Shepherd’s Pie

This Sunday was St. Patrick’s Day and I wanted to make a Irish or British pub style meal. In the past, I’ve almost always made corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick’s Day. However, I made this a couple weeks ago and I wasn’t ready to have it again so soon. Other alternatives were bangers and mash, braised lamb shoulder, fish and chips, and shepherd’s pie. In the end, I decided on shepherd’s pie because it would make a nice amount of leftovers for us to eat for lunch during the week.

I know the basics of the recipe are onions, peas, ground meat, and potatoes. However, things are a bit more nuanced than that. So I went looking for a full recipe. I decided on a recipe from Alton Brown and altered it a bit.

Shepherd’s Pie

  • 1½ pounds russet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1½ pounds ground lamb
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons freshly chopped rosemary leaves
  • 1 teaspoon freshly chopped thyme leaves
  • 1 cup frozen English peas

  1. Simmer and cook potatoes until tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Drain the potatoes and mash. Add the milk, salt, pepper, butter, and mash until smooth. Use beater to whip so they are fluffy. Stir in the yolk and beat for 1-2 minutes more.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  4. Saute onion and garlic in canola oil over medium high heat approximately 3 to 4 minutes until translucent. Add the lamb, salt and pepper and cook until browned and cooked through, approximately 3 minutes. Sprinkle the meat with the flour and toss to coat, continuing to cook for another minute. Add the tomato paste, chicken broth, Worcestershire, rosemary, thyme, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer slowly 10 to 12 minutes or until the sauce is thickened slightly.
  5. Add peas to the lamb mixture and spread evenly into an 11 by 7-inch glass baking dish. Top with the mashed potatoes, starting around the edges to create a seal to prevent the mixture from bubbling up and smooth with a rubber spatula
  6. Bake for 25 minutes or just until the potatoes begin to brown. Remove to a cooling rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.


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