Since I’ve been making so many soups and stews lately, I seem to always have carrots and celery in the fridge. I was considering making a stir fry this week until I remembered I had some ground lamb frozen, so I decided to use that up along with the veggies and make a shepherd’s pie.
I’ve actually never made a shepherd’s pie before, and I think, like most classic dishes, there are 1794 ways to make it. I have seen them with ground beef, lamb shoulder, beef roast, even chicken, before. I decided to make mine sort of aGreek-style, with flavors that I am very familiar with.
This was a tasty and extremely comforting dish.
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, sliced
2 ribs celery, sliced
1 lb. lean ground lamb
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
4 oz. sliced mushrooms
1 Tbsp. flour
1 cup beef broth
1/2 cup red wine
allspice (I only have it whole, and used maybe 6 of them; otherwise I’d guess about 1/2 tsp. or so)
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 bay leaf
1 Tbsp. dried parsley
salt and pepper
1/3 cup peas
1 batch mashed potatoes (I used about 1.5 lbs potatoes and also stirred in about 1/4 cup grana padano cheese)
In a large saute pan (or a dutch oven), heat the olive oil. Add the onions, carrots and celery and cook them for about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30-40 seconds. Add the lamb and brown, about 5-8 minutes.
Stir in the tomato paste, cinnamon, parsley, allspice, bay leaf and mushrooms, and cook the paste off for about a minute or two. Add the flour and do the same. Stir in the beef broth and wine, bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for about 20 minutes or so to combine the flavors and thicken the sauce.
Stir in the peas and then pour the lamb mixture into a baking dish. Top with the mashed potatoes (run a fork over them for a prettier design). Bake for about 20 minutes in a 375 degree oven or until potatoes brown. Alternatively (or in addition to, which is what I did), stick the dish under the broiler for a minute or two to brown the potato crust.