The only Shepherd’s Pie I’ve ever eaten was from the school cafeteria when I was a kid. They used ground beef and canned peas and carrots (often mushy) and I detested it!
This past week, I received a pound of ground lamb from a neighbor and decided to try making my own version of Shepherd’s Pie, using things I had on hand. Instead of the peas and carrots that are typical, I grated fresh carrots and chopped mushrooms for the vegetables. This Shepherd’s Pie is the best I’ve ever eaten!
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb ground lamb (or ground beef if you can’t find lamb or don’t like it)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 medium yellow onion, grated fine
- 2 large carrots, grated fine
- 3 cloves garlic, grated fine
- 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1.5 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 cup dry red wine (I used a boxed Malbec I had on hand)
- 1 spring fresh rosemary (chopped)
- 2 springs fresh thyme (chopped)
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 container of Bob Evan’s mashed potatoes (see my note below)*
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Bring a large cast iron skillet, skillet, or frying pan to high heat with the olive oil.
- After the oil is hot, add in the ground lamb. Spread in an even layer and crisp one side, then turn and crisp the bottom side. Break apart the ground lamb after it is browned and crisped. Season the lamb with salt and pepper.
- Add in the onion, garlic, mushrooms and carrot and cook for about 2-4 minutes till vegetables are soft.
- Pour in the Worcestershire sauce then the tomato paste and combine. Add in the red wine, thyme and rosemary and cook until most of the wine has evaporated off.
- Pour in the chicken stock and cook for 3-4 minutes.
- In a 9×13 casserole dish, add the meat and vegetable mixture.
- Put the mashed potatoes in a bowl and add 3/4 of the Parmesan cheese, mixing well.
- Spoon the mashed potatoes over the meat/vegetable mixture.
- Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan cheese on the top and then using a fork drag along the top of the potatoes to make small peaks.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes.
- If the potatoes aren’t browned enough, do what I do and use a kitchen torch to make the peaks crispy and browned.
*Note about the mashed potatoes:
I found that using the Bob Evan’s mashed potatoes saves me a lot of time, especially on a week night. You can, of course, make your own mashed potatoes from scratch. You will need about 2 lbs of russet potatoes (washed, peeled and quartered, then cooked in salted water) to make enough to cover the mixture.