Shepherd’s Pie is a savory meat (lamb) pie with the crust being formed with potatoes. Cottage Pie is the term that is applicable if any other form of meat is used, besides lamb. It’s easy to remember, Shepherd = Herder of Sheep. Originally, this dish was a way of utilizing leftover roasted meats; now, it is a hearty meat and potatoes meal that should star in its own first-run show!
Mr. Saucy and I love lamb. Love, love, love it! Mr. Saucy was a bit late to the lamb love, since I was the first to feed it to him. Thankfully, he adored it – because there might not have been a Mr. and Mrs. Saucy had he not jumped on the Lamb Love Express. I kid. I kid? No. Wait…that’s goat.
I’ve been trying to replicate the best Shepherd’s Pie I ever had the pleasure of eating; I had it while I was in London a few years ago. This isn’t exactly it, since the one I ate had chunks of lamb, but it’s close enough in flavour to have made me smile. A very large smile.
If you have a meat and potatoes lover in your household, I can guarantee that they will really enjoy this dish! If you are faint of heart in the lamb department, just substitute some ground beef.
- 2 pounds ground lamb
- 2 large carrots, peeled, diced
- 1 large onion, peeled, diced
- 1 sweet red pepper, diced
- 1 tablespoon Herbes de Provence
- ¼ teaspoon sage
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ½ cup brandy
- ¼ cup port wine
- 2 cups beef stock
- 2 cups sweet green peas, uncooked (frozen work great here and no need to thaw)
- 4 medium russet potatoes, peeled, diced and cooked in salted water
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 4 tablespoons sour cream
- ¼ cup cream
- 1 ounce Asiago cheese, micro-planed
- pepper, to taste
- In a large skillet, brown the ground lamb over medium heat, breaking the lamb up as it cooks.
- Once browned, using a slotted spoon, remove the cooked lamb to a bowl and set aside.
- Drain all but about 1 tablespoon of the fat from the skillet.
- Add the carrots, onion, red pepper.
- Sprinkle with the Herbes de Provence, sage, garlic powder and salt and pepper.
- Saute until the vegetables are slightly soft, about 6 minutes.
- Sprinkle the flour over the carrots, onions and peppers and continue to cook for about 4 minutes.
- Add the brandy, port and beef stock and stir.
- Add the browned lamb back into the vegetable and stock mixture.
- Allow to cook until the gravy formed by the stock and flour has thickened.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Once cool, add the frozen peas.
- Transfer the meat and vegetable mixture to a greased casserole dish.
- Put the cooked potatoes through a ricer into a large bowl, or mash in the method you prefer.
- Add the butter, sour cream, cream, Asiago cheese and pepper and stir to mix. You will want the potatoes to be a bit on the stiff side.
- Either pipe or spread the potatoes over the top of the meat/vegetable mixture.
- Bake in a 350 F oven until bubbling and the potatoes are browned on top. You may need/want to turn on the broiler for few minutes to finish them nicely.