Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd's Pie

Introducing a true comfort food, the crowd pleaser- Shepherd's Pie. This is a savoury Irish classic of a meat and vegetable base smothered in gravy nestled beneath a perfectly golden mashed potato topping. Here's a fun fact, authentic Shepherd's Pie is actually made with ground lamb and Cottage Pie is made with ground veal or beef. Now, not everyone's a big fan of ground lamb so many substitute it with ground veal or beef and are technically preparing a Cottage Pie. Sorry Cottage Pie, only about 5 percent of foodie's actually know you exist, enjoy your Shepherd's Pie folks. 

Ingredients 

Mash Potato Topping:

  • 1 ½ lbs. (approx. 4-5 potatoes) russet potatoes
  • 1/4 cup cream or milk
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground pepper
  • Pinch of nutmeg (optional)

For the Meat filling:

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup onion- finely diced
  • 2 carrots- peeled, finely diced
  • 1 stalk celery- finely diced
  • ½ cup corn
  • ½ cup green beans, halved
  • 2 cloves garlic- minced
  • 2 tsps. tomato paste
  • 2 lbs. ground veal or lamb
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 11/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. rosemary- fresh or dried, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. thyme- fresh or dried, finely chopped
  • ½ cup frozen peas

Method:

  1. Add peeled and quartered potatoes to a medium pot, cover with cold water. Set over high heat and bring to a boil. Cook until tender, approx. 10-15 minutes or until potatoes can be inserted with a knife very easily. While potatoes are cooking refer to step 3.

  2. Once potatoes are cooked drain in colander, then place potatoes back in pot. Begin to mash then add in cream/milk, butter, salt, pepper and nutmeg (optional). Mash potatoes until smooth. Set aside. Set oven to 375ᵒF.

  3. Begin preparing the meat filling. Heat large sauté pan or braiser, add olive oil, sauté onion, carrot, celery, peas, corn and green beans for 4 minutes. Add in garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes, add in tomato paste and cook 1 minute longer. Next, add ground meat, salt and pepper, cook until fully browned, 6-7 minutes (this adds delicious depth and flavour, do not rush this step).

  4. To the meat add flour and stir to coat all the ingredients, cook for 1 minute. Add chicken broth, Worcestershire, Djon, rosemary, thyme - stir to incorporate, make sure to scrape the bottom of the pan as a lot of the brown bits add tremendous flavour. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes (the flour acts as a thickener and will assist in creating a gravy). 

  5. Place the meat mixture into a greased 11 by 7-inch baking dish. Top with the mashed potatoes and spread evenly to the edges. Place on baking tray to catch any spill overs and bake for 25- 30 minutes or until the potatoes are lightly golden. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

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