Shepherd’s Pie Recipe
Too much leftover or just bored of beef in pie? Check out this Shepherd’s pie recipe that could do exclusive as much as save life!
Cottage pie and shepherds pie are two eerily similar dishes. In fact, their name is used interchangeably many times but like there are coffee enthusiast who know the difference between arabica and Robusta, there are some who also know the difference between Cottage pie and shepherd’s pie.
From the outside both dishes can look the same but if we look under the potato and sometimes cheese layer then even the untrained eye can see that all shepherds’ pies are cottage pie but not all cottage pies are shepherd’s pie.
As an unwritten rule shepherd’s pie should always contain sheep meat like lamb, mutton or hogget while cottage pie can be much more forgiving with the bottom layer although doesn’t really diverge from beef.
Given that of course it contains any meat at all because sometimes cottage pies go totally meatless or venture into previously unexplored territories and uses cauliflower mash to go low carb.
Making shepherds pie from scratch is a tad bit more demanding due to the process of preparing the meat. Although both pies were originally created to use up leftover meat but since it grew in our favor, we are willing to sacrifice more of our time just to prepare a perfectly fine meal to make another from it.
The quickest and easiest way of making shepherd’s pie is to prepare more Sunday roast than it’s good for us. All we have to do on one of the following days is just combining the leftovers under a bit of mashed potatoes and we have a perfectly fine pie ready to please the crowd.
Sure, if we don’t know what Sunday roast is, let alone regularly making one, we’ll have a harder time getting our things ready for the dish.
To explore everything shepherd’s pie has on offer we can go down the path of spending a bit of time roasting leg of lamb. Once it’s done, we can instantly get on with layering the meat under some mashed potato and a sprinkle of cheese before a final roasting in the oven.
If we don’t have the patience to roast lamb or the leftover from the weekend yet can’t get rid of the excruciating desire for shepherd’s pie, we may find redemption in ground meat.
As cottage pie can be made by quickly browning the beef so can shepherd’s pie be speed up with rapidly prepping ground lamb in a skillet.
Sure, with ground meat we may not feel the succulent pull of meat threads cushioned in the creamy potato that could make us believe for a second, we are sitting at a while clothed table of a gourmet restaurant, but shepherd’s pie was never meant to be reach such heights anyway.
Maybe if it were a French dish, like Hachis Parmentier, it could dream of becoming something more than just another dish to fill one of the days between two weekends creating its own unique space in the culinary world.
Not everybody is destined to reach the stars, some has to stay within our reach to share our best moments, comfort us in our worst and be part of our life now and generations to come.
- 4lb / 2000g Potatoes
- ⅞ cup / 200ml Sour cream
- 2 teaspoon / 10g Salt
Shepherd’s pie sauce
- 2 tablespoons / 30ml Cooking oil
- 1 medium / 200g Onion
- 1 big / 100g Carrot
- 1 rib / 100g Celery
- 1 teaspoon / 5g Salt
- 1 sprig / Rosemary (¾ teaspoon dried)
- 1 sprig / Thyme (¾ teaspoon dried)
- 2 lb / 900g Lamb or ground lamb
- ½ cup / 100g Tomato paste
- ½ cup / Red wine
- 2 teaspoon / 10g Salt
- 1 teaspoon / 3g Black pepper
- 2 pieces / Bay leaf
- 1 cup / 130g Peas
How to make Shepherd’s pie
- Make mashed potatoes by cooking potatoes, drain then mash them. Add salt and sour cream for best results. If in doubt, check out: Mashed Potato with Skin
- Heat oil to high then sauté diced onion, carrot, celery and salt until the onion gets a glassy / translucent look.
- Reduce heat and stir-fry until the onion caramelizes, about 15 – 20 minutes.
- Mix in garlic, thyme and rosemary.
- Increase heat then add the ground meat with more salt and some optional ground pepper.
- Stir-fry until the meat is browned then add tomato puree, laurel and some optional wine.
- Bring it to boil then simmer until half of the liquid is evaporated, about 10 minutes.
- Add the peas and any other vegetables that tickles our fancy. Put the lid on and cook the vegetables ready. Peas takes about 3 minutes, even when frozen.
- Portion the meat out.
- Top it with mashed potatoes. Don’t forget to poke holes into the mashed potato to allow the steam to escape otherwise the aesthetics of our pretty looking pie may suffer the consequences.
- Some like to add some grated cheese on top. It’s absolutely not necessary.
- Place the cottage pies into the middle rack of a 350°F / 180°C preheated oven until the top starts to get a golden brown color, about 30 – 40 minutes.
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