Monday, March 5, 2012
While many cooks will associate this recipe as being Shepherd’s Pie, the fact is authentic Shepherd’s Pie is made with Lamb, or Mutton.
1 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 Pounds ground beef
1 onions, finely chopped
½ Cup cooked carrots, diced
½ Cup green peas, blanched
1 garlic clove, finely minced*
1½ Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoons tomato paste
½ Cup red wine (optional)
2 Cups beef stock
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon Fresh thyme leaf
1 bay leaf
2 Pounds Yukon gold potatoes, chopped
1/2 Cup whole milk
3 ounces unsalted butter
½ pound sharp cheddar, grated
Freshly grated nutmeg
Sea salt & freshly milled black pepper
Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large saucepan and fry the beef until browned. Drain and reserve.
Add the rest of the oil to the pan, add the vegetables and cook on a gentle heat until just soft. Add the garlic, flour and tomato paste, increase the heat and cook for a few minutes.
Return the beef to the pan, and add the wine, if using, and boil to reduce it slightly before adding the stock, Worcestershire sauce and fresh herbs.
Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes, or until the gravy is thick and just coating the meat.
When the sauce is reduced, adjust the seasoning with salt & pepper then discard the bay leaf.
Meanwhile, make the mashed potatoes. In a large saucepan, cover the potatoes in salted cold water, bring to the boil and simmer until tender. Drain well, then allow to steam-dry for a few minutes Mash well with the milk, butter, and three-quarters of the cheese, then season with the nutmeg, salt and freshly milled black pepper to taste.
Spoon the cooked meat into the bottom of a 9 x 12x 3 ovenproof dish.
Spoon the mashed potatoes over the meat, and smooth to cover evenly. Sprinkle on the remaining cheese.
Heat oven to 350°F and bake for 45 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown.
*Note, to keep your Peas bright green during the cooking process you can add an acid such as lemon juice or vitamin C to the cooking water, or add ¼ teaspoon of baking soda to 1 Quart of boiling water that will be used for cooking. Shock your peas in ice water to stop the cooking process immediately once they are just tender.