Request: recipe 4 Shepherd's Pie
My "recipe" ground meat seasoned like taco (package seasoning is ok), leftover mashed potatoes (or made special sometimes), and sharp cheddar cheese. Cook the meat mixture, put in the bottom of relatively deep cassarole dish, cover with mashed, place cheese on top and heat in oven or microwave. Sometimes veggies, salsa, onions, or tomatoes left over are added or accompany.
Meat as above, instant mashed, assembled while hot in cassarole, topped with cheese - microwave until cheese melts.
Amounts can vary according to what might be left over.
I made this version by Gordon Ramsay last week. The recipe is posted on the Times website. It was the best I've ever tasted. There's no veg in it, so I just served it with steamed brocolli.
2 tbsp olive oil
900g lean minced lamb
Freshly ground black pepper
450g onions, peeled and finely chopped
2 sprigs fresh thyme, picked and chopped
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp tomato purée
2 tbsp flour
200ml red wine
75ml Worcestershire sauce
1 litre chicken stock
1kg boiled floury potatoes, such as Maris Piper
2 egg yolks
Freshly ground white pepper and salt
1 In a large frying pan, heat the oil until hot, add half the mince, season with pepper and fry until well browned. With a slotted spoon, remove the meat from the pan and place in a metal colander to allow the excess fat to drain. Repeat with the second batch of mince and place in the colander.
2 Add the onion to the pan with the thyme and garlic and a knob of butter, and cook until soft and translucent. Add the meat and tomato purée, then sprinkle over the flour. Cook stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes to cook the flour.
3 Add the red wine and Worcestershire sauce and cook until the liquid has reduced to half the original volume. Add the chicken stock, bring back to the boil, then simmer for 30-40 minutes. The mixture should be thick and glossy. Allow to cool, then check the seasoning.
4 Mash the potato until creamy and smooth or pass through a Mouli or potato-ricer. Put into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Place the milk and butter
into a small pan and heat until the butter is melted and the milk is about to boil. Pour over the potatoes and beat well, adding the egg yolks and seasoning with salt and white pepper.
5 Put the mince into a large baking dish, then top with the creamed potato. Use a fork to rough up the top.
6 Place in a preheated oven at 200C/Gas 6 for 30 minutes or until bubbling and golden brown in colour
For us, true Shepherd's pie involves leftover cubed roast lamb or beef; from what I've read, this is how the dish evolved as a Scottish peasant's or farmer's meal of leftover roast which was most likely mutton (or lamb). No ground beef or corn or peas which so many newer versions have. It also involves leftover potatoes, mashed, or roughly smashed for the topping.
I believe it was David Rosengarten's "Taste" show from years ago (sniffle sniffle, that was a very good show, I thought!) where he added red wine and fresh herbs to the gravy which nailed it for us...we love it that way!
2 Tablespoons butter or fat drippings from roast
2 or 2 1/2 cups cubed leftover lamb or beef roast, preferably lamb
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1 cup leftover gravy or meat juices (you can substitute 1 can or jar of beef gravy here if you have to)
1/2 cup dry red wine, burgundy is good
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
2-3 cups leftover potatoes, mashed
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 2 quart glass or ceramic casserole dish.
In a large skillet, melt the butter and saute the onion and carrot for about 5 minutes. Add the cubed
meat and saute for another 5 minutes. (My experience is that the meat gives up juices here.) Add the fresh herbs and saute for 3 minutes...then add the red wine, bring to boil then turn down to a simmer and add the gravy or meat drippings, stirring til all mixed.
Pour the meat mixture into casserole dish and top with potatoes. (if your mashed potatoes are cold, they're hard to spread; I usually warm them up with just a little more milk on the stove to make them more spreadable.) Bake uncovered for 25 - 30 minutes or til potatoes are browned. When I serve it, I sprinkle with fresh parsley on each plate, just for color.