Shepherd's Pie

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Inspired by the Potter series, hence the foray into English mains. First came the butterbeer, then the shortbread, now shepherd's pie.

Searched high and low for lamb mince, I suppose, may need to go to the Middle Eastern supermarkets. So since I had a batch of potatoes and turkey mince, it was the most obvious dish to cook, to the delight of the Brit foodies at home.

Found a recipe by Alton, tweaked it, and have made it twice so far! Needless to say, it was quite a hit!
Just goes to show that we should venture outside our comfort zone now and then.

This recipe fits an 8x12 lasagna pan or glass baking dish. Personally prefer the lasagna pan as it's a tad taller and won't cause an overflow.

For the mashed potato topping:
10-12 russet potatoes
1 cup milk, warmed
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup grated cheddar or colby jack (optional)
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt (less if using cheese)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 egg yolk

For the meat filling:
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 carrots, peeled and shredded in the processor
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 pounds ground lamb or turkey
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup tomato paste
1 cup chicken broth
2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons freshly chopped rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon freshly chopped thyme leaves
1 tsp paprika powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 cups frozen peas,corn,carrot mix
1-1/2 to 2 cps shredded cheddar or Colby Jack mix cheese

A. Make the mashed potatoes
1. Peel the potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch dice.
2. Place in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water.
3. Set over high heat, cover and bring to a boil.
4. Once boiling, uncover, decrease the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until tender and easily crushed with tongs, approximately 10 to 15 minutes.
5. Drain the potatoes in a colander and then return to the saucepan. Mash the potatoes and then add the warmed milk, butter, cheese, salt and pepper and continue to mash until smooth.
6. Stir in the yolk until well combined.

B. Prepare the mince
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
2. Pour the canola oil into a 12-inch saute pan and set over medium high heat.
3. Once the oil shimmers, add the onion and carrots and saute just until they begin to take on color, approximately 3 to 4 minutes.
4. Add the garlic and stir to combine.
5. Add the lamb/turkey mince, salt and pepper and cook until browned and cooked through, approximately 3 minutes.
6. Sprinkle the meat with the flour and toss to coat, continuing to cook for another minute.
7. Add the tomato paste, chicken broth, Worcestershire, rosemary, thyme, paprika, onion and garlic powders, and stir to combine.
8. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer slowly 10 to 12 minutes or until the sauce is thickened slightly.
9. Add the vegetable mix into the meat mixture and stir well.

C. Assemble and bake
1. Spread the meat and vegetable mix evenly into the pan.
2. Top with the mashed potatoes, starting around the edges to create a seal to prevent the mixture from bubbling up and smooth with a rubber spatula.
3. Place on a parchment lined half sheet pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 25 minutes or just until the potatoes begin to brown.
4. Remove from oven and sprinkle the shredded cheese on top, then return to broil for around 10 minutes until cheese melts and starts to brown.
5. Remove to a cooling rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Best with salad on the side. Now for the treacle tart ....

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