Shepherd’s Pie

Cooking up the filling

Before Jake left on his motorcycle to get to Arizona for school I asked him what he’d like most to eat when he got back. He came right to my house and I promised to have whatever he wanted waiting for him so he wouldn’t have to worry about getting something to eat after such a long long ride. He told me he wanted Shepherd’s Pie made with lamb. And so the vegetarian had to cook meat again. My friend Valerie let me borrow the “Irish Pub Cookbook” (link to buy it at on the cookbooks page) which she said had the best ever recipe for Shepherd’s Pie. It was (apparently, because I didn’t eat any) very good and since the cookbook also has several vegetarian friendly recipes I’ve decided to keep it for a bit and try some more of the recipes from its glossy-paged depths.

Shepherd’s Pie

3 tablespoons canola oil
2 lbs ground lamb
salt and black pepper
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1 ½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups beef stock

2 lbs. russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
½ cup milk
2 tablespoons unsalted Kerrygold Irish butter
3 tablespoons cheddar cheese, grated
flax seeds

To start the filling:
1. In a large skillet over medium heat, warm 2 tablespoons of the oil.
2. Add the lamb and cook till brown.
3. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Remove from the heat.
5. With a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a large bowl.
6. Add the remaining oil to the pan.
7. Stir in the onion and cook until the onion is soft but not browned.
8. Add the carrots, parsley and thyme and cook, stirring once or twice for 2-3 minutes.
9. Stir in the flour.
10. Cook for 1-2 minutes then add the beef stock.
11. Bring to a boil, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
12. Add the meat.
13. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally 20-25 minutes or till the lamb is tender and the sauce is thickened.
14. Season again with salt and pepper.
15. Preheat the oven to 425 F.

To make the topping:
1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook the potatoes in boiling salted water till tender.
2. Drain and mash.
3. Add the milk and butter and stir till smooth.

Putting it all together:

1. Transfer the stew to a casserole dish.
2. Spread the mashed potatoes over the meat mixture and bake 10 minutes or till the mixture is hot.
3. Take the casserole dish out of the oven.
4. Sprinkle cheese, paprika and some flax seeds on top of the mashed potatoes.
5. Return to the oven and broil till the potatoes are lightly browned and the cheese is bubbling.



One thought on “Shepherd’s Pie

  1. Pingback: Happy Birthday Jake! | A Poet in the Kitchen

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