was and is a delicious dish and I've been making it for many years.

You start with your mashed potato topping.  Peel and cut up the potatoes and let them boil until done.

While the potatoes are cooking brown the ground beef and lamb, with onions, celery and carrots. (That french miropaux mix I mentioned a while back makes it so easy.)

Once that is browned, add a clove of garlic.  Be sure to season well with salt and pepper.

My little secret ingredient is 2 tablespoons of tomato paste.  This one that comes in a tube is super handy. I just keep a tube in my fridge for many recipes. Also throw in 2 teaspoons of Thyme.

Make a gravy for the filling with beef broth, Worcestershire sauce and cornstarch. Let simmer while you finish the mashed potatoes.

Once the potatoes are soft, I use my Kitchenaid mixer to mash the potatoes briefly and then add, butter, milk, and cream cheese.  Of course, season with salt and pepper.

Add the meat filling to a dish, buttered if necessary.  Top with mashed potatoes and finish with mozzarella cheese.

My helper and daughter Emily finished the dish for me while I ran an errand, hence the lack of photos of the previous parts.

Bake in 425 oven for 15-20 minutes.  Yours probably won't come out this brown.  Emily turned the oven off, but left it in to keep it warm.  She didn't realize it would continue to brown.  But we didn't mind we actually like our cheese nice and brown.

This was the first time I used the combination of beef and lamb.  It was very good and will definitely do it again.  The lamb seemed to lend a little sweetness to the dish.

Shepherd's Pie

For the Meat Filling:

1    tablespoon coconut oil
1    pound ground beef
1    pound ground lamb
1   cup frozen French Miropaux mix or equivalent of onion, celery and carrots, chopped
2    teaspoons thyme (fresh or dried)
2    tablespoons tomato paste
1    cup beef stock or broth
2    teaspoons Worcestershire,
1    tablespoon cornstarch, in a slurry of water
1    cup frozen peas
1    teaspoon sweet paprika

For the Mashed Potatoes

2 1/2 -3 pounds Russet or Yukon Gold Potatoes
5   tablespoons Butter
1/2 package (8 Oz.) Cream Cheese, Softened
1/4 cup Half-and-Half or whole milk
salt and pepper to taste

8 oz mozzarella cheese, grated


Boil potatoes in salted water until tender, about 12 minutes. Drain potatoes and pour them into a bowl.

While potatoes boil, preheat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add oil to hot pan with beef and/or lamb with the onion, celery and carrots.

Season meat with salt and pepper. Brown and crumble meat for 3 or 4 minutes. If you are using lamb and the pan is fatty, spoon away some of the drippings.

Next add the thyme and the tomato paste, which gives the meat filling a richer flavor. After this is all  mixed together add the peas.

Finish the meat filling by making a gravy with beef stock, worcestshire and paprika.  Once the stock is boiling add slurry of cornstarch and water. Let simmer on low until potatoes are finished.

When the potatoes are soft, slightly mash the potatoes. I use a paddle attachment on my Kitchenaid mixer.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Combine cream cheese, butter and milk into the potatoes and whip until potatoes are almost smooth.

Fill a small rectangular casserole with meat and vegetable mixture. Spoon potatoes over meat evenly.

Top potatoes with grated mozzarella cheese from the heat until potatoes are evenly browned, about 15-20 minutes.

1 comment:

  1. Great tip to keep a tube of tomato paste in the sure beats having to open a can for two tablespoons! Your version looks delicious!