Shepherds pie is a classic recipe. I strongly feel it is well deserved to be a part of every occasion. It is so hearty, flavourful and comforting at the same time. It could be prepared with minced beef or lamb, that is cooked in a gravy with onions and other vegetables and topped with a layer of mashed potatoes before it is baked.
Now guys, this must be a common recipe in most of the Irish or European households. But trust me, the secret to nailing this dish is to perfect all the different components of this pie. The minced meat needs to be browned well before adding other ingredients to impart all good flavours from the meat. I would suggest not to rush with the gravy, that is the foundation of this pie. So let it simmer before you decide to assemble. Make a smooth and luscious mashed potatoes, without any lumps. I always make sure to taste everything before assembling, because for a dish like this, balance of flavours and textures are important. Nobody wants to have a flat, flavourless Shepherds pie. As a cook I think it is important to respect these classic recipes and when you do that people are going to love every bit of what you make.
I called this recipe Shepherd’s Pie. But, I wrote the recipe so that you could use ground beef or ground lamb.
I typically use ground beef because it is widely available. But, for a special occasion, like St. Patricks day, I would use ground lamb.
First I peel potatoes and chop them, get them boiling. (5 lb bag)
Then I start browning a pound and a half of ground beef with salt, pepper and minced garlic
I add chopped onions and shredded carrots about half way through browning. *
Then I drain my potatoes while the beef continues to cook covered in order to make the onions and carrots soft.
Lid makes this process faster.
Everyone does their mashed potatoes their own way but I use salt, pepper, minced garlic, one stick of butter and about a cup of milk (sometimes more) to desired creaminess and I use an electric cake mixer to get them nice and fluffy and creamy.
Then I drain beef, put it evenly in the bottom of 13×9 baking dish, one can of drained French style green beans evenly over the beef, one can of beef gravy drizzled evenly over the beef and green beans, then I dump the mashed potatoes in and spread them evenly.
Then top with shredded cheddar and parsley!
Bake at 350 til the cheese is melted and bubbly. (25-30 minutes)
Usually I just use a medium cheddar but this time
I did medium cheddar mixed with white cheddar and it turned out amazing.