Saturday, September 11, 2010

Shepherd's Pie

For the record, I have never ordered this dish out. American Irish pub food must be selected carefully, and generally, when patronizing an Irish pub, I ignore this menu option. I think it's because of the grizzly ground beef base layer often used in place of traditional mutton. Since elementary school, I've been skeptical of commercial grade-F ground meat, and this dish is no exception.
Anyway, I like the idea of a savory casserole with a whipped potato feature. So, here is a shepherd's pie closer to a version a real shepherd would have eaten using local lamb, garden carrots, market mushrooms, and freshly harvested potatoes. Makes me want to pull up a barstool at the nearest tavern and settle in with a pint of Guinness. Great for a rainy afternoon.

Shepherds Pie:
*2 lbs potatoes
*4 Tbsp unsalted butter
*1/2 cup raw milk or plain whole yogurt
*sea salt and pepper

*1 pound local, pastured ground lamb
*1 sweet onion, chopped
*3 cloves garlic, minced
*2 garden carrots, chopped
*3/4 cup oyster or shitake mushrooms, sliced
*splash dry white wine
*2 Tbsp. butter
*1 1/2 Tbsp flour
*1 1/2 cups chicken stock
*1 cup fresh or frozen shelled green peas
*handful of fresh chopped basil or parsley, or both

Bring a large pot with water to rolling boil. Add potatoes and boil until tender when pierced with a fork. Strain. Whip with the butter and a 1/2 cup raw milk or plain whole yogurt. May need to add additional milk or yogurt. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350.
While potatoes boil, brown the lamb in a large skillet over medium heat. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a small bowl. Add the onion, garlic, and carrots to the pan, and saute in lamb juices. Add the mushrooms, and splash of wine. Season with sea salt and black pepper.
Reduce heat to med/low.
Return lamb to pan. Make a well in the center of the skillet and add 2 Tbsp butter. Once melted, add the flour and whisk into a paste. Cook for one minute before pouring in the stock. Incorporate into contents of pan, stirring often until liquid thickens. Remove from heat.

Transfer lamb mixture to a 9x13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle with the shelled peas and basil or parsley.
Top with whipped potatoes and bake until golden and bubbly, about 40 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.

1 comment:

  1. Making this for dinner tonight... Thanks so much for a fabulous Real Food recipe! Love your blog!