I used to make a variation of this in University that involved taco seasoned ground beef, mashed potatoes and corn. A few times I baked it, mostly I just mixed it all in one bowl and ate it like cafeteria slop. I think by looking at the list of ingredients below, you'll see I've grown since then. No more slop for me! Shepherd's Pie is traditionally made with lamb, but you can easily make this with ground beef or turkey. I just love lamb and don't enjoy it as much with ground beef. The flavour is so complex and pairs so wonderfully with rosemary, the two were just made for each other! Fun tip: put your mashed potatoes in a piping bag and make a cool design on top to add some fun to the dish!
1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes
1/4 cup half-and-half
2 ounces unsalted butter
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp. Olive Oil
2 Cloves Garlic
1 1/2 lbs. Ground Lamb
2 tbsp. Flour
2 tsp. Tomato Paste
1 cup Chicken Broth
1 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
2 tsp. Fresh Rosemary
1 tsp. Fresh Thyme
1 can (or 1/2 cup) Peas
1 can (or 1/2) Corn
Put your cubed potatoes in cold and salted water and bring to a boil. Once it’s boiled, lower the temperature so it remains at a simmer. Keeping them at a foil boil will make them disintegrate if you’re not careful!
Once the potatoes are tender and can easily be pierced with a fork, take off the heat and strain. In a bowl, add butter, half and half and salt. Put your potatoes in the bowl and let them sit, melting the butter, for a minute. With an electric hand mixer (or a peasant potato masher), mash your potatoes until smooth. Add an egg yolk to the potatoes and stir until fully combined. This will make your potatoes very creamy.
In a pan, heat the oil and cook the onions and carrots until the onions are translucent (about 5-7 minutes). Add garlic and cook for about 2 minutes. Then add your lamb and cook until the meat is browned and no longer pink. Add a tablespoon of flour and fry it for a couple of minutes. If you don’t fry it before adding the liquid ingredients, your pie will taste like flour.
Add the chicken stock, worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, rosemary and thyme. Stir until combined. If you’re asking me. One of the best food combos in the world is rosemary and lamb. They were simply made for each other.
Once the meat mixture has cooked down and there is no liquid left, add the peas and corn, mix and remove from heat.
In an oven-proof crock, add your meat mixture to the bottom and top with mashed potatoes, spread edge to edge to make a seal.
Bake at 400℉ for 20-25 minutes until your potato peaks are just browning and your meat mix is bubbling.
Once done, let cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. It is extremely hot! You’ve been warned.