Monday, March 15, 2010

Shepherd's Pie

Here's an alternative to corned beef and cabbage for your St. Patty's Day dinner: Shepherd's Pie. It's kinda Irish and it pairs well with beer. And those are pretty much all the requirement's I have for Saint P dinner. I mean, obviously we're also going to drink some whiskey—goes without saying.

This recipe for Shepherd's Pie came from a recent Food and Wine, which means the following: lots of cream, butter, and other fatty things. I lightened it a little and even added extra veggies for some of the meat it called for. It makes a nice satisfying meal that will provide you with leftovers (serves 8)—and it definitely gets even better the next day. This is a recipe that requires a good bit of prep time and attention, so make sure you have an hour or two to mess around the kitchen. And I think we all know that prep time is just an excuse we don't need to drink more Irish whiskey.

this purple carrot made me think back to season 1 of Dexter, is that wrong?

Shepherd's Pie
adapted from Food and Wine


1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 pound (lean) ground beef
1 pound ground lamb
salt and pepper

2 Tbsp butter
2 cups onion, diced
l cup turnips, cubed
3-4 carrots, cubed (I used rainbow carrots)
2 large celery stalks, diced
2/3 cup green peas (optional)
6 garlic cloves
1 Tbsp fresh thyme
1/2 cup water

3 Tbsp tomato paste
¼ cup all purpose flour
3 cups beef or veggie stock
salt and pepper


about 2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and chunked
4-5 garlic cloves, halved

2/3 cup milk
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp butter (or olive oil)
1 bay leaf
1 tsp thyme
pinch of nutmeg
1 small rosemary sprig (2-3 inches)
1 tsp kosher salt

1. In a large pot (or cast iron skillet) heat the vegetable oil and cook the lamb and ground beef, stirring to crumble the meat. Season with salt and pepper, transfer to a bowl and set aside.

2. Return the pot to the stove and melt the butter. Add veggies, onion through garlic and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Then add thyme, cooking an additional minute. Add the water, salt and pepper.
Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Retrieve the lamb/beef mixture and drain using a colander if necessary. Add the meat to the vegetables, and stir in the tomato paste until well integrated. Add the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes, then add the stock and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat (uncovered) for about 10 minutes. The mixture should thicken during this time. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary.

4. Remove from heat and transfer into a large casserole dish, or eight 1-½ cup ramekins. Let cool. (I used a large casserole dish plus a couple ramekins to accommodate all of the filling.)

5. In a medium/large sauce pan, add potatoes and cover with water. Cover pot and bring to a boil until potatoes are tender.

6. Meanwhile, in a medium sauce pan add the milk through nutmeg. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and add the rosemary sprig. Let mixture cool while potatoes finish cooking. Then strain to remove solids.

7. Pre-heat oven to 400°.

8. After potatoes are tender, return them along with the garlic to the pan and cook over high heat for a minute or two to dry out the potatoes. In a bowl, blend/mix the potatoes and the milk mixture. Add the tsp of salt.

9. Spread the potato topping over the lamb/beef filling and bake the pie in the upper third of the oven for 20 minutes. You'll probably want a drip pan under the casserole/ramekins. Turn on the broiler and brown the topping for 2-3 minutes (or until it looks good to you). Let the shepherd's pie rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Serve with a hearty Irish stout or an English ale. But just to be festive...let's go with the stout. Go here if you still want that corned beef.

No comments:

Post a Comment