September 21, 2008

Sheperd's Pie / Cottage Pie

Andrew Jones,

This is my favorite sheperd's pie. Once when my family was coming over for dinner, not being sure how my dad would feel about lamb, I made two versions using this exact recipe, one with lamb and one with ground beef. The one with beef had SO much less flavor, so I learned the lamb really does make a difference.

1 1/2 lbs. russet potatoes
3 T unsalted butter
s & p
3 T vegetable oil
1 medium onion
1 medium carrot
1 medium celery stalk
1 lb. ground lamb
1 T flour
1 t dried rosemary
1 t dried thyme
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1 C beef broth

Chop potatoes. Put them in a pot of boiling water, reduce heat, and simmer until fully tender.

Reserve 1/2 C potato water, then drain potatoes. Mash potatoes with 1 T butter, reserved water, and salt and pepper. Set potatoes aside.

Preheat oven to 400. Dice carrot, celery, and onion. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add vegetables. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 15 minutes.

Increase heat to medium-high and add ground meat. Break meat apart while cooking until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Spoon off excess fat.

Add 1 T flour to mixture. Mix and cook for a couple minutes while stirring. Add beef broth, thyme, rosemary, and nutmeg. Cook while stirring until liquid has thickened, about 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste as it thickens.

Pour meat into casserole dish. Cover meat with mashed potatoes. Cut 2 T butter into small pieces and sprinkle over the top of the potatoes. Cover generously with paprika. Cook for about 30 minutes, until potatoes have golden brown crust. Allow to rest about 10 minutes before serving.

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