Friday, March 11, 2016

This Shepard's Pie Will Keep Them Coming Back for More

Shepard’s Pie

For good reason, this delicious recipe for Shepard's pie is best prepared in advance. I use the essence that comes from cooking the lamb and it needs to refrigerate overnight to allow the fat to congeal. Also, preparing this dish in advance allows all those wonderful flavors to mingle for several hours.

Potato Topping for Shepard's Pie

3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
6 tablespoons butter, softened
⅓ cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon salt
Several grindings of freshly ground black pepper
2 egg yolks

  1. Cook potatoes in boiling water for about 15-20 minutes or until fork tender. Drain and return the potatoes back to the pot. Mash the potatoes slightly. Add the butter and buttermilk and mash until smooth. Add the egg yolks and stir until fully incorporated. Season with salt and pepper. Allow the potatoes to cool before covering. Refrigerate overnight.
Shepard's Pie

3 tablespoons neutral cooking oil
1½ cups chopped onion
3 medium carrots (about 2 cups) julienned
1½ teaspoons salt
Several grindings of freshly ground black pepper
6 cloves garlic, minced
2¼ pounds ground lamb
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1½ cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon freshly chopped rosemary leaves
1 tablespoons freshly chopped thyme leaves
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 cup frozen sweet peas, thawed

  1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, salt and pepper and sauté for about 3-4 minutes stirring often. Add the garlic and stir to combine. Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, cook the lamb until browned and cooked through. Using a slotted spoon, add the lamb to the carrot and onion mixture. Transfer lamb essence to a jar.
  3. Top the lamb mixture with flour and stir well. Add the chicken broth, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, rosemary and thyme and stir until ingredients are evenly distributed.
  4. Transfer the lamb mixture to a 15 x 10-inch baking dish. Add the corn and peas and stir to combine.
  5. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

  1. Remove lamb dish from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°.
  3. Skim the fat from the lamb essence with a spoon. Place the essence in a small pan and heat over moderate heat. Pour over lamb mixture.
  4. Top the lamb with the mashed potatoes. Distribute the potatoes evenly over the lamb creating a seal.
  5. Bake uncovered for about 30 minutes or until lamb is bubbling. 
  6. Set oven temperature to broil and broil for about 1-2 minutes or until potatoes are lightly browned. Serve immediately.
Serves 12-15