Friday, November 7, 2008

Shepherd's Pie

I'm a big fan of Shepherd's Pie, there is something so comforting about a stew covered in a layer of baked mashed potatoes. I don't make a traditional Shepherd's Pie since I'm not using mutton as the meat but it seems that typically you see it with beef these days anyway. 
Shepherd's Pie
I made the stew for this pie using whatever vegetables I had left in the crisper from my last CSA box. That's one of the things I love about making something like this, you can throw in whatever sounds good to you. I like to think of it more as a technique recipe than an exact ingredient recipe.

This combination turned out really tasty. The stew was flavorful & quite mellow with all the flavors blending together instead of one standing out. The mashed potatoes were creamy & rich thanks to the addition of an egg yolk. I highly recommend making Shepherd's Pie on those cold winter nights we have coming up.

Shepherd's Pie

1 lb potatoes, peeled & cut into large pieces
2 T half & half
1 T butter
1 egg yolk
salt & pepper
1 T olive oil
2 small leeks, white & light green parts sliced
2 small fennel bulbs , sliced
1 medium carrot, chopped
2 small peppers chopped 
3/4 lb lean ground beef
1 T all-purpose flour
3/4 c chicken broth
1 T tomato paste
1/4 c frozen peas
2 T fennel frond, chopped

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add potatoes & a dash of salt. Boil the potatoes for 20 minutes until tender. Drain. Return the potatoes to the pot, add the half & half, butter & egg yolk & mash until smooth & fluffy. Salt & pepper to taste. Set aside.

Heat the olive oil in  a skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the leeks, fennel bulb, carrots & peppers & cook until the vegetables become tender. Add the ground beef & cook until browned through. Stir in the flour & cook while stirring for a minute. Add the chicken broth & tomato paste & stir until thickened. Add the peas & fennel fronds & stir until just heated.

Divide the beef stew between two 1 1/2 c ramekins. Top with the mashed potatoes. Dot with a little butter if you wish. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet & into the oven. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes until the potatoes are golden brown.

Serves 2


Jersey Girl Cooks said...

It looks delicious. The fennel sounds like a nice touch.

billjac said...

I like making shepherd's pie right after I make a pot of stock. Any meat from the pot goes into the filling, the stock goes into the sauce and the boiled vegetables get mashed up with milk and butter for the topping. It ends up rather homely compared to the lovely dish you just made, but it's a great way to get a second use out of those ingredients.

Stacey Snacks said...

This looks excellent.
I loved Giff's pie too, I have never attempted this, but will do so now!

Peter M said...

Nice touch with the fennel and Shepherd's Pie is a childhood fave for me too!

eatingclubvancouver_js said...

It's cold, it's wet here -- perfect weather for shepherd's pie. I love the addition of fennel here and leeks. Leeks!

Unknown said...

That picture makes it look really awesome, but I do not like fennel. I have tried, really I have. So, I will make this with some other vegetable., thanks.

Alicia Foodycat said...

Yum - such a favourite! I haven't had a shepherds pie in so long and now I WANT ONE!

Lori said...

When I was in MN for vacation (from the Twin Cities to the boundary waters), we stopped and had some pasties. Dont know if I am spelling it right. Your Shepards Pie reminded me of it. Have you ever made those?

Anonymous said...

Oooh, this looks great! It's been ages since we've had Shepherd's kids love it! Thanks for the reminder. :)

grace said...

kat, i think those ramekins are the best investment you or whoever gave them to you could ever make--you use them so often, and in such wonderful ways. this pie is no exception--it looks tremendous. :)

Deborah said...

This is one of my favorite comfort dishes!

Megan said...

You are so right, creamy mashed potatoes on top of a yummy stew. How can you go wrong. DELISH!

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T = Tablespoon
t = teaspoon
c = cup
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