Thursday, April 26, 2007

Something a little different

Shepard's Pie is not something I usually make ... it is heavy, and often gloppy. In the past few years I've made it precisely twice. And, each of those times I made it with ground turkey and sweet potatoes in an attempt to lighten it up a bit and jazz up the flavors. I liked it that way, but at the time I was living alone and ended up so tired of the leftovers (because it is impossible to make a small portion of Shepard's Pie) that I didn't want to make it again for another year.

However, as I mentioned in my previous post, Sunday was dreary and chilly. I wanted something hearty for dinner, and I knew I had dining companions and I wouldn't be stuck with the leftovers forever. The idea of making traditional Shepard's Pie wormed its way into my mind and wouldn't let go. One package of ground lamb and a pound of potatoes later, we were feasting on a Shepard's Pie and licking our spoons. I still don't think it is a dish to work into a monthly rotation, but it is definitely worth making when it is cold, you are hungry, and only something meaty, rich, and carby will hit the spot.

Traditional Shepard's Pie --serves lots


--1 lb potatoes, peeled, quartered and well rinsed
--2 tablespoons butter/margarine (optional)
--salt, pepper, and garlic to taste

--2 tablespoons olive oil
--2 garlic cloves, diced
--1 onion, chopped roughly
--3 carrots, chopped roughly
--3 stalks celery roughly chopped
--8 oz mushrooms, sliced
--1 cup green peas, fresh or frozen (not canned!)
--1 lb ground lamb
--splash red wine

-1 tablespoon flour

--3/4 cup stock (I used chicken)
--1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
--pinch ground nutmeg
--salt and pepper to taste


1) Boil the potatoes until tender, drain them and mash them with the butter, salt, pepper, and garlic. Set aside.

2) As the potatoes cook, preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

3) Add the garlic, onions, carrots, celery, mushrooms, and green peas to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the veggies have softened (about 15 minutes).

4) Add the ground lamb to the pan and cook for 12 -15 minutes more, breaking the lamb up with a wooden spoon. Spoon off any fat.

5) Deglaze the pan with a splash of red wine, scraping the bottom of the pan to get up the browned bits.

6) Add the flour to the pan and cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes.

7) Add the stock, rosemary, nutmeg, salt, and pepper and reduce the heat to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally until the mixture has thickened (a few minutes).

8) Let cool a bit and then pour the meat mixture into a large baking dish. Spread the mashed potatoes over the top, allowing then to have peaks and valleys.

9) Bake until potatoes are browned and the dish is heated through (about 30 minutes).

To serve:

Serve straight from the baking dish with some light veggie side dish (we had steamed asparagus). Enjoy your hearty dinner, and be sure to invite someone over to enjoy it with you! :)

The lamb mixture before it was topped with the mashed potatoes.

Not the prettiest dish in the world, but still delicious. Open wide!

Speaking of opening wide, look at Fudge yawn. :)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yawn? That little dog is obviously vicious, rabid, and about to attack! I should know.