Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Shepard's Pie

Scotland is all about comfort food and one of my favorites is Shepard's Pie, which I've made approximately 50 times in the six months that we've lived here. I use a recipe that I've adapted from The Joy of Cooking and it's the perfect dinner for a dark, rainy night - with enough left over for lunch the next day.

Shepard's Pie
Serves 4-6

Traditional Shepard's Pie is made with ground lamb, however I usually use a mixture of ground beef and ground pork (technically, using ground beef turns it in to Cottage Pie). I make mine in a 9x13 inch pan (the recipe below is based on using a pan this size) but it's easily adapted to whatever size you prefer. 

6-8 mashing potatoes for the topping, along with a bit of butter and cream to mash with

And for the meaty part:
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion 
4 stalks of celery
4 carrots
1.5 lbs ground beef, pork or lamb - or a combination
1/4 cup flour
1 cup beef broth
1 tbsp rosemary
1 tbsp thyme
A pinch of nutmeg
Salt and pepper

Make the mashed potatoes first: peel the potatoes, dice them, and boil until fork tender. Mash with butter, cream, salt and pepper and set aside.

Meanwhile, clean and chop all the vegetables. In a large pan, heat the oil and add the onion, celery and carrot, and saute until softened, about 10 minutes over medium heat. Add the meat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks. When it's no longer pink, add the flour to thicken the mixture. Stir in the broth and let simmer for a few minutes, also adding the spices as well as salt and pepper. Transfer this mixture to your pan and add a layer of mashed potatoes to the top. Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes.