Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Recipe: Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd’s Pie is a classic comfort food originally made with leftovers.  Enjoy!

Mashed Potato Topping
· 4 1bs Potatoes (You can use Yukon Gold or russet, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes)
· Butter (a bit)
· Heavy Cream (about a cup and a half, heated)
· Salt and pepper

Start with the potatoes in a pot of cold water so that they cook evenly. Add salt to the water. Make sure that there is just enough cold water to cover the potatoes. Bring to a boil, and simmer until soft. (About 15-20 minutes or so.) Make sure not to overcook. Check periodically. Drain the potatoes and then put them back in the pot and into a hot oven for a bit to dry. Make sure to keep an eye on them. Bring the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan. Once the potatoes are dry, pass them through a ricer or mash them with and electric mixer. *If you use and electric mixer, be careful not to over whip the potatoes or they will become elastic and gooey. Add some butter, salt, pepper and cream and whip until combined.

Shepherd’s Pie Filling
· Olive Oil
· Onion (1 large, diced)
· Garlic (2-3 cloves, chopped)
· 3 pounds Ground Meat (You could use beef, lamb, or any combination)
· White wine (1/2 cup or so)
· Tomato Juice (1/2 cup)
· Thyme (dried, about a tablespoon)
· Tomato Paste (1-2T, to thicken)
· Cheese (parmesan, grated)
· Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sweat onions in a large skillet or braising pan over low heat in olive oil. Add chopped garlic after sweating onions for a few minutes. 

In a separate pan, heat olive oil over high heat and sear the ground meat. Add salt and ground pepper and let the meat caramelize. Drain the meat to remove the liquid. Bring the pan temperature back to high heat with more olive oil and put meat back in the pan to sear again. Add the cooked meat to the onion mixture. Deglaze the pan with white wine and scrape up the bits to add to the other pan. The wine will add some acidity to the dish. Continue to cook on low heat. Add some tomato juice and dried thyme. Add a little tomato paste and chicken stock. Taste for seasoning. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Butter a casserole dish and line the pan bottom with half of the mashed potatoes. Then add the Shepherd’s Pie Filling. Top with the remaining mashed potatoes and lots of cheese. Bake the cheese melts and the top is golden brown. (15-20 minutes). Serve with a salad.

Photo by Emily Clack

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