Monday, May 26, 2008

I can't spell Shepherd's Pie

When I sought out a recipe for this classic comfort food I ran into some difficulty due to my inability to spell "shepherd." One would think that someone who frequently did well in Elementary school spelling bees would not have this problem. However, not once did it occur to me that there would be an "h" in the word. Naturally, once I found the proper spelling, it all made sense. Shep-herd - one who herds She(e)p.

In any case, this blog is about cooking, not spelling. On to the recipe! While this dish takes a little while to make from start to finish, it comes out beautifully and is so satisfying! It's one of my new favorites! Enjoy! (Please excuse my poor photography)

Shepherd's Pie
Source: Emeril Lagasse


1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 pound chopped lamb shoulder or lamb fillet **I used Ground Beef**
1 cup chopped yellow onions
2 carrots, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 ounces button mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced
**I also added about a cup of frozen corn**
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 1/4 cups lamb or beef stock
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 pound potatoes
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup white cheddar, grated


Lightly grease a 6-cup baking dish and set aside.

Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add the lamb and cook until starting to brown, about 3 minutes. Add the onions, carrots, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and bay leaf, and cook, stirring, until their liquid is almost all gone, about 4 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until starting to color, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Gradually add the stock and Worcestershire sauce, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until thickened, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Meanwhile, place the potatoes in a medium pot and cover with salted water by 1-inch. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain in a colander and return to the pot. Over low heat, mash the potatoes with a potato masher. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, 3/4 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, and nutmeg, and mash to incorporate. Add the heavy cream and mix well. Remove from the heat.

Remove the pot with the meat from the heat. Remove the bay leaf. Spoon into the prepared dish and top with the mashed potatoes, smoothing the top. Sprinkle the cheese over the top and bake until browned and bubbly on top, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

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