Friday, April 13, 2012

Shepherd's Pie

Tonight's Menu
Sheppard's Pie
Garden Salad
Wine Pairing: Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel

Minced Lamb pie with a mashed potato crust

A classic English recipe, Shepherd's pie or Cottage pie is a meat and vegetable casserole with a crust of mashed potatoes. Traditionally made with lamb or mutton, this was a way to use leftover meat to create a new meal.
In North America beef is often substituted for lamb. This is a complete meal on its own represented by several essential food groups, just serve a fresh crisp salad on the side.
Use very little oil for cooking the lamb as there is nothing worse than an oily mince. To moisten and add tonnes of flavor use stock. I made one big large pie, but you can also make individual ones in small dishes to be served one per person.

Shepherd's Pie

Ingredients: (generously serves 6)
For the lamb
2 tsp olive oil
1.5 lbs minced lamb
3-4 cloves of garlic
1 Spanish onion
2 large carrots
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2-3 tbsp tomato purée
splash of red wine
1/2 tsp each thyme and rosemary
3/4 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup stock
salt and pepper to taste
For the mashed potatoes
4 large potatoes
2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup milk
parmigiana cheese (optional)
salt and pepper

  1. Put the potatoes for boiling while you prepare the lamb. 
  2. In a large pan heat olive oil and cook minced lamb for 1-2 minutes till all the pink disappears. 
  3. Grate garlic, onion and carrots and add to the mince. Cook everything together for another 2 minutes stirring constantly. 
  4. Add Worcestershire sauce, tomato purée, wine and herbs. Season. Cook on high for about a minute to incorporate the tomato into the mixture. 
  5. Add stock and peas and bring to boil. Cook for 3-4 minutes on medium heat. Keep aside. 
  6. To make the potatoes, mash the boiled potatoes with butter and milk to form a smooth fluffy texture. Some recipes call for egg yolks to moisten the potato, but I prefer the butter and milk combo. 
  7. Season with salt and pepper and add a generous amount of grated cheese(if using) and mix well. 
  8. preheat oven to 400°F. 
  9. Grease the baking dish (or dishes if making individual pies) and pour the minced lamb mixture at the bottom. Top it with the mashed potato and smooth out as if icing a cake. 
  10. Top with grated cheese and fluff the top with a fork to give a wavy ridged effect. 
  11. Bake in the top third of the oven for 15-20 minutes till golden brown and crisp. Serve hot with a mixed salad drizzled with light vinaigrette.

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