Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd's Pie

This is one of those dishes that no one in my house should like. Boy Roommate gets irked at rosemary, I dislike peas and am iffy about ground beef in non-taco preparations, Girl Roommate hates potatoes. So of course we all enjoy this a lot. Go figure! It’s a big dish, so there are leftovers, but it reheats well and stores nicely if you let it cool down and chop it into chunks. The stew part even gets better with age!

Originally this was made with lamb, and I’m sure that would be delicious, but lamb is $7/lb and ground beef is around $2/lb on sale. If I’m going to use lamb, I’m going to use it in something that will really highlight its lambitude and let that shine. This is plenty delicious with beef, and much more economical.

Also, hey, it looks like Pac-Man with all the yellow, so hard to go wrong there.

Shepherd’s Pie, adapted from Alton Brown

1 1/2 lbs. potatoes
1/4 c. half-and-half
4 Tbsp. (1/4 c.) butter
salt and pepper to taste
1 egg yolk
1 Tbsp. oil
1 large onion, diced
4-6 baby carrots, diced fine
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. ground beef
2 Tbsp. flour
2 tsp. tomato paste
1/4 c. red wine
3/4 c. chicken or beef broth
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped
1/2 c. frozen peas
1/2 c. frozen corn
1/2 – 3/4 c. shredded extra-sharp cheddar

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Peel and dice the potatoes into 3/4″ chunks or so. Put them in a pot with a bunch of aggressively salted water. Bring to a boil on the stove and cook for 20 minutes or thereabouts, until the potatoes are fork-tender. Drain, mash, add in the half and half and butter, taste for seasoning, and stir a bit extra so they cool down some, and then add in the egg yolk and stir through.

While the potatoes are cooking, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and carrot, season, and cook until soft and beginning to color, 8-10 minutes; add the garlic and cook for 1-2 more minutes. Add the ground beef and break up aggressively, browning it. When it’s brown, sprinkle on the flour and stir until it disappears. Add the tomato paste, cook for a moment, and then add the wine, scraping up any brown bits. When that’s almost gone, add the broth and Worcestershire and stir around. Drop the heat to low and let it simmer until the sauce is nice and thick, about 10 minutes, then stir in the herbs, peas and corn.

Dump the stew into a 9″ deep-dish pie pan. Squidge it around until it’s pretty flat. Spoon the potatoes over the top and spread them out, making sure no stew is peeping through and the edges are sealed. Sprinkle the top with cheddar and bake for 25-30 minutes, then let it rest for 15 minutes or so out of the oven to set up. Serve!

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~ by iliadawry on 26 April 2013.

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