Shepherd's Pie - with a twist.
I love old school food. Food that evokes comfort, a cozy hearth, and all's well. (maybe even a wizard with a pipe) Shepherd's pie hits that mark and then some. The best shepherd's pie I've ever had is from Raglan Road at Downtown Disney Orlando. Their red wine reduction sauce is beyond. Adding red wine to mine really calls back to theirs.
Here I've cleaned it up a bit and kept it decadent, while easing the carb factor by leaving off the potatoes and topping it with a parsnip cauliflower mash. You can top this with Yukon gold mash, if ya like. I like the cleaner feeling of full this lighter version gives me. If you like, you can also lighten this up by using half lamb/ half ground turkey. Just don't use too lean a mix. That would turn this from Shepherd's Pie to Farmhouse pie, and I do it most of the time. (as opposed to Cottage pie with beef, or Dandon pie, with just turkey) And who doesn't love those crispy caramelized bits after it hits the broiler for a few.
Topping: 1 head cauliflower 6-8 parsnips (peeled or un - I peel some) Chop parsnips into manageable chunks, and break up cauliflower into i inch pieces. Boil them in salted water until fork tender. Drain and immediately put back in the warm pot on the still hot burner to let more moisture steam off a few minutes. Add two good knobs of butter and mash. I leave it a wee bit chunky for texture. Adjust seasoning if needed.
Filling: 2 turns olive oil 1 large onion, diced small 3 large carrots, diced small 3 stalks celery, split and sliced thin 2 lbs ground lamb (or 1lb each lamb and turkey) 2 cloves garlic 1 tbsp tomato paste 2 turns Worcestershire sauce (or to taste) 1/2 tsp mixed herbs (of your choice, rosemary, sage, thyme) 1 cup chicen stock 1/2 cup red wine 1/2 cup fresh or frozen green peas
Prepare: Notes: I salt as I go! Turns is a turn around the pan. A knob is (not your weird cousin) about a table spoon give or take. Preheat Oven to 400 Heat the oil in a large high sided skillet or pot at medium heat, add the onion and sauté, stirring, until you build some nice color on the bottom of the pan and the onions are translucent.
A little longer than this but you can see the magic building there.
Next add the carrots and celery and scrape up the brown bits as you stir. The natural moisture from the veg will help deglaze this and stop it right back into your mirepoix.
Cook down for about 10 minutes, then add your garlic and keep stirring.
Now add the tomato paste to the bottom of the pan and let it sit and cook a minute. Trust.
Add your ground meat, season with salt and pepper, and cook until almost browned through. Add the chicken stock, Worcestershire, wine, and herbs. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Let the sauce reduce a bit. Adjust seasoning as needed. Add the peas at the last 5 and let them cook or warm through. Put the filling in a an 11 by 7 casserole dish and top with your mash mixture. Grab a fork or spoon and make fun shapes in the top. Do it! Play with your food! (I like to make rounded divets.) Bake at 400 for 20 to 25 minutes, then hit it under the broiler for just a few more minutes, to brown the edges of your topping. Voila! Serve with more of that red wine, and smile at your kitchen-mancy!