You either love it or hate it, but I am not a hater, and this dish could possibly rank up there with the best of comfort foods. The shepherds pie is almost like a pot pie, and almost like a torta mixture, but it is not. This is a dish that we probably all grew up with as it was not only really simple to put together, but it was a great casserole to use up some of your leftovers, especially if you had roasted meat.
My coworker and I recently had a discussion about shepherds pie. He said that this was one dish that he probably makes once a week in the winter months. For me, it is about once a quarter, but every time it is made, the smile on my wife’s face would be enough to make it once a week. The great thing about making a shepherds pie, is that you can really treat it as your own. Sure it has meat, but in all honesty, you can leave the meat out and simply use sauteed vegetables as your base and it would surely be just as awesome. This version of shepherds pie utilizes my autumn mashed potatoes as the topping, and when it came out of the oven, my wife said “That is a thing of beauty”. Not only is a beautiful to look at, but it is something so comforting on a cloudy day.
- 1 lb of ground beef
- 1 lb of ground lamb
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 red onion, diced
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 cloves of garlic, whole
- 1 cup of frozen peas
- 1/2 cup of yellow corn
- 1/2 cup of beef stock
- 1 tbsp worchestsire sauce
- 2 large russet potatoes, skinned, quartered
- 2 large sweet potatoes, skinned, quartered
- 2 tbsp of butter
- 1/4 cup of milk or heavy whipping cream
- salt and pepper to taste
Begin by adding your potatoes to a large pot of water, enough to cover your potatoes. Add in the two cloves of whole garlic to the water as well. Cover, bring to a boil, and let them boil for about 25 minutes. As the potatoes cook, brown your ground meats. Once browned, drain the fat. Remove the meat and reserve for later use. Next add in the diced carrots, onions, and the minced garlic. Cook this until the carrots are tender, about 10 minutes. Add in the corn and peas and cook for a few more minutes. Add the ground meat back into the mixture and mix well. Bring up the heat a bit and add in the worchestire sauce and beef stock, cooking for a few more minutes. Toss in a generous amount of salt and pepper. Taste and season accordingly.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. The potatoes should be done now so drain the water, and place back on the stove, onto the heat to remove any excess water, only for a couple of minutes. Now is the time to add the butter, salt and pepper, and the heavy whipping cream. Get your mashing skills going and make a nice mashed potato. You should end up with a light orange mashed potato.
Get your casserole dish out and add the ground meat and vegetable mixture to the bottom of the dish. Take your mashed potatoes and add to the top of the mixture, spreading out over the top, making sure to seal all of the edges. A nice trick is to take a fork, and add marks to the top of the mashed potatoes. As the dish cooks in the oven, the fork edges make a nice textured crust.
Cook in the oven for about 25-35 minutes or until the top is a nice golden color. Remove and let it set up for about 5-10 minutes. Slice, or spoon out. Trust me on this one, it is a dish that will last an entire day for the family, great as a leftover, and is super diverse, yet affordable. Enjoy.