I’ve never had Shepherd’s Pie, and I’d never even heard of it until one today when I was searching for ground beef recipes. But I really wanted to try it, because how can meat, sauce, and cheesy mashed potatoes be bad? It was actually really good. It didn’t blow my mind away, but it was really tasty. I would add peas next time for the color more than anything. The worchestershire is a really strong flavor, and the tomato paste adds a sweetness. I used my food mill to make the mashed potatoes, which makes them smoother than I could ever do by hand-mashing. I used 1 big potato, a splash or two of milk, 1 tbsp butter, and S&P. I topped with smoked gouda cheese, which tasted good but didn’t really melt and get bubbly. Another option would be to stir the cheese into the potatoes.
This is a pretty good meal, but I would maybe try a different version just because it’s not crazy exciting. Crepes of Wrath has a different version that’s probably not traditional, but it sounds good. It has wine and canned diced tomatoes.
Shepherd’s Pie (Emeril, with inspiration from Mummy Boone and Proper English Cottage Pie)
Serves 4-6 (1/2 of the recipe was 3 big servings for us)
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1 pound chopped lamb shoulder or lamb fillet
- 1 cup chopped yellow onions
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 ounces button mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 1/4 cups lamb or beef stock
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 pound potatoes
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup white cheddar, grated
Lightly grease a 6-cup baking dish and set aside.
Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add the lamb and cook until starting to brown, about 3 minutes. Add the onions, carrots, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and bay leaf, and cook, stirring, until their liquid is almost all gone, about 4 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until starting to color, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Gradually add the stock and Worcestershire sauce, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until thickened, about 20 to 25 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Meanwhile, place the potatoes in a medium pot and cover with salted water by 1-inch. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain in a colander and return to the pot. Over low heat, mash the potatoes with a potato masher. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, 3/4 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, and nutmeg, and mash to incorporate. Add the heavy cream and mix well. Remove from the heat.
Remove the pot with the meat from the heat. Remove the bay leaf. Spoon into the prepared dish and top with the mashed potatoes, smoothing the top. Sprinkle the cheese over the top and bake until browned and bubbly on top, 10 to 15 minutes. (Mine baked 20.) Remove from the oven and serve immediately.