Shepard’s Pie #1

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What happens when you add some pork and lamb together in a pie, you get a really happy Shepard.

Since 1791 (about the time the potato was being introduced as an edible crop), English cultures were creating the Cottage Pie, an affordable dish making use of left over roasted meats.  With the use of lamb, around 1877 the pie’s name shifted to Shepard’s Pie.  Since then this dish has been synonymous with Irish Fare.

Our twist is to add something smoky, ancestrally American, and a little Mediterranean in flavor.  Our head Thief offers up his twisting of this traditional Irish dish, with the hopes that you each may be blessed with good food, the gift of gab and hearty laughter (an Irish Blessing).

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs ground lamb
  • 4 strips of hard-wood smoked, thick cut bacon (we used apple wood smoked)
  • 3 to 4 lbs of Yukon gold potatoes (washed and peeled), dependent upon size of individual potatoes
  • 2 leeks sliced
  • 2 carrots peeled and chopped
  • 2 medium onions diced
  • 5 to 6 green onions or scallions, diced
  • 1 medium shallot diced small
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup frozen sweet corn
  • 6 to 10 garlic cloves
  • Kosher salt
  • Cracked black pepper
  • 2 tsp dried fine ground mustard
  • 3 tsp dried smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 cup cream
  • 5 ounces of shredded sharp Irish cheddar or likewise sharp cheddar
  • 1/3 cup of garlic herb cream cheese
  • 1 cup (approximately) of beef broth
  • 3 to 4 tbsp of Worcestershire Sauce
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Un-salted butter
  • Flour

Garlic Mashed Potatoes Direction:

  1. Wash and dry approximately 3 to 4 lbs (dependent upon size) of Yukon potatoes
  2. Remove blemishes, green top layers from any of the potatoes by peeling
  3. Place the potatoes in a 5 quart stock pot, cover with well salted water and boil for approximately 16 to 18 minutes until the potatoes are fork tender
  4. While the potatoes are boiling, melt in a medium saute pan over medium-low heat approximately 4 tbsp of unsalted butter with 2 tbsp of EVOO
  5. Place 1 diced medium sweet onion, 1 to 1.5 sliced leeks, 3 stalks of chopped scallions, and approximately 4 to 6 minced garlic cloves, into the saute pan
  6. Saute the onion mixture, stirring and folding occasionally, for approximately 4 to 5 minutes until the onions are translucent
  7. Stir in 1 tsp of oregano, basil, dried mustard, smoked paprika, and about 1 tsp of salt and pepper, take off the heat, and keep warm
  8. Combine heavy cream and garlic-herb cream cheese in a small mixing bowl, mix well
  9. Drain the potatoes and place in a large pot, mash with 4 tbsp of unsalted butter
  10. Add the cream mixture and continue to mash till the potatoes are smooth/creamy
  11. Add the onion mixture and mix thoroughly.
  12. Add 5 ounces of shredded sharp cheddar
  13. Cover and keep warm

You will have some potatoes left over, retain and refrigerate, use with another dish for these potatoes are devine!

Meat Mixture Directions:

  1. To a large saute pan add 2 tbsp of EVOO and 3 tbsp of un-salted butter on medium to medium-high heat
  2. Add ground lamb and sliced thick-cut bacon, kosher salt, cracked pepper, 1 tsp of oregano, basil, smoked paprika, mustard, stirring frequently and breaking up large clumps of lamb into smaller pieces
  3. Saute the lamb till browned and ensure the bacon is cooked thoroughly (about 6 to 8 minutes)
  4. If there is a lot of reduced fat, slowly pour some out but retain some (about half)
  5. To the meat add the carrots, 1 medium diced sweet onion, the remaining leek slices, the remaining scallions, 3 to 4 minced garlic cloves
  6. Saute the veggies with the meat for another 4 to 6 minutes until the veggies are soft
  7. In a small saute pan heat 2 tbsp of EVOO and saute a medium diced shallot till soft (3 to 4 minutes)
  8. In a small to medium sauce pan melt 3.5 tbsp of unsalted pan and add 3.5 tbsp of flour.  Saute, stirring continuously, for 2 minutes
  9. Add to the flour rue the Worcestershire Sauce, beef broth, heat over medium heat until the gravy thickens.  Add the saute shallot and stir to evenly distribute
  10. To the meat and veggies mix add the gravy and stir, add 1/2 to 3/4 cup frozen peas and sweet corn, stir to mix well
  11. Cover and keep warm

You may have about a 1/2 a cup of the meat mixture left over dependent upon baking dish size.  Retain and refrigerate, enjoy plated with the remaining potatoes as a separate dish.

Pie Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to a high broiler setting, ensure the rack is set to accommodate your baking dish 6 to 8 inches below the broiler element
  2. In a 2.5 quart (rectangular or oval) covered baking dish, add the meat mixture (leaving 1-2 inches near the top) with space for the potatoes
  3. Layer evenly the potato mixture over the top, about 1 to 2 inches thick, and create wisps of potato as one spreads them over the top of the meat mixture
  4. Uncovered, broil the Shepard’s Pie approximately 6 to 8 inches from the broiling element until the top surface is evenly browned (about 4 to 6 minutes, dependent upon broiler)
  5. Remove from the oven and let sit for 2 minutes.  Sprinkle the top with smoked paprika and chopped parsley
  6. Plate (consider serving with steamed seasonal veggies, a side salad, Irish soda bread or buttered sour dough bread) and pair with a stout or ale of your choosing

Bain sult as an Bhia! (Enjoy the Food!)