Shepherd’s Pie is perfect comfort food for the cold winter months!
Shepherd’s Pie is an English recipe that is traditionally made with lamb. But here in the U.S. it is usually made with ground beef, which in my opinion makes it not nearly as tasty! So I make Shepherd’s Pie with lamb, and I use chunks of lamb too, so it is more like a delicious stew, with lots of meat and vegetables.
I like this meal because the thick rich gravy goes perfectly with the cream mashed potatoes baked on top. And it is a great meal to use lots of vegetables in also. For this recipe I added in a rutabaga, which is an under appreciated root vegetable. If you don’t have a rutabaga you could substitute turnips, potatoes or just more carrots.
This meal does take a little bit of prep, but you could speed it up by using store bought mashed potatoes instead of making your own. And the resulting casserole is well worth the effort!
- 1½ lbs potatoes
- ¼ c. milk
- 2 T butter
- ½ t. salt
- 1 lb lamb
- 2 T olive oil
- salt & pepper to taste
- 2 T butter
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 rutabaga, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 t. thyme
- 1 t. rosemary
- ¼ c. water
- 2 T tomato paste
- ¼ c. flour
- 1 quart beef stock
- First make the mashed potatoes. Peel the potatoes and cut them into ½-inch cubes.
- Put them in a saucepan and cover with water, then bring to a boil.
- Boil until they are done, about 10-15 minutes.
- Drain the potatoes and add the milk, butter and salt. Mash until they reach the desired consistency, and then set aside while you make the filling.
- Preheat the oven to 400 F.
- Heat a frying pan over medium heat and add the olive oil.
- Cut the lamb into small pieces and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Brown in the olive oil and remove from pan when browned on all sides. Set lamb aside for a few minutes.
- Add the butter to the frying pan along with the onion, rutagaba, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme, rosemary and water. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 15 minutes.
- Add the lamb, tomato paste, flour, and stock to the pan and bring to a boil, and simmer for 10 minutes to let the sauce thicken slightly.
- Spoon the filling into a large casserole dish or multiple small ones.
- Top with mashed potatoes, spreading them all the way to the edges of the dish so the filling won't bubble out. It is probably a good idea to put the casserole dishes on a tray, just in case some filling spills over as it cooks.
- Bake in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes, then broil for 2 minutes to brown the potatoes.
- Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
So if you have only tried Shepherd’s Pie with ground beef I’d urge you to give it chance with lamb, because it is like a totally different dish!