Shepherd’s Pie

Things have been busy around here lately.  Planning trips, taking Tikki to get his yearly checkup and shots(usually consists of 3 visits), trying to figure out this new camera, dinner parties, and just daily life can really wear ya out!

Tikki is always such a trooper when it comes to going to the vet. He is always so happy to see people, somebody, literally anybody! Just the idea of going somewhere excites him to no end.  He is reminiscent of a crackhead that just got their fix.  That is until we return home, then he is done.  He wears himself completely out in the hour or two that we’re gone.

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This is Tikki the moment we get home from the vet and sit down. Out like a light.

However, he’s up to date on his shots and is as healthy as six pound horse!

We have been in desperate need of a vacation, so we have planned a trip to Oregon in early February. Hopefully, we will be able to do some snowboarding on Mt. Bachelor and spend some quality time with family.  I feel like both of those are totally going to happen. Fingers crossed I come home with at least one awesome story and some killer recipes….should I say killer recipes?  Hell, you get what I mean.

Anyway, the weather has been insane lately.  It’s raining, it’s 70 degrees, it’s snowing (a lot), it’s 65 degrees the next day, snowing, 28 degrees, sunny. The weather is like Sybil! (I’m almost certain most of you won’t get the reference, however for the ones that do, I applaud you!) It snowed fairly heavily here and I was trying to think of something that would be warm and comforting for dinner.  Then it hit me! Shepherd’s pie would be magnificent on such a cold gloomy day.  The deep rich flavors of the lamb that are brought to the forefront with the addition of the red wine, the smell of the rosemary and thyme filling the house, and the decadence the mashed potatoes bring is just….well….it makes me want to die and fuck off to heaven!

So, it seems as if we need to get this show on the road. By the way, if you want to use ground beef in yours, go for it!  It’s then called a ‘Cottage Pie’.  If you add breadcrumbs to the top it’s called a ‘Cumberland Pie’. No matter what you choose, it’s going to turn out great!

Ingredients:

For the filling:

2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

1.5 lbs ground lamb

1 large carrot, grated

1 large onion, grated

4 cloves of garlic, grated

1 bag of frozen peas (about 1.5 cups-ish)

1 Teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped

1 Teaspoon fresh thyme

3 Tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce

3 Tablespoons tomato paste

1 cup of red wine, something you’d drink

1/4 cup of chicken stock

A pinch of Cayenne pepper

Salt & Pepper to taste

For the Mashed potatoes:

1.5 lbs of Yukon Gold Potatoes, chopped into equal pieces

1/4 cup of heavy cream

4 Tablespoons of butter

2 Egg yolks

1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Salt, to taste

Instructions: 

Preheat your oven to 400°f. Get a pot of water boiling on the stove top, throw in some salt, your potatoes, and let them go for about 15 minutes.  Poke them with a knife to check for doneness, it should go in and come out easily. Drain the water off of those suckers and mash away. I use a potato ricer to do mine with, but if you just have a old-school potato masher that will work great as well. For real though, you need to look into getting a ricer. Mix your mash with the 1/4 cup of heavy cream, 4 Tbsp butter, 2 egg yolks, half of your Parmesan cheese and salt (to taste). Your mash is done, now just keep it warm and let’s start on the filling!

Start by grating your carrot, onion, and garlic or use a food processor.

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Next, add olive oil to a large hot pan or Dutch oven and add your meat.  Now, you are going to have to stir this meat like your life is depending on it! It needs to be broken down into tiny little pieces. Cook the meat until it’s browned.

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Drain the fat off of the meat and return it back to the cooking vessel. Add in your thyme, rosemary, garlic, and Cayenne. Stir that into the meat and let it cook for a minute or two.  Add in your onion and carrot and stir some more!

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What we are trying to do here is get everything broken down into a fine or mince consistency.  Add the Worcestershire sauce and tomato paste into the meat and mix well. Next, throw in the red wine (use any red wine except for cooking wine). Let that cook down for about 2 minutes then add in your chicken stock and frozen peas, cook that down for 3 – 4 more minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.

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Place the meat mixture into a deep oven safe dish and spread the mashed potatoes over the top with a spoon or offset spatula. Take a fork and rough up the top a little to create some peaks and crevasses (trust me you want to do this for epic little brown crusty bits of potato). Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan cheese over the top, feel free to add more, I always do. 20170108_003213

Pop that beautiful thing in a preheated 400°f oven for 20 minutes or until the top is golden brown and delicious!

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There’s nothing left to do except let this flavor bomb cool for about 5 minutes to let the filling set, serve it up, and listen to the ‘oohs and ahhs’…prepare yourself, they will be deafening.

I really hope you give this recipe a try, if you do leave a comment and let me know how it goes.  Thanks for stopping by!  Until next time, Ciao!

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