Sunday, April 15, 2007

By Request: Shepherd's Pie

I was supposed to post this a long time ago, but I haven't until now because I'm a chronic procrastinator. (There is such a thing; I heard so on WPR.)

Anyway, shepherd's pie: I don't usually follow a recipe--it's one of those dishes that you can tailor to your own tastes and use whatever you've got on hand. If you can't get lamb, try it with some other ground meat. (But do use lamb if you can; it's the best!) I don't use any herbs or seasonings because I find the sweet, rich taste of lamb doesn't need anything extra.

Tim loves shepherd's pie above anything else. Tonight he made if for dinner as follows*:

1 lb ground lamb
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped (or sliced)
2 T flour
1 bay leaf
1 c broth (Tim used vegetable)
1 T tomato paste
salt & pepper
1-1/2 lb potatoes
2 T butter
4 T milk

Brown lamb and vegetables. Blend flour into a paste with a bit of broth. Mix flour, broth, tomato paste, and bay leaf. Stir until mixture begins to boil. Lower heat, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes or until mixture thickens. Season with salt & pepper to taste if you wish. (I don't.) Spoon into an ovenproof dish. (Unless the one you're using is ovenproof. We use a cast iron skillet from start to finish. (At this point, we refrigerate the lamb mixture for a few hours. This makes it easier to spread the potatoes on top.) Boil potatoes. Peel & mash w/ milk & butter. Spread potatoes on top of lamb mixture. (Here, you can sprinkle some cheese on top if you've got it & like it.) Make a fancy design with a fork if you feel like it. Bake at 400 degrees 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are lightly browned.



*based on a recipe from The Dairy Book of British Food

No comments: