Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Shepherds Pie

This is my first one of these. I never had this growing up, except for maybe in restaurants. I have always wanted to make one, so I thought why not tonight. I used the recipe from America's Test Kitchen because I wanted to make sure I was making a tried and tested recipe.

I make a few variations like adding a package of fresh, sliced white mushrooms, and a chopped celery stalk That I sauteed with the onions. I also used a lb. ground turkey instead of 2 lbs. of ground beef, just to make it a bit lighter(and really because I only had a lb. of ground beef available).
Mine didn't come out as pretty as I envisioned it would but that is my fault. I was a little shy on the potatoes (which were yukon gold's and not the recommended russets, btw), but it still came out looking decent (despite the bubble over on the left in the pic above) and tasting out of this world.

Shepherd's Pie
(ATK recipe)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
large onion , chopped fine
2 medium carrots , peeled and chopped fine
2 pounds 85 percent lean ground beef
Table salt and ground black pepper
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon
tomato paste
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 3/4 cups
low-sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup beer (I used Amstel Light)
2 tablespoons
soy sauce
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
1 cup
frozen peas
*note* I used half a bag of frozen peas and carrots. I added them when the recipe said to add the peas at the end. Oh, and I also added 3 cloves of garlic that I threw in there when I began to brown the meat.

2 1/2 pounds
russet potatoes . peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
Table salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted
1/3 cup heavy cream , warmed
Ground black pepper
large egg , beaten

1. For the filling: Heat butter in large skillet over medium-high heat until foaming. Add onion and carrots and cook until soft, about 8 minutes. Add meat, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook, breaking up meat into small pieces with wooden spoon, until browned, about 12 minutes. Add flour and tomato paste and cook until paste begins to darken, about 1 minute.

2. Add cream and cook until it spatters, about 1 minute. Add broth, beer, soy sauce, and thyme and simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently, until mixture is thick but still saucy, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in peas, adjust seasonings, and transfer to broiler safe 2-quart casserole dish.

3. For the topping: Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Bring potatoes, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and water to cover to boil in large saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain potatoes, return to saucepan, and mash potatoes with butter and cream until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Spread potatoes over filling, using spatula to smooth top (see photo at left). Brush with egg and drag fork across top to make ridges. Bake until filling is bubbling, about 15 minutes. Turn on broiler and cook until top is golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes. Serve.

Make Ahead
Make the filling through step 2, but do not add the peas. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days. When ready to proceed, reheat the filling in a large saucepan, stir in the peas, and transfer to a broiler safe 2-quart casserole. Proceed with the recipe from step 3.


Erin said...

Looks great Ally! I've been wanting to make one of these!

Carrie said...

Last time I tried this it was from kraft and was NOT good at all, this looks like how I remember it growing up.

bakingblonde said...

Wow, that looks mouth watering! This would be perfect for cold nights!

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Jaime said...

i have never had shepherd pie before, can you believe that? it sounds great though - total comfort food.