Over the past couple of days I started to feel nostalgic for some of the food I grew up eating as a kid in Scotland. I think I saw something on another social media channel and it set of some sort of food memory alarm in my head.
So I went searching and found some really great recipe ideas, but sourcing the ingredients (like haggis) is another matter. Not so for Shepherd’s Pie, you can find every ingredient with zero problems. Shepherd’s pie is one of those stick-to-your ribs meals, it warms you up and makes your belly feel contented. I remember eating bowls full of it in the wintertime made by my mom. It’s a total comfort food dish, with ground lamb and vegetables cooked in a rich brown gravy. The meat is topped off with fluffy mashed potato which ends up crusty on top after baking in the oven. Some people put cheese on top but I prefer just the little crispy charred pieces of spud.
I’m not sure what I’ll end up making next, there’s so many things I miss eating. Fish and chips, haggis, meat pies, and a glut of baked goods from small shops with bells on their doors and flour on the floor. Maybe I’ll make a trip to my local british grocery store and stock up, it sure beats a 12 hour flight across the ocean!
Lamb and Potato Shepherd’s Pie
- 2 pounds russet potatoes peeled and halved
- 1 pound ground lamb
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1/2 onion diced
- 3-4 crimini mushrooms sliced
- 1 tablespoon ketchup
- 1 teaspoon Worcester sauce or balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon steak sauce
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
- 3 teaspoons fresh thyme chopped finely
- 3/4 teaspoon salt plus another 1 teaspoon for the potatoes
- 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Bring a pot of water to a boil big enough to hold the potatoes. Boil them until they can be pierced with a sharp knife and no resistance is felt.
- Drain the potatoes and set aside
- Heat the canola oil in a medium sized pan, add the onion and ground lamb and cook until it's no longer pink. Drain the fat from the pan.
- Add the sliced mushrooms and stir well over a medium heat for about 4-5 minutes.
- Add the ketchup, Worcester, steak sauce and beef broth and bring to a boil.
- Simmer for 5 minutes then add the frozen vegetables, thyme, salt and black pepper. Stir well.
- Combine the cornstarch and water and add to the meat. Simmer for another 5 minutes, stirring.
- Transfer the potatoes to a stand mixer and using a whisk attachment, add the milk and butter and beat the potatoes until lump free and smooth. Season with the remaining salt and more pepper
- Transfer the meat to a pie dish, I used a 10 inch wide by 1 1/2 inch deep dish.
- Scoop the potato onto the meat and using a spatula, spread the potato in a circle covering the lamb.
- Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes on top of a baking tray to catch any gravy drips.
- Serve at once with some extra steak sauce on the side.
Adapted from Epicurious.com